“The Physiologos” Ecology Centre

The surrounding area of the Monastery of Agia Napa, where the “Saint Epiphanios” Cultural Academy – Research Centre is based, is a vital component of the natural inhabitant. “Napa” is in fact the ancient word for a woodland valley. Plants of the region and other indigenous species survive in the Monastery area. Among others, a 600 hundred years old sycamore tree is situated by the south gate of the Monastery, the best known of its kind in Cyprus. The sycamore tree is linked with the history of the Monastery, for according to tradition it was planted by a Venetian lady during the time of the development of the Monastery.

The tree is also famous because it is alluded to in a poem by the Greek poet and Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis:

“Below the ancient sycamore

madly the wind was playing

with the birds with the twigs

and did not master us”

For the past decades special attention is placed in orthodox ecological theology, discussed also in the teachings of the Church and in Patristic writings. “The Physiologos”, (is a well known and widely translated didactic text consisting of descriptions of nature and animals, falsely attributed to Saint Epiphaniosfrom which the Centre takes after its name.

Through its actions “The Physiologos” Ecology Centre aspires to contribute to the effort for environmental sustainability and in the ecumenical vision for finding ways to respond to the environmental crisis. Environmental education activities are organized by the Centre, which is in close collaboration with organizations and the local communities.