Ayia Thekla Chapel
Ayia Thekla is a small chapel located a few kilometers west of Ayia Napa and close to Sotira village. The exterior features white arches and the roof is painted blue to match the colors of the setting. The chapel overlooks the blue sea and enjoys mesmerizing view of the Mediterranean. The beach below the church is named after Ayia Thekla.
In front of the chapel there are steps leading to a cave or rock carved tomb known as the catacomb of Ayia Thekla. It is believed that early Christians turned the cave into a place of worship before the new church was built. Archaeologists believe that there was an ancient settlement or a cemetery in the same area. Further more, there is evidence of the existence of a quarry at the west of the chapel.
Saint Thekla was born in Asia Minor. When she heard the teaching of St. Paul she abandoned her fiance and followed the Apostle. She was captured and suffered horrible tortures but she survived and found refuge in mount Kalamon until her 90 years. The chapel of Ayia Thekla was built to honor the saint and it used to be a monastery for women until 1937. The remains of the older grotto - church date back to the 4th century.
The chapel of Ayia Thekla is often used for wedding ceremonies from the locals. Civil weddings can also be arranged with the Municipality of Sotira. The doors of the chapel are open all the day and there are not any entrance fees.