Prophet Elias Church (Germasogeia)

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According to what we know from popular tradition, the Prophet Elias was a well-traveled sailor, who braved many dangers at sea. Despite this, he is not known as a Saint of the sea, but has instead been identified with mountainous areas, and this is where one will find the churches dedicated to his name.

According to that same tradition, this identification may have to do with the fact that he eventually grew tired of traveling, and decided to leave the sea behind forever. He thus took his oar and began to ask everyone he met what it was. Each time someone correctly identified the oar, he would move further inland, towards the mountains. Upon reaching a tall peak, he came across a shepherd, who looked at his oar and told him that all he could see was a large piece of wood. The Saint then set up a hut on that peak, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Though there are many churches and chapels dedicated to the Prophet Elias in the mountains, there is also one in Limassol that refers to the Saint’s seafaring adventures. The church of the Prophet Elias in the Germasogeia River area is just a few meters from the sea, and it is much larger than the churches that are built on the mountain slopes. With its many, symmetrical, arched windows adorning its tall walls, and a towering belfry, the church has been in the area since 2006.

The Prophet, according to the Old Testament, was thought to be able to regulate the weather, thanks to the miracles he would perform, preventing rain and bringing fire down from the sky.