Frankoelia (Olive Tree) – The Virgin Mary of Podithou Church
In the courtyard of The Virgin Mary of Podithou church, there is an ancient olive tree, also known as Frankoelia. A small wooden sign on the base of this huge olive tree lets visitors know of their arrival to the surrounding area of the church. Exuding peace, this tree is one of the oldest olive trees on the trail leading to the church.
According to a few of the locals, this specific olive tree is known as Apostolic. Apostolic olive trees were known for their distinctive fruit and were different in shape (more oblong compared to others). They were neither wild nor cultivated, and they needed more time for their fruit to ripen and for the olives to be prepared for consumption.
The existence of wild olive trees precedes man’s presence on the island. In the late 18th century, Archbishop Kyprianos in his work “Chronological History of Cyprus” states: “The olive groves produce enough oil, so that when they are fruitful, the land has enough oil for three years, and sometimes there is enough to give to other regions”.