Agros is a village situated in the Limassol district of Cyprus. The village is named after the Great Agros Monastery which was constructed in the area where the Virgin Mary chapel is now built. Agros is widely known for its rosewater and rose based products.
The iconoclast of the Virgin Mary Eleousa Monastery who was called the “Saint Theophanis of the Great Agros”, originating from Asia Minor, had been persecuted and chased. Following this, he was exiled to Samothrace where he died in 817.
A horrendous cholera epidemic struck Cyprus in the 16th and 17th century which resulted in two thirds of the civilians deaths. The residents built their homes under the roof of the Virgin Mary, outside the monastery and that it how the village of Agros that we know today began.
According to sources, it had merely 806 residents in 2011. The village of Agros is self-sufficient through its education, emergency services, banks, supermarkets, football pitch, regional theatre, agriculture training centre and also, indoor basketball court.
In terms of produce, Agros contributes the freshest of quality of fruit, notably grapes, as well as traditional meats such as lountza and chiromeria. It is also known for its traditional jams and sweets like soutzouko. However, the village is famous for its rose products.
Not to be missed:
On the slopes of Agros, the “Rosa Damascena” or the Rose of Damaskus has become synonymous with the village for almost 100 years. The twin buds are pale pink and exude a strong fragrance. Moreover, the Rose Damascena tend to blossom in April/May. The rose tends to grow in bush lands, at the foot of the mountains as well as at the road edge, such as in Agros, where it is sheltered from strong winds and any ice.
The rose was stumbled across a century ago by a teacher, namely Nearchos Clerides, who saw a brand new business opportunity within the bushes and so set up a nursery and taught students the proper care and cultivation of the flower.
In 1948, Nicodemus Tsolakis launched his renowned rose water onto the market. And so for 70 years and 2 generations, the Tsolakis family has been cultivating its very own rose bushes. The rosewater in question has even managed to travel as far as Melbourne Australia.
The humble premises where it all began is now entitled ‘The Rose Factory’. By doing what they do best, the factory branched out into the cosmetic industry to capitalize on the benefits of rose essential oil, dating back to ancient times. And so was born the organic line, ‘Venus Rose Cosmetics’, notably in reference to the goddess of love, Venus, or known in Cyprus as Aphrodite.
When the roses are in bloom in May, ‘The Rose Factory’ greatly welcomes volunteers for rose-picking.