Holy Cross (Timios Stavros) Church

Holy Cross (Timios Stavros) Church

The ornament and true pride & joy of Omodos is the Monastery of the Holy and Life-giving Cross, built at the heart of the community. It rises majestically and with its imposing presence it becomes a significant part of Cyprus's cultural heritage. The Monastery of the Holy Cross is one of the oldest and most historic monasteries of the island.

According to tradition, one night the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Koupetra, which do not exist today, observed a fire in some bushes at the area where the monastery stands today. When it dawned they went to the spot where the fire was seen but there was no sign. This phenomenon repeated for several nights. So they started to dig the earth, discovering a small cave in which they found the Cross. In order to thank the Lord, they constructed a chapel over the cave and kept their precious treasure there, which became a sacred place of adoration for them. With the passage of time the chapel expanded and was converted into a Monastery with many monks and a vast fortune -not only in Cyprus but also abroad - maintaining a grange (monastery dependency) in Constantinople (Istanbul) and real estate in Russia.

According to tradition, the Monastery was established before St. Helen's arrival in Cyprus in 327 AD. The exact date of establishment is unknown. Perhaps it existed before the village and Omodos was later established around the monastery. Various historians of Cyprus such as Neofytos Rodinos, the Russian monk and traveller Barsky, the Dean Kyprianos and others, refer to St. Helen's visit to Cyprus and to the fact that she left a part of the Holy Rope and the Holy Rood in the Monastery. This rope, with which the Romans bound Christ to the Cross, is described as red coloured and "stained by the blood of Christ".

After several miracles by the Cross, the Monastery gained substantial reputation and evolved to a great place of adoration. The historical Monastery of Omodos has gone through various phases as the aeons went by. During the harsh centuries of Turkish domination, the Monastery managed to sustain itself and achieve great things. Around 1700 it secured a sultan's "firman" (decree) of impunity and immunity. In 1757 water was transferred to the monastery and the cistern and fountain, found in the south-west end of the monastery, were built by the priest-monk Germanos. In 1917 the entire property of the monastery was given to Omodos's inhabitants. A few years later it was deprived of its last monks and was converted to a parish.

Holy Cross (Timios Stavros) Church

Apostolos Philippos Church

Apostolos Philippos Church

The Country Church of Apostle Philip is the oldest of Omodos's country churches and it is located in the "Pente Litharia" (Five Rocks) venue west of the village and at a distance of about 3 kilometres from it.During ancient times, this country church was probably also a shrine for the god Apollo. This is witnessed by the fact that a large, age-long laurel tree stands next to the country church. Its circumference is 8 meters and its height is 17 meters. Its age is approximately estimated to be a few centuries. There are three old icons in the country church, one of Christ, one of Apostle Philip, and one of the Virgin Mary the "Zalithariotissas", which today are in the Museum of Byzantine icons of the Holy Cross Monastery. The country church was renovated in 1773 by the Metropolitan Bishop of Pafos, Panaretos, and it was also repaired in 1851. New maintenance operations took place recently with the expenses paid by the Antiquities Department, now permanently having the church under its protection. On the Saint's day, which is on the 14 th of November, a liturgy takes place and hundreds of faithful attend it so as to honour the Apostle.

Apostolos Philippos Church

Agia Paraskevi Church

Agia Paraskevi Church

The country church of Agia Paraskevi is located in the North-east and at a small distance from the village. It was ruined and was renovated on the 27 th of August, 1976, with the expenses paid by Mrs Maroulla Corona. The inauguration was conducted on the 16 th of August 1983 by the Metropolitan Bishop of Pafos, Chrysostomos. A liturgy takes place in the country church on the 26 th of July.

Agia Paraskevi Church

Profitis Elias Church

Profitis Elias Church

The small, snow-white country church of the Prophet Elias is found in the North-west of the village at a distance of two kilometres from Omodos, upon one of the village's highest hills. It was also in ruins and was renovated on the 2 nd of November 1975 by Lefkios P. Sozou from Omodos. Once every year, on the 20 th of July, a "Te Deum" liturgy takes place and the pious Christians devoutly attend it so as to light a candle and pray to the Prophet Elias for rain and to ask him to bless the people on earth. Since old times, liturgies take place in all the country churches -in succession -every Saturday after the Resurrection so that a Mass is conducted in all of them during the Easter period, in accordance with the village's custom.

Profitis Elias Church

Agios Spiridonas Church

Agios Spiridonas Church

The Country Church of Agios Spiridonas is located at a distance of about one kilometre South of the village. It is in ruins and of an unknown date. On the 11 th of November 1971, the operations for the country church's re-erection started. The raising was achieved through donations from the inhabitants of Omodos's community. The inauguration was done on the 11 th of August 1982 by the Metropolitan Bishop of Pafos, Chrysostomos. A liturgy takes place in the country church on the 12 th of December, which is the Saint's Day.

Agios Spiridonas Church

Agrotourism in Cyprus

The countryside in Cyprus is blessed with natural and man-made beauty with an abundant historical heritage. Its beautifully unique natural environment is complemented by its traditional villages and architecture which lend it a special character and are always welcoming of visitors in the traditional warm and hospitable Cypriot way. Such an environment imbues a peaceful harmony between humans and nature, something which can be felt as soon as you have arrived in Cyprus and is one of the reasons visitors come here...Read more

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