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Villages Of Cyprus - Fterikoudi Village

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Information on Fterikoudi Village in Cyprus

Fterikoudi Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Fterikoudi Village is situated in the Pitsalias region of Cyprus, which forms part of the Nicosia District. Fterikoudi Village lies close to Palaichori, Platanistasa, Askas and Alona villages.

The original site of the village was a few kilometres away across the valley. The village at that time was originally called Kalamithasa Village and dates back to 1500. The village was a thriving community, but was caught in the middle of the feudal wars between the Ottoman Turks and the Venetians.

The Ottoman Turks raided the village and forced the villagers to flee. In their absence, the village was burnt down in order make the village inhabitable. The villagers moved across the valley and rebuilt the village with the new name of Fterikoudi Village. The current site was much easier to defend against further attack.

The old Kalamithasa Village is still visible from Fterikoudi Village, but all that remains now are the foundations of the old houses and the monastery. Legend states that when the village was inhabited, the Venetians asked for permission to dig below the monastery, which was granted. The Venetians had information about a hoard of ancient gold religious artefacts that were buried under the monastery, for safe keeping. The Venetians secretly plundered the artefacts and took them back to Italy. The villagers only discovered what had happened after the Venetians had departed.

Fterikoudi Village is built at an altitude of 1350 metres above sea level, which means that it is very cool in the summer, but has a harsh winter climate and snow falls frequently. The height also provides the village with plenty of water for consumption and for agricultural irrigation.

There are two legends as to how Fterikoudi Village acquired it's name. The first legend say's that the village was named after the abundance of a pointed leaf  that is grows in the area, locally called Fterikoudin, and is rarely seen outside the area. The second legend say's that the location of the village lies on the edge of the mountain, with the Greek word Fteri meaning edge.

The village survived from agriculture and cultivated vines as the main crop. The grapes were sold for consumption as well as wine and Zivania production.The village also had many olive trees which produced olives for consumption and olive oil. The traditional Cypriot Soutzoukos was also made in the village.

Fterikoudi Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Fterikoudi Village is built along the slopes of the mountain, which also shields the village from the early morning sun. The angle of the village against the mountain means that the village receives a sunrise much later, around 0830 in the morning. This helps keep the village cool in the summer, which attracts many people during the hot summer months. The fresh mountain air is also an added bonus.

Fterikoudi Village has a rapidly declining population, with many of the younger residents having left, mainly to work and study in Nicosia, which is the nearest city. The residents that have remained are mainly elderly and tend to their small plots of land growing vegetables.

There is a reluctance of the village residents to sell their village homes, and often decline offers from prospective purchasers. The reason being that the villagers wish to pass on their homes to their heirs and keep the homes in the family. The village thus has many ruins and very few renovations have taken place place. The traditional architecture of the village has remained with many stone and mud built houses, with wooden frames and tiled roof features. The streets follow the natural incline of the village, with many cobbled streets, with the stone drainage system built under the streets to carry the overflow of water from the rainfall and melting snow.

The main church of the village is the Agios Nicolaos Church and dates back 1800,when construction of the church began.

The Old Fterikoudi Village School                                            Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The large old school building near the centre of the village was closed for many years, as the declining population made the school obsolete, and the remaining children being sent by by bus to Palaichori Village to study. The old school building has now been converted into a village restaurant with support from the Fterikoudi Village Community Council and the Village Mukhtar.

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