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Villages Of Cyprus - Silikou Village

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Information on Silikou Village in Cyprus 

Silikou Village                                                           Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Silikou Village lies in the Kouris valley, situated in the Limassol District of Cyprus. The village is situated close to Trimiklini, Saitas, Dhoros, Monagri, Kouka and Lania Villages.

There are two legends as to how the village acquired it's name. The first is from the early settlers who founded the village during the Frankish period of 1200 AD. The settlers came from an area in Syria called Silica. The second is from the Greek word of Vasilikou, which means regal or royal. A reference to a section of the royal family of Cyprus that sought refuge in the village from the Ottomans.

Silikou Village was a mixed village consisting of Greek and Turkish Cypriot residents. The village is now inhabited by mainly Greek Cypriots and has a population of around 100 permanent residents. The majority of residents are elderly as the younger residents have left and now work in the larger nearby towns and cities.

The village has a long tradition of wine making, which began during the Frankish period, coinciding with the arrival of the settlers from Syria in 1200AD. The location of the village, which is built at a height of 650 metres above sea level, and the ample supply of water, helped the village prosper and it become a centre for the production of wine, Zivania and the famous Cypriot Commandaria wine, which is similar to a strong port.

Silikou Village                                                           Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The Commandaria wine production enabled the royal family and the Latin church of the time, to earn a substantial income in the form of taxes on the production and sale of Commandaria.

Silikou Village forms part of the 14 Commandaria producing villages in the area and a Commandaria festival is held each year in one of the villages, to celebrate the production of the wine. Silikou Village has the honour to be the oldest Commandaria producing village in Cyprus.

The village had numerous churches to provide places of worship for the many workers that were involved in the wine and Commandaria industry. The church of Saint George (Agios Georgios) dominates the village square. The other churches in the village are Saint Demetrios Chapel, the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist and the Chapel of Panagia of Syrka.

Silikou Village also has a Mosque near the village square, which is still used in present times.

The village has a Commandaria Museum, which is dedicated to the history of the production of the Commandaria wine in Silikou Village. The museum has no entrance fee and is open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1000 - 1600.

Silikou Village also has an Olive Oil Museum and an Agricultural Museum.

Silikou Village                                                           Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The village is spread over a large area and the village homes built on the outskirts of the village, are built on the surrounding hills and have magnificent views, as well as looking down on the village square. The village has managed to retain it's typical old Cypriot charm with the traditional stone built houses, along with their wooden doors and windows. The large gardens have many flowers due to the abundance of the local water supply. The usual Cypriot Pithari Clay Wine Vats, Clay Ovens and Zivania Distilleries are still a feature of many gardens.

The more recently built homes have kept in line with the traditional architecture, but also added some modern features, such as swimming pools, and these are concealed from view to blend in with the traditional village surroundings.

© CyprusExpat.co.uk

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