Agros, Cyprus

Agros
Αγρός
Ağros
View of Agros
View of Agros
Agros is located in Cyprus
Agros
Agros
Location in Cyprus
Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°1′E / 34.917°N 33.017°E / 34.917; 33.017
Country Cyprus
DistrictLimassol District
Government
 • Agros MayorMichalis Constantinides
 • Agros Community Council
Members
  • Antonis Tsolakis
  • Sofoklis Agathokleous
  • Petros Kyriakou
  • Andreas Latzias
  • Niki Kafkalia
  • Charis Papachristoforou
Elevation
3,600 ft (1,100 m)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Total804
 • Demonym
Agrotes
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
PostCode
4860
Websitewww.agros.org.cy

Agros (Greek: Αγρός, Turkish: Ağros) is a village built on the Troödos Mountains, in the region of Pitsilia, in southwest Cyprus, which has built amphitheatrically among high mountains at an altitude of 1100 metres with a population of approximately 1,000. The village is located 45 minutes away from the cities of Nicosia and Limassol, 20 minutes from Troodos Square and 80 minutes from the international airports of Larnaca and Paphos.

Naming

The village of Agros was named after the Monastery of Megalos Agros, which was built at the spot where the Church of Panayia of Agros is found today. According to legend, 40 monks from Cyzicus of Asia Minor, during the era of Byzantine Iconoclasm abandoned the Monastery of Megalos Agros and arrived in Cyprus carrying the icon of the Holy Mother. They ended up at the area where Agros is located today, staying in a cave. They built a new monastery naming it Monastery of Megalos Agros after the name of the monastery they left in Minor Asia.

History

Greek Revolution 1821

After the events of the 9th of July 1821, the Exarch of the Metropolis of Kiti sought shelter in Agros. In particular, he undertook the managing of the property of the Monastery of Agros. Later on, however, the exarch decides to seek shelter in the Monastery of Kykkos. When the latter find the Monastery closed, they take it out on the tax collector of Agros, Constantinos Kemitzis, who chose not to testify of having known about the exarch. The Turks, according to Hadjipetris, tortured and eventually killed Constantinos Kemitzis by throwing him off a cliff.[citation needed]

Greco-Turkish War(1897)

According to the research of Petros Papapolyviou, which is cited in the book of Hadjipetris, three men from Agros were volunteers in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.[citation needed]

Balkan Wars and World War I

Some people from Agros participated in the Balkan Wars and then in World War I. Additionally, the people of Agros also contributed to the wars financially. In particular, according to the data of Papapolyviou's research, the contribution of Agros was 7 pounds and 13 cents. The people of Agros who participated in World War I were the same fourteen who had fought in the Balkan wars. Most of them served in the Health Services or as mule drivers.[citation needed]

Interwar Period

On March 25, 1921, priests, teachers, Land Committee, and School Committee signed the Unification Referendum. In the meantime, they had become public servants. The main demand of the referendums was the Unification of Cyprus with Greece.

The imposition of customs duties by the British government, in combination with its denial to satisfy the motion for unification and the difficult financial conditions of that period on the island, constituted the basic causes for the Cypriots' uprising in October 1931 (Octobriana). During the uprising, protesters burned down the Government-house and the English responded with shootings. The first victim of the shootings was Onoufrios Clerides, aged 17, from Agios Theodoros of Agros. Clerides originated from the village, and especially from the family of Nearchos Clerides.[citation needed]

World War II

Among the people of Agros who participated were Glafkos Clerides, former president of the Republic of Cyprus, and Andreas N. Tzionis. The former served as a flight sergeant in the Royal Air Force, whereas the latter in the U.S. Army. Moreover, as Hadjipetris remarks, “the father of the former President Mr Ioannis Clerides, his brother Xanthos, as well as the children of Nearchos Clerides, Lefkos and Phoebos Clerides also fought in World War II”.[citation needed]

EOKA

Agros was the site of EOKA efforts against the British authorities. From the beginning of the fight, Agros was the command centre of the Pitsilia region. Gregoris Afxentiou led the guerrilla fighters of the entire Troödos area from Agros.

The Youth of EOKA, or ANE, was established in the Apeiteio Gymnasium by Pitsilia sector-head Renos Kyriakides and head of Agros Diomedes Mavroyiannis. The first student protest of the Apeiteio Gymnasium took place on April 30, 1955, after the arrest of their fellow student Costas Pissarides. For this, the students were charged by the British. Guerilla hideouts were located in several residences of Agros. Several captured guerilla fighters were sentenced without trial.

The first curfew in Cyprus was imposed in Agros on August 17, 1955. The last curfew was imposed in Agros and Agridia on January 22, 1959, when the women of these two communities threw stones against English soldiers. The contribution of women is honoured with the construction of the Cypriot Woman Fighter's monument, which is a devout offer to the memory and honour to the woman fighter of the 1955 generation in the region of Pitsilia.

