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Oikos

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Oikos is a beautiful small village of the Nicosia District which is built in the valley of Marathassa, on an altitude of 650 metres.

While strolling along Oikos, one gets to meet streams flowing from the mountain slopes, the old Primary School, the church of Agios Nicolaos, and houses of popular architecture while observing that each house is built on top of the other, this way creating a distinctive housing building pattern. Moreover, Oikos is a village which enjoys a splendid view!

Now, let’s get to know Oikos better through the study of Eirini Charalambous, resident of this beautiful small village…

The community is built on a slope east of the valley of River “Setrachos”. It belongs to the wider region of the valley of Marathasa and borders with the community of Kalopanayiotis.

Historical Background

The village appears to have been founded during the Turkish occupation and more specifically during the suppression of the uprising of Victoras Zempetos by the Turks in the middle of the 17th century A.D, when the older housings had been destroyed – e.g. Troullinos – and a large number of citizens had been slaughtered.

Church of Agios Nicolaos

Although Oikos is a small village both in terms of land expanse covered and population, however it is a community with significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through the written work of a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous.

The Church of Agios Nicolaos is located north of the community, where the community’s cemetery was also created. However, the church appears to have been built a lot earlier, in around the 12th or 13th century. The entire building was made of stone, even its roof, while the chapel was fully adorned with hagiographies. Today, only the general outlines of the hagiographies have remained on the walls since the Turks burnt the Church during the Turkish occupation, while the roof was covered with tiles, still allowing visitors to distinguish its stony part. Finally, above the entrance of the Church one can distinguish a figure which some believe it is the figure of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Vrefokratousa, while others believe it depicts the puppy of Agios Nicolaos.

Church of Agia Varvara

Although Oikos is a small village both in terms of land expanse covered and population, however it is a community with significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through the written work of a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous.

Standing imposingly in the community of Oikos is the stony church of Agia Varvara. In the past there used to be another smaller chapel at the same location. However, in 1906, the chapel was renovated and it became the church we know today. It is a single-aisled basilica with a ridge roof. Internally, although there are no hagiographies on the walls, one can admire Byzantine style icons of great cultural value, with the most significant of all being the one depicting Panagia Agniotissa, which was not transferred to the chapel that was recently built in Her honour for security reasons. Finally, the forecourt of the church of Agia Varvara used to be a place of burial of the deceased residents of the community until a cemetery was created near the chapel of Agios Nicolaos.

Church of Ioannis Prodromos

Although Oikos is a small village both in terms of land expanse covered and population, however it is a community with significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through the written work of a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous.

The chapel of Agios Ioannis Prodromos is located within the community and has been recently built (1990) at a place where a church dedicated to the same Saint is believed to have been located in the past. It is a stony church with a ridge wooden roof.

Church of Ioannis Prodromos

Although Oikos is a small village both in terms of land expanse covered and population, however it is a community with significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through the written work of a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous.

The chapel of Agios Ioannis Prodromos is located within the community and has been recently built (1990) at a place where a church dedicated to the same Saint is believed to have been located in the past. It is a stony church with a ridge wooden roof.

Church of Panagia Agniotissa

Although Oikos is a small village both in terms of land expanse covered and population, however it is a community with significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through the written work of a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous.

The Church of “Panagia tis Agnis” was built in the year 2000 and is located northeast of the village. At this location, which is called Agnis’ area and more specifically where the church was built, there used to be, as the remains of the foundations reveal, a chapel which had been built in the 13th century, without however us knowing when that was ruined. Moreover, near the chapel were discovered remains of houses which constitute evidence of the existence of a housing in the area.

As far as the icon of Panagia Agniotissa is concerned, elderly people of the village testify that 150 years ago a resident of the village who owned an estate in the area found the icon buried while trying to plant a vineyard. Since then, the icon has been kept in the church of the village, where it is still located today. The icon of “Panagia tis Agnis” is a miraculous icon and there is a mass at the church every Tuesday of Easter, attracting several Christians from the surrounding areas, as well as from other areas of the island.

Holy Water of Agios Lazaros

Although the village of Oikos is relatively small both in terms of land expanse and population, it is, however, a community which presents a significant ecclesiastical heritage which will be presented through a text written by a resident of the Community, Eirini Charalambous:

The Holy Water of Agios Lazaros is found at a location near the village, while the spring of the Saint, also located nearby and which supplies the village with water, does not seem to produce as much water as it used to before the installation of a meter. Also found at the same location are ruins of the church of Agios Lazaros, as well as the spring of the Saint salvaged today. Unfortunately, it was not possible to build a new church in honour of the Saint up until today, but efforts are being made towards achieving this goal.

Natural Environment

Nature has blessed Oikos with its most beautiful colours and scents. Oikos is built on a slope with a rich natural environment, east of the valley of river Setrachos and therefore the village enjoys the cool northwest breeze deriving from the nearby pine forests, as well as the melodic sounds of the streams flowing all year round.

At the community of Oikos one gets to meet several endemic plants such as wild flowers, herbs, bushes, age-long trees, ivies and climber plants which have been growing along the river Setrachos ever since the ancient years. Moreover, Oikos provides shelter for several kinds of birds, both endemic and migratory.

In particular, the fauna of Oikos and the wider region consists of reptiles, bees, water turtles, crabs, shells, worms, snails, river fish, butterflies, silkworms, caterpillars, chameleons, lizards, star lizards, rats, partridges, wild pigeons, ducks, hares, foxes, eagles and several other types of predator birds. Unfortunately, over the past few years several species have become extinct due to the use of pesticides, the pollution of our river and the springs which supply it with water, the catastrophic pollution of the asphalts and car fumes, as well as due to human actions.

Finally, it is noteworthy that visitors of Oikos have the opportunity to get to know its gorgeous nature by following one of its Trails. What’s more, visitors can walk along one of the most ancient trails which link the community of Oikos with the bridge of Agia Varvara and the main road leading from Nicosia to Marathasa.

 

Courtesy of Community Council of Oikos