Agia Mavri Church (Koilani)

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Between the villages of Koilani and Pera Pedi, on the banks of the Kryos Potamos River, there is an ancient church with unique architecture and a history dating back many centuries. The legends that surround the church, as well as the natural beauty of its location, make it a particularly special destination.

The chapel has the typical, sloping roof seen on churches in the mountain regions of Limassol. The uniqueness of its architecture lies in the fact that its tall walls don’t have windows, but rather small openings. Inside the church, a series of remarkable, ancient frescoes have been partially preserved in relatively good condition. At the far end of the small temple there is a small opening, from which holy water flows from a spring. The sound of the flowing water, and its echo within the temple, creates a reverent setting.  

According to tradition, Agia Mavri was a young woman living in Koilani, who was in love with Timotheos. Her parents, the story goes, had intended her for another groom and so the young couple ran away together on the eve of her wedding to hide in the woods, in the area in which the chapel is located today.

There, they found refuge in a cave, but were spotted by the local villagers. In order to escape, the Saint struck the rock with her hands, and it split open down the middle, creating a passageway for the two to escape to Pera Pedi. The holy water which flows from the spring behind the church today is said to come from the opening of that rock. Agios Timotheos and Agia Mavri were arrested by Arrianos, ruler of Thebaid, and found martyrdom after torture.

The plane tree of Agia Mavri is a protected tree 800 years old, with a height of 38 meters and a base perimeter of 8 meters.

Header photo: Dimitris Vetsikas