Turkish invasion of 1974

During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, five men from Agros lost their lives in the fighting.

Climate

Climate data for Agros (2002-2018)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.7
(99.9)
39.6
(103.3)
39.6
(103.3)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 7.8
(46.0)
8.8
(47.8)
11.6
(52.9)
16.2
(61.2)
20.8
(69.4)
25.7
(78.3)
28.4
(83.1)
28.8
(83.8)
24.7
(76.5)
20.0
(68.0)
15.2
(59.4)
10.2
(50.4)
18.2
(64.7)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.8
(35.2)
1.6
(34.9)
4.1
(39.4)
6.8
(44.2)
10.7
(51.3)
15.0
(59.0)
17.6
(63.7)
18.2
(64.8)
14.7
(58.5)
11.0
(51.8)
7.3
(45.1)
3.8
(38.8)
9.4
(48.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 145.8
(5.74)
117
(4.6)
83.7
(3.30)
43.2
(1.70)
31
(1.2)
15.6
(0.61)
14.1
(0.56)
11.8
(0.46)
7.1
(0.28)
41.3
(1.63)
62
(2.4)
144.1
(5.67)
716.7
(28.15)
Average rainy days 12 11 9 5 3 3 2 2 2 5 7 12 73
Average relative humidity (%) 69 66 67 67 67 68 71 72 64 62 65 71 67
Mean daily sunshine hours 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 12 11 9 8 6 9
Source 1: Weather Atlas[2]
Source 2: Μετερεωλογική Υπηρεσία Κύπρου[3]

Agrotourism

Local tourists were attracted to Agros from the early stages of Cyprus's agrotourism inception. Accommodation can be found at traditionally built hotels, as well as at many bed and breakfast rooms in traditional homes. The village maintains its traditional character and offers a natural and built with significant historical, religious, and cultural sites. Local visitor attractions include the views of the mountain, the narrow streets and natural trails, the traditional local cuisine, and local wine served at taverns.

Rose bushes cultivation

The Agros rose bush—of the species Rosa damascena—owes its proliferation to the late Nearchos Klirides, who founded the Pupils Association for the Dissemination of the Rose Bush in 1917. The organization encouraged the expansion of rose bush cultivation with the aim of producing rose water. According to Klirides vision, this would contribute to a substantial improvement of the standard of living of the local community.[clarification needed][4]

In May, visitor and volunteers participate for the gathering of the roses.

Monuments

The village of Agros hosts a monument near Apeitios High School to honor Petros Iliadis, a member of EOKA who fought against the British authorities of Cyprus. The monument is a copper bust based on a marble base.

Churches

Church of Panagia Eleousa

Panagia Eleousa, Agros, Cyprus

The prior Saint Theofanis (Agios Theofanis en to megalo Agro) fled to the island of Samothraki, where he died in 817 AD. The monks who fled with him later moved to Cyprus. Having come to Cyprus, they resided in a cave in the region of the village Agros for some period. In 817 they also brought the icon of “Panagia Eleousa” to the monastery in the Agros village. Between the 16th and 17th century, an epidemic of cholera struck the area. In order to protect themselves from the epidemic, all the inhabitants moved and constructed their houses right outside the monastery, creating the village of Agros. By 1830, the monastery no longer hosted any monks, the Metropolitan Diocese started to let out the monastery's cells, exploiting the monastery. This tactic continued until 1880. In 1894 the monastery was demolished by Agros's inhabitants. This was not accepted by the Metropolitan Diocese, who imposed a fine on the inhabitants.

In that same year and in the same location, the inhabitants started building the village church, which still exists now at the center of Agros. The construction ended in 1909. It is a cross-like structure with a dome with a capacity of 1500. The Church is 97 feet long and 48 feet wide. The dome's height is 49 feet and the surrounding wall is 4+12 feet thick. The steeple is adjacent to the church's northeast corner, bearing three large bells. Internally it is whitewashed but with no hagiographies. The High Altar remains the same, having survived the demolition of the monastery. The icon screen is woodcut, bearing icons of the saints that were made by hagiographer Solonas Fragkoulis. The women's loft was constructed later on in 1955. The icon dedicated to the Virgin Mary from 1856 is held in the church. This icon was covered by a silver, painted cover. This was kept until 1987 when the unveiling of the holy icon was performed. This icon has been preserved and today it can be found in the nearby little church, which was constructed in 1990 so as to remind the existence of the “Monastery of Great Agros”. Along with this old icon, there are some other extant items from the monastery such as a piece of the icon screen and the icon of Christ. It celebrates on the 21st of November, the day of the Virgin Mary's Presentation to the Temple. A large fair takes place and many are the faithful that come to kneel before the holy icons.[5]

