Galata - tourist village in Cyprus | Cyprus Inform | Cyprus inform
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The interesting village of Galata is located 60 km from the luxurious Sole Valley in Nicosia, at an altitude of 620 meters above sea level.

The village was built on both sides of the Klarios River, which is surrounded by gorgeous trees and ancient oaks. Next to Galata is the well-known Kakopetria village. Both villages annually attract thousands of tourists due to their charming beautiful stone houses, narrow streets and incredible atmosphere.

Welcome to Galata

Деревня ГалатаGalata is famous for its delicious fruit that’s grown here. Particular attention should be paid to the variety of apples and apricots, peaches, cherries and, of course, grapes and various vegetables.

If you want to get the full impression of the village and feel the spirit of the locals, be sure to sit in the village square. Here, in the shade of old trees, you can spend some memorable moments.

Houses in the village – both modern and traditional – are characterized by their incredible beauty and comfort. Everyone who comes to the village can marvel at the wooden balconies and stairs of the old houses: small, built from coloured local stone, colourful courtyards and floors and roofs covered with brown tiles. The windows are covered by wooden shutters with large hinges.

Legends and chronicles

The old center of Galata truly presents the cultural heritage of the island. There are 6 Byzantine churches with gable tiled roofs, giving visitors an idea of ​​the traditional Byzantine architecture of the 16th century.

In the old days shepherds grazed large flocks in the area of the village. The villagers came from the lower regions to buy their fresh milk, from the Galataes, the ‘milkman’. Legend has it that that’s where Galata got its name.

 

Деревня ГалатаДеревня ГалатаДеревня Галата

Another legend says that the first inhabitants of Galata came from Galatia, and, during the Byzantine period and in their honour, the village was named after them.

This Cypriot village is mentioned in many chronicles. First Leontios Machaira wrote: “I will tell you …. Mary, who take care of Mr. De Erikose Giblet in the Galata village, told me about it”. Based on this chronicle, the scientists concluded that during the reign of the Franks in Cyprus, Galata was owned by the Giblet royal family.

In 1570, Giacomo Franco drew up maps of the island on which the village was marked under the name Galata and Golata.

And here is an account of the village by the Russian traveler Vasili Barsky (1753):

Деревня Галата“I went to the nearest village named Galata, and together with my companions spent the night next to the Christian priests. Let it become known: among the inhabitants of the village in the valley of Solea there are very few Muslims. Most of the local population here are Greek Orthodox Christians. The village has a great number of churches and priests. This village is one of the finest. There are many fruit trees, swift mountain streams. The village is situated in the valley at the Klarios River. “

In the story the Russian traveler also mentioned the difficult conditions in which monks lived, since shortly before his visit the Muslims robbed the monastery.

There is another legend of the village. They say that it is devoted to the sculptor Pygmalion of ancient Greece. Myth says that it was here Aphrodite breathed life into Galatea, muse and later the wife of the artist; and their descendants later settled here.

What to see

Деревня ГалатаThe main attractions of the village are 4 churches, one of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Church of Panagia Podithou, built in the 16th century. Here we can see Byzantine motifs of the 9th-10th centuries, and similar architecture as in the church of Panagia Theotokos, which was built a little later.

Once upon a time there was a Monastery here, but only the church survived. The Church of Our Lady Podithou, which is also known as the Church of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, or Panagia Eleusy, was built by Dimitri de Crown in 1502. Demetrius, who was from a Cypriot family of Latin origin, served as commander in the army of the bastard brother of Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, who took the crown, even in spite of his illegal status.

All the walls inside the church are covered with magnificent frescoes and religious paintings with the minutest detail. Masters worked with such grace and diligence to create works that have extraordinary clarity of perception.

Time to go

Well, we end our fascinating journey through the Galata village. Perhaps, for once, we will not be able to open all the secrets of the beautiful village. But if you come here yourself, be sure to talk to the locals and they will tell you many interesting legends and stories about this amazing place.

 

 

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