The church of the Holy Cross of Ayiasmatis is located in the Troodos Mountains at about 7km north-west of the the village of Platanistasa in the district of Pitsilia. At one time it was the main church - the "katholikon" - of a small monastery dedicated to the Holy Cross, the existence of which is attested by the inscription over the south entrance of the church. Another inscription, over the north door, mentions the Church of "the Holy Cross of Ayiasmati".
The Church, which dates back to the 15th century, is an important monument of ecclesiastical architecture with interesting decorations depicting a mixture of Byzantine and local folk art with some western influences. For this reason, in 1985 UNESCO included this church in its list of World Heritage Sites.
The Church of the Holy Cross of Ayiasmati is a timber-roofed structure of a type that is very common in Troodos. It represents the single-cell aisleless type of church and is surrounded by a closed passageway, the ambulatory, on all four sides. The predominant and most distinctive feature of this type of church is its roofing system, which is quite complex. It is a steeply pitched double structure, which means that there are in fact two roofs - one inside the other.
The interior of the church displays one of the best preserved and most complete 15th century iconographical programmes in Cyprus. According to the inscription over the south entrance, the task of painting the church was completed on Tuesday 7 October:
The painting of the venerable Monastery of the Holy Cross was completed at the expense and desire of the most god-fearing priest Petros Peratis and his wife Pepani, on the seventh day, Tuesday, of the month of October in the year of Christ [....] and you who read this, pray to the Lord that they may find mercy on the day of judgement, amen. This gift of God was painted by the hand of the painter Philippos, surnamed Goul.
Information collected from: The Church of the Holy Cross of Ayiasmatis - Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation