Bellapais Abbey and Village

The Abbey, also known as the White Abbey because of the white habits worn by the premonstratensian order of the monks, derives its name the corruption of Abbaye de la pais, The Abbey of Peace. It is truly one of the most tranquil and serene places on the island, was founded at the beginning of the 13th century by the Augustinian order fleeing there erstwhile kingdom of Jerusalem.

Thierry, Archbishop of Cyprus, persuaded them to adopt the rule that arose in the Ptrmontré in northern France. Under Thierry’s guidance the abbey prospered and became influential, so much so that it was necessary for Pope Gregory IX in 1252 to remind the Abbot of his canonical obedience and spend less time on secular affairs of state.

In 1246 the abbey benefited from a large legacy bequeathed by a knight simply known as Roger the Norman and he also endowed them with a piece of the true cross.

To be possessors of such a sacred relic made the abbey the focus of some very wealthy pilgrims who would spend time in retreat and leave a handsome renumeration at the end of their stay. Due the the tremendous wealth the abbey was able to amass, it became a venue not just for the pious also the royal family and members of the nobility.

Most of the abbey that is visible today dates from the time of Hugh III it was he who granted the Abbots the privilege of a sword and golden spurs.

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