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Villages Of Cyprus - Akapnou Village

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Information on Akapnou Village

Akapnou Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Akapnou Village is located in the Limassol District of Cyprus and lies close to Ora, Vikla, Klonari, Kellaki and Eptagonia villages.

The present location of the village is built at a height of 600 metres above sea level, which provides a cool refreshing climate in the summer, with frost being a common feature in the winter.

Akapnou Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Akapnou Village dates back to around 1600 AD. The original site of the village was in the valley along the Vasilikos river, around one kilometre from the present site of the village. The abundance of water made the land very fertile and the main employment for the villagers was in agriculture. The height of the water in the river made crossing from one side of the bank to other difficult. The Venetian bridge was built for easy access, and the quality of the construction was such, that the bridge is in good repair and is still in use.

Akapnou Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

The Panagia Tou Kampou church lies just on the outskirts of the village. The church was built in the 17th century, to enable the villagers to pray and express their appreciation for the supply of water from the Vasilikos river, which enabled the irrigation of their crops, and the lush green surroundings of the valley. There is a bridge opposite the church leading to the river.

In 1600 the original village was devastated by a plague, which was sweeping Europe at the time. The survivors of the plague, which numbered just seven families, decided to move the village to a new location, the present site of the village. The villagers burnt the old village and the surrounding landscape, to destroy the plague and to prevent further contamination in the new village.

The name of Akapnou Village comes from this event. the new location of the village was only used by livestock, and no humans lived there, so it was not contaminated by the plague. The area did not therefore have to be burnt, and it was the area of Akapno, meaning not burnt in Greek. Slowly over time, the name Akapnou Village was used for the village.

Agios Georgios Church In Akapnou Village                       Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk
 
The original Agios Georgios church still remains at the site of the original village, on a hill just outside the village. The new Agios Georgios church was built in 1837, is located in the village square and dominates the village.

The mainstay of the early inhabitants of the village wheat, carob trees and olive trees. The remains of an old flour mill are to be found a couple of kilometres from the village. The flourishing carob trade came to an end during the Ottoman rule, due to the heavy taxes the villagers had to pay for the crop. The carob trade resumed in the village when the British arrived in 1886. There is an olive mill in the village which is still in working order, but closed down a few years ago. There are plans to turn the olive mill into a museum.

Akapnou Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Akapnou Village has suffered in recent years from a lack of water and the village has created an irrigation channel from the nearby Vasilikos river to irrigate an area in the valley to grow vines, fruit, beans and water melons.

The population of Akapnou Village is just 20 people, with many people having left to seek employment and education in the surrounding areas and cities. The population of the village grows during the weekends, school holidays, festivals and public holidays.

Akapnou Village has retained much of the traditional old Cyprus architecture, with many old stone village houses, with wooden windows and doors and the unique red roof tiles, only to be found in the area.

Akapnou Village                                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

There are many old ruins in the village, where the usual problem with village houses exist, such as unable to trace owners, or inherited property divided with many people, who cannot agree on the future of the property.

© CyprusExpat.co.uk

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