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About Cyprus

Today we are taken to another Cypriot village to learn more about the culture and history of Cyprus, as well as learn how the modern villagers live. Our new destination is the village of Polemi – this is the largest settlement in the area, it is now home to up to 850 people, including 20 families from abroad.

The village is situated on a picturesque hill in the district of Paphos at an altitude of 450m above sea level, 4 km north of Letimvu and 3 km from the village Stroumbi , which is on the main road from Paphos to Polis.

A mild climate and good infrastructure

Polemi village

The biggest part of the traditional village houses in Polemi are located on a plateau overlooking the green gardens and the valley. The main feature that attracts visitors and residents of the island here is the mild climate: summer is cooler than in the coastal area of ​​Paphos. The village is in a very good location – surrounded by streams of water flowing out of the valley towards the Mavrokolimpos, and at the south-east, Chrysochou Gulf .

Historically, Polemi has always been sufficiently large by local standards as a village, which is why it boasts of a well-developed infrastructure. Now there is an elementary school ”Demotiko Scholeio Polemiou”, with an enrollment of 84 children, a local high school ”Gymansio / Lykeio Polemiou”, at which children from the village and from other nearby villages attend.

The village will also delight visitors and locals with three restaurants, three small cafes, three supermarkets and several small shops. Here you will find a couple of bank branches, a butcher shop, a bakery, flower shop, and even a small winery.

” The Village of Warriors”

There are different legends about the foundation of the village and the origin of its name, but the true history of the village has not been elucidated yet. Te chances are that, from the time of the Byzantine rule there was a settlement of Greek Cypriots here. The name of the place can be translated differently. For example, in the sense of “the village of warriors.” The fact that ”polemos” translated from Greek means “battle”, in modern Greek the word ”polemios” translates as “the enemy” or “foreign” and the word ”polemiko” means “as in war” – as a result, some local residents suggested that the village was named so because of the settlement in the village in the Byzantine era of former soldiers.

 

Polemi villagePolemi villagePolemi village

The village’s attractions

Polemi village

The houses in the village are a mix of old buildings that were built with the local white limestone, and the new buildings of the late XX – early XXI century. Traditionally, the village was combined by several farms. That is why a “village center” does not really exist, but eventually the whole life became concentrated around the church of Panagia Chryseleousa (Our Lady of Mercy), built in the XII-XIV centuries.

Other places where locals gather, particularly the elderly, is the chapel of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elias) in the western part of the village Matsima. Also, there is a place in the village Agios Georgios (St. George), located west of the village center, where there is a chapel of the same name, which is surrounded by olive trees and has recently been renovated.

The history of Polemi – sacred and ecclesiastical

Polemi village

You can observe the long and rich history of the Cypriot and Greek Orthodox churches in Polemi. On the northern edge of the village Metochi is located, which is a large building with a patio made of stone and built in the form of an outpost of Kykkos Monastery, one of the main monasteries in Cyprus. It is linked with Kykkos, which is located high in the Troodos Mountains, for a long time now.

Most agricultural land around the village was owned by the monastery, up to the twentieth century. Perhaps the history of the property dates back to the period of the Crusaders and Venetians, when on the island the feudal system of the government was introduced. And maybe, to the reign of the Ottomans, when private property was subject to high taxes, and many lands were donated to the church.

While a number of villages in the Paphos region were inhabited during the reign of the Ottoman Empire by many Turkish Cypriots, the area has always been the residence of the Greek Cypriots. Today, the village has retained mostly the Greek tradition, but gladly accepts foreigners willing to respect the way of life and culture of the Greek Cypriots.

Wine and festivals

tulips in Polemi village

Polemi is known in the region as one of the so-called wine villages: villages scattered around the endless fields with vines. Arriving at the village in the period from July to September, you can admire the large clusters of grapes hung from the low bushes. By the way,the village is located near one of the largest wineries in Cyprus – SODAP – Kamanterena.

Moreover, as has been repeatedly mentioned in our articles, it is in Polemi that one of the most beautiful festivals in Cyprus takes place- the Tulip Festival.

You’ve probably already guessed that the village is a very decent place, worth spending time here and coming on a tour. Well, if you want to live in a Cypriot village, it is ideal for those who want to settle in a place which harmoniously combines the rustic flavor and the infrastructure of a small town.

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