Troodos (Greek: Î¤ÏÏÎ¿Î´Î¿Ï [ËtÉ¾ooÃ°os]; Turkish: Trodos DaÄlarÄ±) is the largest mountain range in Cyprus, located in the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 meters which also hosts 4 ski slopes. The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus. There are many famous mountain resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches on mountain peaks, and nestling in its valleys and picturesque mountains are villages clinging to terraced hill slopes. The area has been known since ancient times for its mines, and in the Byzantine period it became a great centre of Byzantine art, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains, away from the threatened coastline.
Â§Geology of Troodos
"Troodos Mountains" alt="Troodos Mountains" style="width:400px;display:block;margin-left: auto;margin-right: auto" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/On_Trooidos_(1900)_-_TIMEA.jpg/220px-On_Trooidos_(1900)_-_TIMEA.jpg">
The Troodos mountains are known worldwide for their geology and the presence of undisturbed specimens of ophiolite, the Troodos Ophiolite. These mountains slowly rose from the sea due to the collision of the African and European tectonic plates, a process that eventually formed the island of Cyprus. The slowing and near-cessation of this process left the rock formations near intact, while subsequent erosion uncovered the magma chamber underneath the mountain, allowing a viewing of intact rocks and petrified pillow lava formed millions of years ago, an excellent example of ophiolite stratigraphy. The observations of the Troodos ophiolite by Ian Graham Gass and co-workers was one of the key points that led to the theory of sea floor spreading.
The region is known for its many Byzantine churches and monasteries, richly decorated with murals, of which the Kykkos monastery is the richest and most famous. Nine churches and one monastery in Troodos together form a World Heritage Site, originally inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1985. The nine Byzantine churches are:
- Stavros tou Ayiasmati
- Panayia tou Araka
- Timiou Stavrou at Pelendri
- Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis
- Panayia Podithou
- Ayios loannis Lampadistis at Kalopanayiotis
- Panayia tou Moutoula
- Archangel Michael at Pedoulas
- Transfiguration of the Saviour Palaichori
The area has been known since ancient times for its copper mines, and in the Byzantine period it became a great centre of Byzantine art, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains, away from the threatened coastline.
Â§Villages of Troodos (selection)
- Geography of Cyprus
- Official Website by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
- Troodos (General Area) Museums
- Panoramic virtual tour of the Troodos Mountains
- Kypros Net article on Troodos
- Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2007