The building complex of Monydri, glebe (Metochi) of the Monastery of Hozoviotissa, includes a church, which probably initially was a single-aisled basilica of the early Christian period, and then, in the 16th century, developed into a three-aisled vaulted basilica with a narthex to the west. The separation of the aisles is done with pillars on which arches are made. The masonry includes marble architectural features of the Byzantine period, as well as engraved inscriptions that inform of successive renovations in 1688, 1796 and 1799. According to them, it appears that, at least in the 18th century, nuns lived here. A relief of a double-headed eagle is attached to the floor of the church.
The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes of the post-Byzantine period (17th-18th century). The pillars of the Chancel represent Panagia (Virgin Mary) Kardiotissa and a Hierarch.
In Agios Georgios Valsamitis there was a Water Oracle (Hydromancy) whose operation was permanently stopped in 1967. The Water Oracle, the talking spring, was famous in all the Cyclades. To the spring that gushed forth, they attributed divinatory power. Before the Revolution of 1821, the spring was highly respected by all the inhabitants of the Cyclades, mainly sailors, who visited the church, and indeed those who were going to travel to the Black Sea, at times when travels beyond the coast and mountains of the homeland were considered acts of life, due to the great danger they posed, mainly due to increased piracy. The water oracle was extremely popular during the years of the Revolution, due to the increase of the danger in the seas. The government of Ioannis Kapodistrias ordered its closure, without, however, the execution of the mandate. In the 19th century the oracle is still working, but it has now lost its popularity. It is clearly stated that oracles are not given for a fee. Travelers of previous centuries refer to the oracle as “in prosperity and in full operation”, with the first reference taking place in the year 1651 by the Jesuit Abba Fr. Richard. He is followed by Sauger in 1698, J.P. de Tournefort in 1700, the Russian Archimandrite Vasily Grigoryevich Grigorovich-Barsky in 1723, Charles-Nicolas-Sigisbert Sonnini de Manoncourt in 1777 and L. Ross in 1841, who describe in detail the process of hydromancy.
Regarding the foundation of the church and the sacred dimension of the gushing water, Bent, after visiting the church at the end of the 19th century, tells us a story of a contemporary priest, priest Anatolios, according to whom, centuries ago, lepers came here, washed with spring water and healed. Then, while digging, they found the icon of Agios Georgios. This is a portable Cypriot icon of Agios Georgios Balsamitis, dating to the second half of the 14th century, located in the Katholikon of the Monastery of Hozoviotissa and is part of a procession every year, throughout the Bright Week, until the Sunday of Thomas, along with the miraculous icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Hozoviotissa. According to Miliarakis, in this place, where water gushes, there was probably a grove and an oracle in antiquity. He points out that along the entire length of the road to the church there were wooden crosses placed on the tops of rock passages or in natural pits. In fact, according to the testimonies of his contemporaries, in earlier times these crosses were made of iron, and, most probably, they replaced ancient statues of gods or even altars of atheistic deities.
The oracle spring was located on the south wall of the church, which consists of the rock of the mountain on which the church was built. A square canopy was erected here, made of stone, in the form of a church, crowned upwards, with small arched windows. At its base, with an area of less than one square meter, there was a bottomless clay hydria, at the mouth of which a perforated marble slab with a mobile marble mouthpiece was placed. This hydria was filled with clean, drinking water that gushed from the rock filling it. There was not enough light inside the canopy, and a candle was needed to see the water. According to Miliarakis, in 1883, the believer who came to the water oracle asked the priest to open as many holy water springs (agiasma) as there were the questions to be asked. After asking the question, the priest, wearing his Epitrachelion, read a wish to Agios Georgios and then, with a glass, drew water from the hydria, examined it, showing it to the questioner, and interpreted the signs of the water, giving answers with vague and general expressions.
Although the clarity of the water was an auspicious sign for the questioner, it was necessary to interpret the foreign bodies that had infiltrated the glass: dust, aquatic insects, hairs or dry leaves. On Easter day they opened the hydria, and, if it was full of water, foretold a fertile and happy year, if it was empty, that indicated a barren and unhappy year.
Public road Chora-Arkesini: bypass to a shorter road 4km after Chora.
Means of access:
TRADITIONAL PATH: "Valsamitis" Route
Katapola – Agios Georgios Valsamitis – Agia Marina – Minoa
Morning hours: 09:00-13:00.
Afternoon hours: 17:00-19:00.
Guests should be properly dressed, men in trousers and women in skirt-blouse.