Agros is a village in the Limassol district in Cyprus. According to the inventory of 2011, it had 806 residents. Agros is built amphitheatrically between tall mountains at an altitude of 1100 metres.
Founding and name
The village Agros took its name from the Great Agros Monastery which was built in the area where today’s Virgin Mary chapel was built. The great iconoclast and abbot of the Virgin Mary Eleousa Monastery, who was called the “Saint Theophanis of the Great Agros” coming from Asia Minor had been condemned and chased. He was banished to Samothrace where he died in 817. Because the abbot denied signing the emperor’s decree he was condemned. According to tradition, the monks which stayed with him in the same monastery in Asia Minor, decided to come to Cyprus after his death. For a certain amount of time they lived in a village in the Agros area. Later on, they built a new monastery and they named it the same name as the original monastery which was “The Great Agros Monastery”. In 817 they brought the icon of the Virgin Mary Eleousa to the monastery. As the monastery was full with monks, it operated normally. Later on between the 16th and 17th century, a great cholera epidemic fell upon Cyprus, and the 2/3 of the residents died. The area residents built their houses outside the monastery, under the roof of the Virgin Mary. That is how the Agros village was created. The monastery operated as normal until 1830. Later as the monastery did not accommodate monks any more the metropolis began to rent the rooms and they started to take advantage of the monastery. This tactic continued until 1880. It must be noted that during the Turkish occupation the residents gave their land to the monastery in order to avoid the taxes which were imposed upon them. Therefore the residents rebelled and wanted revenge. One of the residents had suggested that if the monastery was demolished, then the metropolis wouldn’t have any rights. That way in 1894 they demolished the monastery. When the minister went to the monastery he was surprised. This wasn’t accepted by the metropolis which resulted in placing fines to the residents.
Installations and resident engagements
The village has a child-minders station, a nursery, primary, gymnasium, lyceum, agriculture training centre, police station, post office, health centre banks, supermarket, football field, indoor basketball court and regional theatre. The main produce of the village is grapes, garden products, excellent quality fruit, soutzouko, traditional type meats (sausages, lountzes, and chiromeria), traditional sweets and jams. Its residents also engage in tourism (one and three star hotels, tourist apartments, guest rooms, traditional cafes, taverns and entertainment centres).
- Frangoulidi Museum
The Frangoulidi Museum began its operation in 2004 and is near the Virgin Mary church. With the foundation of the particular museum Solon/Solomos Frangoulidi ,one of the most important representatives of the first generation Cypriot artists as well as artists and hagiographers in Cyprus. Frangoulidis developed relations with the villagers during his stay in the village during 1932 until 1934.
- The Olive mill of Ioannis the Prodromos Church
In 1930 the Olive mill was transferred from the basement of the all-girls school of Agros, to the traditional house which it is found today next to the church of Ioannis the Prodromos. The handheld system which the oil producers used to take the oil is in excellent condition. The house is built by stone, wood and its roof had tiles. The whole project occurred under the guidance of the Antiquities Department of Cyprus.
- Traditional Press
Similar to the Olive mill for the Virgin Mary of Agros, it was located until 1949 next to the Kaoura water tap. It was demolished for the creation of the electric generator of Vrasiida Irinarchou and was transferred between the Virgin Mary church and the Primary school, where there are still mill stones.
- Byzantine Church – Museum of the Great Agros Monastery
In 1894 the historic monastery of the Great Agros, was destroyed. According to tradition it was built by monks who came from Kizino of Asia Minor during the period of the icon war. In its place today is the Church of the Virgin Mary Eleousas of Agros. According to the description of the monastery a church –monastery was rebuilt where the iconostasi, the pectoral icons of the 12th century old books and other objects were placed. In the church, the department of antiquities found architectural remains, as well as samples from the iconographies of the monastery.