The artificial lake Kouris is the largest artificial lake in Cyprus, renewed by the Kouris river dam. Once, the village of Alassa stood where the waters of the dam are now. The inhabitants of the village were transferred to a new location right next to the dam, while the old village sank into the lake. Nowadays, there is nothing in the area to remind us that there was a village there that three decades ago, apart from the ruins of the church. When the water barrier overflows, the bell tower of Agios Nikolaos Alassa stands over the water, creating a picturesque view.
From this dam, Limassol and Kokkinohoria are supplied with water. During periods of drought the water is transported by pipelines to other areas of Cyprus. The barrier flooded for the first time in 2004, 15 years after its operation and then in 2012 after the great drought of 2008, where almost all the dams of Cyprus had completely dried up. The dam never looks the same, it is constantly transforming, however one thing does stay the same, it remains gorgeous, whether or not it has any water.
Besides from the hidden church that appears several times a year, the sunken village is an archaeological treasure that aroused international interest amongst archaeologists. The long history of the village of Alassa dates back to the 17th century B.C.. The largest palace of the Late Bronze Age was discovered in the area as well as many bronze objects and the mosaics with the Goddess Aphrodite, now housed in the Archaeological Museum of the Limassol District.
In 1988 a seminar was held at Cambridge University, and in 1993 the findings were exhibited at the American Archaeological Institute in Washington. Exhibitions followed in Melbourne, Synthene, Camber and Latrobe.