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Villages Of Cyprus - Kritou Terra Village

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Information on Kritou Terra Village in Cyprus

Kritou Terra Village                               Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Kritou Terra village is located in the Paphos region of Cyprus. The nearby villages are Drousseia, Pano Arkoudaleia and Kato Arkoudaleia. The village is built on a hill at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level, and has magnificent views of Chrysochou Bay. The village has 40 permanent residents and as is usual in Cyprus rural villages, the population increases at the weekends and during festivals.

Kritou Terra village is steeped in history and the village dates back to the Byzantine and Frankish periods. The name of the village, according to legend, comes from the old Fief owner and first resident of the village, Erotokritos. The village was called Erotokritos and slowly expanded to merge with the nearby village called Terra. Over time, the name Erotokrios was shortened to Kritou, and incorporated the name of Terra, to become what is known today as Kritou Terra Village.

Kritou Terra Village Museum                               Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The village was mostly engaged in agriculture and the mild climate was very favourable for growing vines and trees. The Kritou Terra village wine was very popular, along with various kinds of fruit and nuts, such as almonds and walnuts. The village continues to be mainly an agricultural village, but on a much smaller scale.

The village has been the birthplace of some very prominent people such as an Archbishop of Cyprus, Damaskinos and the famous Dragomen Hadjiosif and Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios. The main church of the village is the Panagia Chryselousa church, built in 1804 by Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios and is to be found next to the Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre, the old school building of the village.

Kritou Terra Village Casino                                Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Kritou Terra village lays claim to have had the first casino in Cyprus, which first opened in 1878.  The original building has been acquired by the Department of Antiquities and has been renovated to reflect it's history. Inside you will see painted frescoes depicting the people using the casino at the time, mainly the Turkish rulers.

Kritou Terra Village                                           Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre is based in the old Kritou Terra village school since 1995 and welcomes many students from Cyprus and all over the world. The centre provides practical environmental education in the field of Ecology, Geology and Geography.

Kritou Terra Village Historical Washing And Bathing Facilities        Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The village is spread out along the hill and the streets follow the hill, which can be steep in some places. Visitors strolling through the village will see many abandoned old village houses and also many ruins. A few of these are slowly being renovated in the old traditional village style, as the village is popular with owners who wish to have a weekend or summer house.

Kritou Terra Village                               Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The Byzantine Agia Aikaterina church is 3 kilometres from Kritou Terra village. It is a 3 aisled church with a dome over the central aisle. The church was built by Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios and has been restored to a high standard to reflect the architecture of the time. The church is very popular with visitors, especially on the saints name day of Agia Aikaterina.

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