Kissonerga is one of the largest communities in population which exist in Paphos. In comparison to other villages, Kissonerga follows a population increase. During the 20th century, the economic bloom of Kissonerga contributed to the increase of population. In particular the increase of population has to do with the tourist development of the community which has opened new work positions, but also with the transport network which allows easy access to the town of Paphos as well neighbouring village. In addition, the population increased due to the fact that Cypriots, foreigners and some refugees from the Turkish invasion of 1974, chose Kissonerga as their permanent location of living.

Kissonerga is a community with a history of thousands of years and is located in the exact same positon. The first residents arrived at the village during the Chalcolithic era, as it can be concluded from the archaeological remains in the areas of Mylouthkia and Mosfylia. It is believed that the inhabitation has been continuous, and its existence is witnessed by sources from previous generations of the 16 century, in particular official documents from Venice. Its existence during the Byzantine years is also confirmed by the Byzantine coins which were found in Mosfylia and at the southwest seaside area.  From the Frank period until the ruling of the British, the community suffered from the exploitation and the pressure of the rulers as dis the other agriculture communities of the island.

Antiquity

Two extremely important prehistoric communities at the locations Mylouthkia and Mosfylia were brought to light during the excavations which occurred from 1960 until 1980.

Chalcolithic Community and the location Mylouthkia

The houses of this community differ from those of other communities of the same era in concern to the architecture and the construction. In particular the houses are made of a rectangular square size, carved in the natural rock. Inside the houses were ceramic shells with red decoration on the white exterior surface. Also the archaeologists found idols made of mud and stone, items made of goat, deer and sheep bones, as well as lentil seeds and wheat seeds. It should be noted that the most ancient copper hook was found in the Myouthkia location. Moreover the oldest samples of human existence and residence in Cyprus come from Kissonerga.

Chalcolithic Community and the location Mosfylia

The remains of the community are divided into two architectural phases. The first has large circular houses with a diameter of 8 and 11 metres, while the second has smaller ones with diameters of 4 and 5 metres.  On the floor of one of the second phase houses there were two carved tombs which exhibit the first samples of the tomb architecture which characterises the last phase of the Chalcolithic period and the whole Chalcolithic period (2300-1900 B.C.)

In the first tomb there is a corridor which leads to the two death chambers, one with a skeleton of a middle aged man and the second one with two skeletons which have their arms joined together and their sides are on the floor. In both chambers items were found.  

From both phases of the community , the archaeologists revealed various mobile items such as stone agriculture tools and household items , items made of bone as well as shells with red decoration on them such as the ones found in the Mylouthkia location.

In the Mosfylia community, there were idols made of mud and stone from which a woman form stounds out. This form has a long neck, rectangular nose, square eyes and hair at the centre of her head. This female idol is dated to 3000 B.C.

During the excavations done in 1978, a square structure of the middle-Chalcolithic period was found , dated to 3000 B.C , in which an impressive treasure of various items was in it. There were fifty four items as well as a large number of ceramic shells. Amongst the items was a large cup in an asymmetric shape, round with an entrance and a flat base. It is the most ancient imitation of an open worshipping area as well as human—formed clay idols and other worshipping items the exterior and interior surface of the cup has a thin layer of white colour and is surrounded by written red decoration of symmetric lines and other geometrical patterns. Amongst the worshipping items, especially impressive was a small clay stool which is possibly the seat in which a woman in labour sat on.

Lastly, it must be noted that the whole of Kissonerga is rich in archaeological findings. The residents of the village have found various items such as clay items, small glass containers and other gold ornaments of various eras.

During the 16th and 17th century, the village was mentioned as Chrisonera in most of the medieval maps. The name is possible connected with the water which was plentiful and which was the gold according to the great Cypriot Encyclopaedia due to the many droughts. Whichever of the two versions for the name exist, what is clear is the fact that the water was very important to the village.

Some scholars support that the name of the village is related to the plant kissos which is a plant that was connected with the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. Therefore the first part of the word is kissos and the second part is erga which means work.

Churches

The churches of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros and Agiou Konona are the largest in the community. The church of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros is the main church of the village and was built in 1908, while the church of Agiou Konona was built in 1987. There is also a small church dedicated to Agia Marina at the border between Kissonerga and Peyia. Previously at the location Vouno, there was another church in the cave. To the southwest of the village there are ruins of a church dedicated to Agia Zinaida and Filonilli , while to the north of the village there are ruins of the chuches Agiou Nikolaou and Agias Paraskevis.

