Church of "Tis tou Theou Sofia"

A few kilometres north-east of Pafos, as you ascend to “Poli Chrysochous”, you will find the village Stroumpi in the middle of the route. Moving on toward the village’s interior and close to the “Plateitsa” (meaning small plaza), you will come across a church -dedicated to the Holy Spirit -under the name ” tis tou Theou Sofia “. When in 1953 there was an earthquake, the church that was located in Pano (upper) Stroumpi and was dedicated to Saint George suffered great damages. Then, in 1953 that is, a new church was constructed in today’s Kato (lower) Stroumpi, which was dedicated to the Holy Spirit and had the name ” tis tou Theou Sofia “, after an order given by the British Governor.

It started being built in 1953 and the operations were completed in 1956. It is located at the centre of the village and it is the main church of the community of Stroumpi. Architecturally, it is built in the Byzantine Style It is made of stone and has a rather large, central dome. The church’s icon screen is tall, made of marble, and consists of portable icons of the Saints. Generally, the church is internally decorated with icons. It is a flat church, having no frescoes or a women’s loft. It is a small and austere church. The woodcut Priest’s throne adds with its presence to the church’s richness, as also the wooden Psalters do. It would be an omission not to mention the icon of the Holy Spirit. This icon is still extant today. It is very old and it dates back to the 15 th century. It is kept in the church and is venerated on the day of the Holy Spirit in a celebratory manner and also with a procession of its Holy icon.

Church of Saint George

As we had mentioned above, there also was an old church in the community of Stroumpi, which was dedicated to Saint George. It was built at the centre of the old (upper) village of Stroumpi. It was constructed in 1914. The church suffered severe damages during the great earthquake of 1953. It was temporarily repaired in 1958 but a second earthquake in 1996 worsened its condition. It was said that this was the epicentre of the 1953 earthquake and so the entire village was transferred to today’s (lower) Stroumpi.

Architecturally the church was built in the Gothic Style. After the first earthquake, the church was destroyed from the mid section (horizontally) and up -the roof along with it. They constructed a new, additional roof. The state offered money for the church’s conservation, both externally and internally. The yard is paved with decorative slabs. Externally it appears as if made of stone and with some representations of various grapes and lions -as decorative elements -visible above the doors. During older times it had a women’s loft but now it has been demolished. The icon screen is recent and woodcut, carrying portable icons of the Saints. One can observe the beautiful representations of a vine (pergola) in its carving. The stools are few and the -recently made -Psalters cannot be left out. Of course, you will not see any frescoes but the community has done everything within its power to preserve -for the entire region -this unique and note-worthy ornament that is called Saint George. The very old icon is extant but it is kept in the Hole See of Pafos. The church operates only once every month. It can host up to 500 faithful attendants. It celebrates in a festive manner and with a procession of His holy icon on the 23 rd of April.

Chapel of Saint Marina

As you climb up the village’s south side and a bit outside of it, you will come across the small chapel of “Agia Marina”. It is a small and plain little church. It is built in Byzantine Style with a dome in the middle. Its meagre and simple, wooden icon screen is the chapel’s only “wealth”, carrying portable icons of the saints. The wooden Psalters are in existence though the earthquake had turned the chapel into ruins, only the chancel still being extant. In 1978 the chapel was reconstructed in its original position and in the venue that the inhabitants call “Agia Marina”, close to a mountainside. It is made of bricks but it is whitewashed externally. It has an added, small steeple. In its yard there is a cosy, little plaza that hosts quite a few of the faithful during the Saint’s day.

It celebrates in a festive manner and with a procession of the Saint’s holy icon on the 17 th of July.