Thursday 24th July 2014

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LOFOU

lofou panoramic

The Location

The village Lofou lies 26 Kilometres Northwest of Limassol. It is built over the hills like an amphitheatre, at an altitude of about 800 meters.

It is isolated because the road-path does not continue beyond the village. Turnpike roads connect Lofou with Ipsonas and with the Limassol-Platres road at the level of Alassa. In the Southwest it is connected with the village St. Therapontas and through a rural road it connects with Pera Pedi.

The Namelofou 1

The village owes its name to the fact that it is built upon a hill. The original name was Lofos and was in use up until the beginning of the 20th century, as it is shown in the archives of the elementary school where the place of birth of the students is recorded as “Lofos”.

The change of gender from male to female occurred because in everyday speech the name is accompanied by the word “komi”(village), the gender of which is female; it is natural when someone hears the name of that “komi” (e.g. komi of Lofou) to assume that it is also of female gender.

Thus the possessive case “tou Lofou” turned to the female-gender version of “tis Lofou”. From the possessive case the nominative “I Lofou” was derived and that is the name with which the village is known today.

The Establishment

lofou 2Historical testimonies that would help to pinpoint the precise era of establishment of the village do not exist. The region must have been inhabited ever since the Bronze Age, a fact that is confirmed by the recovery of vessels of that era. The vessels were found in the eastward entrance of the village.

The dominating opinion is that the village must have been founded during the years preceding the Frank rule of Cyprus. Thus the establishment of the village is set in the years of the Arab raids, during which the inhabitants were forced to abandon the coast for the purpose of protecting themselves. Indeed the position of the village is quite good because it is hidden and it provides safety.

lofou amygdalia

The first written report for the existence of the village is dated in the Frank Era. According to the medieval chronicler Leontios Machairas, Lofou was granted around 1392 -along with other villages -from the King of Cyprus Jacob I to his brother Janot-de-Lusignian, lord of Beirut.

According to a Venetian manuscript dating back to the 15th century, Lofou was included in the list of Cypriot villages that were considered an estate of the king of Cyprus himself.

Population fluctuations of Lofou since 1881

Year Population
1881 578
1891 744
1901 823
1911 954
1921 962
1931 952
1946  924
1960 234
1973 317
1976 156
1982 106

After the Second World War one can observe a tremendous reduction of population in Lofou. The inhabitants moved primarily to Ipsonas. The inhabitants of Lofou would seasonally migrate in order to cultivate or crop the fields that they kept in that area. Gradually the migrating farmers settled down in Ipsonas.

lofou 3

http://www.lofou.org/en/history-len/