Church of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros

The man church of the village is dedicated to the Metamorphosis tou Sotiros. The construction of the church and the witnesses date it to 1906. The churches operation began in 1956. For the construction of the church, rocks and stones from the ruins of Vigla as well as from other parts were used. Vigla was in the ancient community of Mosfylia. In the position in which the church is located today, was a smaller church. From the old church we can see part of a wall, the entrance of the temple as well as the iconostasis. It is believed that the iconostasis was originally built for the smaller church, and not for the one built in 1906. Years later the extension of the iconostasis was built in order to cover the space. Many old icons are hanged from the iconostasis, in particular from the chapel of Agia Zinaidas and Filonillis, from the original church of Metamorphoseos as well as the icon of Agio Tryfona which was created in 1880 or 1881. Years later the bell tower was added to the church.

Church of Agios Kononas

The church of Agios Kononas is the second largest church in Kissonerga, it was built in 1987 and a year later it operated officially. It is worth mentioning that the skill of the Saint is in Paphos. 

Church of Agia Konona

It is a church with a small iconostasis which is built next to a small cave. The chapel was built in 1940 and was dedicated to Agia Kononi. According to Mr. Kleanthis Vakis this is not a historical saint but a church tradition towards Agio Konona. The church operates normally and the Christians have not stopped coming to the church to pray or to hang small pieces of cloth which is an old custom. Near the chapel is a water flow, and it is believed that the mud has therapeutic abilities.

Church of Agia Zinaida and Filonillis

Very close to the church of Metamorphoseos are the ruins of a church which is dedicated to Agia Zinaida and Filonilli which was destroyed by an earthquake. The two saints were relatives of Apostle Paul who which they accompanied from Tarso to Paphos. According to tradition and other written witnesses, it is mentioned that next to this chapel was a holly well to which believers went to heal from various women diseases. In addition another tradition says that the young, single women of the village would wash with the holly water in order to get help form the two saints in choosing their husbands.

Church of Agios Nikolaos and Agia Paraskevi

In the location of Api, north of Kissonerga near an old community there are ruins of these two churches, Agios Nikolaos and Agia Paraskevi.

Church of Agia Marina

The church of Agia Marina is a small chapel built at a remote area, at the borders of Kissonerga and Peyia.  The chapel operates a few times a year, sometimes from the church of Kissonerga and others by the church of Peyia.

Kissonerga is a community with a history of thousands of years and is located in the exact same positon. The first residents arrived at the village during the Chalcolithic era, as it can be concluded from the archaeological remains in the areas of Mylouthkia and Mosfylia. It is believed that the inhabitation has been continuous, and its existence is witnessed by sources from previous generations of the 16 century, in particular official documents from Venice. Its existence during the Byzantine years is also confirmed by the Byzantine coins which were found in Mosfylia and at the southwest seaside area.  From the Frank period until the ruling of the British, the community suffered from the exploitation and the pressure of the rulers as dis the other agriculture communities of the island.

Antiquity

Two extremely important prehistoric communities at the locations Mylouthkia and Mosfylia were brought to light during the excavations which occurred from 1960 until 1980.

Chalcolithic Community and the location Mylouthkia

The houses of this community differ from those of other communities of the same era in concern to the architecture and the construction. In particular the houses are made of a rectangular square size, carved in the natural rock. Inside the houses were ceramic shells with red decoration on the white exterior surface. Also the archaeologists found idols made of mud and stone, items made of goat, deer and sheep bones, as well as lentil seeds and wheat seeds. It should be noted that the most ancient copper hook was found in the Myouthkia location. Moreover the oldest samples of human existence and residence in Cyprus come from Kissonerga.

Chalcolithic Community and the location Mosfylia

The remains of the community are divided into two architectural phases. The first has large circular houses with a diameter of 8 and 11 metres, while the second has smaller ones with diameters of 4 and 5 metres.  On the floor of one of the second phase houses there were two carved tombs which exhibit the first samples of the tomb architecture which characterises the last phase of the Chalcolithic period and the whole Chalcolithic period (2300-1900 B.C.)

In the first tomb there is a corridor which leads to the two death chambers, one with a skeleton of a middle aged man and the second one with two skeletons which have their arms joined together and their sides are on the floor. In both chambers items were found.  

From both phases of the community , the archaeologists revealed various mobile items such as stone agriculture tools and household items , items made of bone as well as shells with red decoration on them such as the ones found in the Mylouthkia location.

In the Mosfylia community, there were idols made of mud and stone from which a woman form stounds out. This form has a long neck, rectangular nose, square eyes and hair at the centre of her head. This female idol is dated to 3000 B.C.

