"The Physiologus" Ecology Centre

The surrounding area of the Monastery of Agia Napa, where the “Saint Epiphanios” Cultural Academy is housed, 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 planned 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 Georgios 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 has been placed on orthodox ecological theology, discussed also in the teachings of the Church and in Patristic writings. “The Physiologos”, from which the Centre takes after its name, is a well-known and widely translated didactic text consisting of descriptions of nature and animals, also attributed to Saint Epiphanios (Εἰς τὸν Φυσιολόγον τὸν διεξελθόντα περὶ τῆς ἑκάστου φύσεως τῶν θηρίων τε καὶ τῶν πετεινῶν ().

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 and collaboration with organizations and the local communities are some of the actions organized by the Centre.