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ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ

TROODOS MOUNTAINS

TROODOS MOUNTAINS

Trodos is the largest mountain range in Cyprus, located in roughly the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 meters, which hosts four ski slopes. The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus. There are many famous mountain resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches on mountain peaks, and nestling in its valleys and picturesque mountains are villages clinging to terraced hill slopes. The area has been known since antiquity for its mines, which for centuries supplied copper to the entire Mediterranean. In the Byzantine period it became a great centre of Byzantine art, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains, away from the threatened coastline.

The Troodos mountains are known worldwide for their geology and the presence of an undisturbed ophiolite sequence, the Troodos Ophiolite. These mountains slowly rose from the sea due to the collision of the African and European tectonic plates, a process that eventually formed the island of Cyprus. The slowing and near-cessation of this process left the rock formations near intact, while subsequent erosion uncovered the magma chamber underneath the mountain, allowing a viewing of intact rocks and petrified pillow lava formed millions of years ago, an excellent example of ophiolite stratigraphy. The observations of the Troodos ophiolite by Ian Graham Gass and co-workers was one of the key points that led to the theory of sea floor spreading.

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