During the excavations done in 1978, a square structure of the middle-Chalcolithic period was found , dated to 3000 B.C , in which an impressive treasure of various items was in it. There were fifty four items as well as a large number of ceramic shells. Amongst the items was a large cup in an asymmetric shape, round with an entrance and a flat base. It is the most ancient imitation of an open worshipping area as well as human—formed clay idols and other worshipping items the exterior and interior surface of the cup has a thin layer of white colour and is surrounded by written red decoration of symmetric lines and other geometrical patterns. Amongst the worshipping items, especially impressive was a small clay stool which is possibly the seat in which a woman in labour sat on.

Lastly, it must be noted that the whole of Kissonerga is rich in archaeological findings. The residents of the village have found various items such as clay items, small glass containers and other gold ornaments of various eras.

During the 16th and 17th century, the village was mentioned as Chrisonera in most of the medieval maps. The name is possible connected with the water which was plentiful and which was the gold according to the great Cypriot Encyclopaedia due to the many droughts. Whichever of the two versions for the name exist, what is clear is the fact that the water was very important to the village.

Some scholars support that the name of the village is related to the plant kissos which is a plant that was connected with the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. Therefore the first part of the word is kissos and the second part is erga which means work.

Population

Kissonerga is one of the largest communities in population which exist in Paphos. In comparison to other villages, Kissonerga follows a population increase. During the 20th century, the economic bloom of Kissonerga contributed to the increase of population. In particular the increase of population has to do with the tourist development of the community which has opened new work positions, but also with the transport network which allows easy access to the town of Paphos as well neighbouring village. In addition, the population increased due to the fact that Cypriots, foreigners and some refugees from the Turkish invasion of 1974, chose Kissonerga as their permanent location of living.

Churches

The churches of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros and Agiou Konona are the largest in the community. The church of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros is the main church of the village and was built in 1908, while the church of Agiou Konona was built in 1987. There is also a small church dedicated to Agia Marina at the border between Kissonerga and Peyia. Previously at the location Vouno, there was another church in the cave. To the southwest of the village there are ruins of a church dedicated to Agia Zinaida and Filonilli , while to the north of the village there are ruins of the chuches Agiou Nikolaou and Agias Paraskevis.

Church of Metamorphoseos tou Sotiros

The man church of the village is dedicated to the Metamorphosis tou Sotiros. The construction of the church and the witnesses date it to 1906. The churches operation began in 1956. For the construction of the church, rocks and stones from the ruins of Vigla as well as from other parts were used. Vigla was in the ancient community of Mosfylia. In the position in which the church is located today, was a smaller church. From the old church we can see part of a wall, the entrance of the temple as well as the iconostasis. It is believed that the iconostasis was originally built for the smaller church, and not for the one built in 1906. Years later the extension of the iconostasis was built in order to cover the space. Many old icons are hanged from the iconostasis, in particular from the chapel of Agia Zinaidas and Filonillis, from the original church of Metamorphoseos as well as the icon of Agio Tryfona which was created in 1880 or 1881. Years later the bell tower was added to the church.

Church of Agios Kononas

The church of Agios Kononas is the second largest church in Kissonerga, it was built in 1987 and a year later it operated officially. It is worth mentioning that the skill of the Saint is in Paphos. 

Church of Agia Konona

It is a church with a small iconostasis which is built next to a small cave. The chapel was built in 1940 and was dedicated to Agia Kononi. According to Mr. Kleanthis Vakis this is not a historical saint but a church tradition towards Agio Konona. The church operates normally and the Christians have not stopped coming to the church to pray or to hang small pieces of cloth which is an old custom. Near the chapel is a water flow, and it is believed that the mud has therapeutic abilities.

Church of Agia Zinaida and Filonillis

Very close to the church of Metamorphoseos are the ruins of a church which is dedicated to Agia Zinaida and Filonilli which was destroyed by an earthquake. The two saints were relatives of Apostle Paul who which they accompanied from Tarso to Paphos. According to tradition and other written witnesses, it is mentioned that next to this chapel was a holly well to which believers went to heal from various women diseases. In addition another tradition says that the young, single women of the village would wash with the holly water in order to get help form the two saints in choosing their husbands.

Church of Agios Nikolaos and Agia Paraskevi

In the location of Api, north of Kissonerga near an old community there are ruins of these two churches, Agios Nikolaos and Agia Paraskevi.

Church of Agia Marina

The church of Agia Marina is a small chapel built at a remote area, at the borders of Kissonerga and Peyia.  The chapel operates a few times a year, sometimes from the church of Kissonerga and others by the church of Peyia.

Kissonerga Village photos: 
Kissonerga Village location map: