Situated on a pine-covered ridge at the edge of the Tillirian Troodos, Kykkos has always played a rather prominent role in the Greek Orthodox church. It acquired immense wealth from its land in Cyprus, as well as the property it once owned in mainland Greece, Asia Minor and Russia. Kykkos Monastery is the most famous and richest monastery in Cyprus.
Founded in 1100 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to St Luke. This icon is credited with the power to bring rain. The holy image is kept in the monastery museum. The monastery museum, contains some important treasures, such as gold and silver liturgical vessels, holy books and embroidered vestments, as well as beautiful and precious icons.
At weekends, the monastery is a place of pilgrimage and there are guest rooms available for visitors. In EOKA (National Organisation for the Cypriot Struggle) days, the monastery played an important part in sheltering the fighters.
Throni, a hill about two kilometres from Kykkos Monastery, is the final resting place of Archbishop Makarios III who entered the monastery at the age of thirteen and rose to become its Abbot, before becoming President. From the shrine on the hill above his tomb there are incredible views to Mount Olympus in the east and over the vast emptiness of the Tillirian hills in the west.