Agia Marina of Xyliatou, the small and beautiful village of Nicosia district is about 40 kilometers far from the capital. It is built on the foot of the Troodos mountain range, in a medium altitude of 450 meters above the sea surface. In a distance of one kilometer from the village to the south, there is the green and marvelous forest ‘Adelphi’.
The village has a marvelous view . From here someone can see from afar the green fields and the blue sea of Morphou, Nicosia and the Pentadaktylos mountain range. To the south west there is the beautiful Troodos mountain range with the most imposing peak of Madaris.
The community is near the villages of Xyliatos (3klm), Kato Moni (3 km), Orounta (5 km)Vyzakia (4 km), Potami (5 km), Peristerona ( 10 km), Mitsero (6 km), Lagoudera (13 km), Saranti (13km) and Nikitari (6 km).
The village is familiar with, for over a century, a steady increase of its population. From the 74 residents in 1881 population was increased to 204 in 1901 and to 342 in 1921, to 418 in 1946, to 516 in 1960, to 546 in 1973 and to 605 in 1982.In the last population census that was conducted in 2001 the residents of the community were 628. Despite the big distance from Nicosia Agia Marina keeps resisting the drift of population to cities.
The residents of the community are still busy with the cultivation of land. The main product that the village produce is almond trees some cereals, some legumes, some vines and olives. After the construction of the Xyliatou dam in the area there are some fruit trees too. Stock-breeding is also developed especially of the goat sheep.
The village was named Agia Marina because of the residents’ respect to the saint and great martyr Marina .The respect that all Cypriots have towards Agia Marina is also well known and this is obvious from the 110 and more churches that are dedicated to Agia Marina. In Cyprus there are four villages with the name Agia Marina . Agia Marina near the village Xyliatos which is known as Agia Marina Xyliatou, the other near Skilloura with Maronites to the residents and two in Paphos district. The one is near the area of Kelokedara known as the Agia Marina of Kelokedaron and the other in the area of Chrysochous with the name Agia Marina of Chrysochous. By the first decades of the 20th century the village was known as the Agia Marina of Nikitari . But with the coming of the post office, the English established it permanently; in order to distinguish it they named it Agia Marina Xyliatou.
ANTIQUITY OF THE VILLAGE
The community as it seems functions as a settlement from the pre- historic period. Water springs, caves, tombs, rust from copper, galleries and other evidence show the human presence in the area.
The first basic evidence of the village’s antiquity is the spring from where the village was watered until the first decades of the 20th century. This spring exists today and it is the holy water of Agias Marinas.
In the area ‘Maratheftika’ very near the village ancient tombs and caves were discovered . These tombs were pillaged at times .From information we have the pillagers discovered ancient gold coins, gold leaves of Mersinias and small metallic coins. This fact leads us to the conclusion that the village was inhabited from the ancient or Roman age.
In different places of the area of the village there are eternal olive trees until today.
In the location of ‘Mavrovouni’ two kilometers on the east of the village there are important stocks of rust , obvious spots of copper. Also, in the location of ‘Agios Kyriakos’ on the west of the village there is a pile of rust..
On Cyprus’ map «Cypruss Insula» which Abraham Ortelious published in May in 1570, the settlement is noted as S. Marina.This consists the oldest known map of the area of Venice domination , in which the village is noted.
Source: Agia Marina of Xyliatou Community Council