The Church of Timios Prodromos

church of Timios Prodromos, Agros, Cyprus

East of the village, in the midst of the traditional houses, the church of Timios Prodromos (John the Baptist) was constructed around 1860. It is due to the initiative and the contributions of the inhabitants that it was made. It is of the basilica style with tiles on the roof. It is 100 feet long and 25 feet wide. It is unique throughout Cyprus with regards to its length. The church's inauguration was done in 1892.[citation needed]

In 1984 the roof had to be replaced due to water damage. Externally, a low-rise wall that is coated with local stone surrounds it. Two fountains, coated with stone, were constructed in 1990. One is in the east of the yard and the other in its west.[citation needed]

Inside there are some hagiographies such as that of “Panagia Platytera” over the chancel. The two gates, the “Oraia Pyli” (“the Beautiful Gate”, central) and the north gate (to the right), are formed in the icon screen. Inside it is flat. In 1960 they paved a new floor, the former one with the old slates no longer being able to sustain trampling by the believers. The dedicated icon dates back to 1887 and it is found on the icon screen right next to the holy icon of Christ. It celebrates with a fair on the 29th of August, the holy icon of the Saint being carried about in procession.[citation needed]

Frangoulides Museum

Frangoulides Museum, Agros, Cyprus

Agros hosts the Museum Fragoulides, which is built near the church of Panagia. The museum was founded in 2004 to honor painter and artist Solomos Fragoulides (1902-1981). The founding of the museum was proposed by Solon Papachristodoulou, godchild and sole heir of Solomos Fragoulides. Solonas, in cooperation with the Association of Farmers and Friends of Agros, the members of the Executive Council, and the help of the entire village organized the museum. The building was donated by the church.[citation needed]

His work focuses on religious themes, painting the portable icons of the church of Panagia.

Cuisine

The rose water

Rose water from Agros is produced from rodi damaskini, a local cultivar. The traditional method of rose water production requires the use of a still which is composed of a cauldron and a barre full of water. For every kg of roses, about 12 kg of water is added. For each kg of roses which is used in this procedure, 2 kg (4 lb) of rose water is produced.[citation needed]

Traditional sweets

The area is also popular for its traditional sweets. The most common are sweets made of syrup, with 40 to 50 variations, including walnut, melon, and grape sweets.[citation needed]

The village also produces other traditional Cypriot sweets such as mahallebi and loukoumades. The former one is usually prepared during summer and served cold. The latter is a deep fried dough soaked in syrup. While these pastry products are ubiquitous in Cyprus, the traditional Agros recipe is flavored with rosewater.[citation needed]

Meat products

Traditional Cypriot salted and smoked meats are produced in Agros, particularly chiromeri, lountza, and bacons. These three products are made of pork meat, wine and salt. Chiromeri is brined, marinated in wine, then pressed by kapnistiri (a traditional tool) so that the liquids of the meat come out. The entire procedure lasts 3 months. In lountza and bacon, spices such as coriander is added. The meat is marinated with wine, salt, and coriander and then in the kapnistiri.[citation needed]

Another popular traditional product of Agros are sausages. They are made of mince meats, wine, salt, coriander, and other spices. They are also pressed through the kapnistiri and usually take a week to produce. Pastourmas is a sausage that is made of beef, a variety of spices, garlic and salt. After preparation is finished, the pastourmas is dried under the Sun for several days.[citation needed]

2005 Helvetia Cup

The 2005 Helvetia Cup or 2005 European B Team Championships in badminton was held from January 19 to January 23 in Agros, Cyprus.[6][7][8] The 23rd Balkan Mathematical Olympiad was held in Agros, Cyprus from 27 April to 3 May 2006.[9]

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Agros is a member of the Douzelage, a town twinning association of 28 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular cultural exchange events.[10][11][12]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Census 2011" (in Greek). Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  2. ^ "Monthly weather forecast and Climate data - Agros, Cyprus". Weather Atlas. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Μετερεωλογική Υπηρεσία Κύπρου". Μετερεωλογική Υπηρεσία Κύπρου. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Important People — Nearchos Kliridis". Archived from the original on December 8, 2007.
  5. ^ "Agros Village in Limassol Cyprus - Cyprus Guide". Cyprusedirectory.com. 2006-11-25. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  6. ^ "2005 European B Team Championships". Badminton Europe. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  7. ^ "2005 European B Team Championships, Groups". Badminton Europe. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  8. ^ "Helvetia Cup". Badminton Europe. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  9. ^ "23rd Balkan Mathematical Olympiad / BMO - 2006". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  10. ^ "Douzelage.org: Home". www.douzelage.org. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  11. ^ "Douzelage.org: Member Towns". www.douzelage.org. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  12. ^ "Member towns". Douzelage. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2018.

External links

Websites

  • Official website of Agros village and tourist information (in Greek and English).
  • Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2008


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