Salamiou village is located 37km east of the town of Paphos, between the valleys of the rivers Diarizos Xeros and which is also surrounded by forest and vineyards. In order to get to Salamiou you must follow the Kelokedara road which is off the road from Paphos-Troodos.
At the centre of environmental education one can be informed about the fauna and flora of the area. In the village there is the church of Agia Varvara, the chapel of Saint George and the monastery of the Virgin Mary Salamiotissa. Passing through Salamiou you can taste the excellent wine.
Monastery of the Virgin Mary Salamiotissa
The monastery of the Virgin Mary Salamiotissa is located 1 kilometre southeast of the village of Salamiou. The small and nice chapel was the only building left from the old monastery which closed during the last years of the Turkish occupation , since after the 1821 revolution the Turks did not allow new monks there and at the same time they kept increasing the taxes , the so called “haratsi” for all the existing monks. The history of the monastery is nearly unknown. The little evidence though show that the existence of the monastery is dated back to the beginning of the 16th century. The Archimandrite Kiprianos, mentions that in 1788 the monastery belonged to the town of Paphos. It is also likely that the small chapel which exists today, was the catholic possibly second temple of the monastery.
The miracle icon of the Virgin Mary Salamiotissas is dated to the beginning of the 13th century and it is also possible that the monastery also existed from the 13th century. Besides, the 11th and 12th centuries were considered as the centuries in which there was a great blooming in solitary life. During its conquest from Byzantines, the Emperor Vasilios the second, allowed the construction of new monasteries and the dedication of land to the already existing ones.
The great wooden cross which belongs to the holy relics of the monastery is not fit for the small chapel and the carved stones which have been found during the last excavations which also form an arch, make us believe that there may have been a larger monastery which richer decoration from the one left today.
After the death of the last monk, the monastery begins to fade slowly as it was a difficult time for the residents of Salamiou. During the beginning of the 20th century the residents also took stones from the old deserted monastery in order to complete the church of Agia Varvara. However after 170 years, the monastery was rebuilt and the famous and priceless icons went back to their old position in the monastery. Even though there were many earthquakes and fires the icons were protected by a miracle and are in good condition even today.
It is without any doubt that the largest relic of the monastery is the miracle icon of the Virgin Mary Salamiotissis which is fated back to the 13th century and is of the Kikkotissa type, but left handed. Also very important icons are those of Christ and Prodromou which are dated to the first half of the 16th century and were made by the iconographer Joseph Houri.
The big wooden cross of the monastery is also dated back to the beginning of the 16th century as well as the sanctuary gate which are important relics of the monastery. Also a second icon of Christ and two long icons of the Virgin Mary and Prodromou stand in awe.
Today the monastery operated every Sunday and during celebrations. Embroided chasubles and covers of the altar are also made there.