Just three kilometres from the old village lies Ancient Amathus (Amathounta), founded for defensive reasons. Amathus developed into prosperous city kingdom and a port was built there in pre-Phoenician times (800BC) and trade was developed between the Greeks and Levantines. Amathus became a wealthy city because of its local copper mines. The Romans made it the capital of one of the four districts on the island and in the 4th century AD it became an Archbishopric - which it remains today. The first temple dedicated to Aphrodite was built high on the hilltop.
Local folklore tells that King Pygmalion was a famous sculptor who lived at Amathus. He created a beautiful marble statue of a woman and fell in love with her so much that he begged the gods to give her life. Aphrodite heard his pleas and granted the statue life and she was named Galatea. She married Pygmalio and had a handsome son Paphos, who later founded who founded town of the same name on island’s west coast. This legend inspired WS Gilbert to write the play Pygamalion and Galatea (1871) which in turn is said to have influenced George Bernard Shaw’s popular play Pygmalion which was later adapted and made into the popular musical My Fair Lady.
As excavations have progressed at the site, the treasures that have been discovered there have been put on display in museums across the world. The most famous was moved to Paris in July 1866 and this is a huge limestone wine jar that is displayed at the Louvre in Paris. Dating from the 6th century BC, the jar is 1.85 metres tall and 2.2 metres in circumference at its widest point. The jar is made from a single piece of stone and has four curved handles each decorated with the head of a bull and was thought to be one of a pair decorating the entrance to the temple where fragments of the second jar can still be seen today – it is reputed to be the largest jar of its kind in the world.
The village of Ayios Tychonas - great to have a wander round whilst on your Cyprus holiday.
The village of Ayios Tychonas in the Limassol district sits on a series of coastal hills and was named after Tychonas, second bishop of Amathus, who was buried in the vicinity. In his memory, the new church on the road to the village was built recently and is yet to be inaugurated. Each year on 16 June each year there will be a panayiri (festival) held there. In the heart of the old village is the vaulted church of Ayios Nikolaos and down by Amathus, the chapel of Ayia Varvara.
For centuries, Ayios Tychonas remained a small hamlet and its residents were either shepherds or farmers. In the Middle Ages,Richard the Lionheart chose Ayios Tychonas to be one of the production areas for Commandaria. In the last 20 years the area has developed rapidly, with many new houses and villas and a string of luxury hotels, apartments and restaurants have been built by the coast. Today, the total population of Ayios Tychonas is 8,500.