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KAKOPETRIA

plateia kakopetriaKakopetria is located south-west of the capital Nicosia and it is built upon the foothill of the Troodos Mountain -specifically in the north side of the mountain range.

It is a village of the Nicosia district and stands at a distance of about 55 kilometres from the capital and about 55 kilometres from the second largest city of Cyprus, Limassol. It stands at an altitude of 667 metres (it is the highest village in the valley of the “Solea” region), the climate is rather dry, and it receives an average annual rainfall of about 648 millimetres. Fruit-bearing trees (mainly apple, pear, plum, apricot, peach, and cherry trees), vegetables (mainly potatoes and tomatoes), vines (of table and wine-making varieties), and a few cereals are cultivated in its area. Kakopetria is especially known for the quality of its apples.

Kakopetria-1The community has about 1300 permanent inhabitants. It is ridden with vegetation, amidst the banks of the Kargotis and Garillis rivers. The two rivers join inside the village and form the river Klarios, which crosses the valley of Solea and then flows into the Morfou Bay, in Pentagia.

 

With regards to the name of the village, there are the following 3 versions:

•  It is said that Kakopetria took this name (a compound of the words “Kako” and “Petra”, meaning bad / rough and stone / rock) because in older times its area was not only rocky but also difficult to climb to.

•  Close to the large bridge at the village’s entrance, there is a big rock known as “Petra tou Androgynou” (Couples’ Rock). According to tradition, newly-wed couples would sit on this rock. On day the rock rolled over and buried a newly-wed couple under it. After this event the inhabitants named the rock “Kakopetra” (Bad Rock) and then the village itself was name “Kakopetria”.

•  Another version reports that some nobleman from Marathasa had 3 sons. They were Nikos, Panagiotis, and Petris (Peter). Petris was mischievous, uptight, unbearable, and evil. His brothers were tired of him and asked their father to send him away. So, the father sent Petris to the other side of the mountain. In that way, Petris arrived in the area of the old village. He was the first settler. Combining the words “Kakos” (bad / evil) and “Petris”, the village received the name of Kakopetria. The other two brothers founded two other villages, Nikos establishing the village Oikos (“Nikos” without the N, becoming “Ikos”), and Panagiotis -being so kind and compassionate -founded the village Kalopanagiotis (“Kalos” meaning Good / Kind).

kakopetria_linos_inn_24The settlement of Kakopetria, although mentioned by the Mediaeval annalists, existed -at least -since the Frank domination era, because it is marked in old maps and, indeed, under the same name: Cacopetria and / or Chachopetria . It is however quite probable that there were settlements in the region even before that, during the Byzantine era.

The village’s region was inhabited around the 6 th – 7 th century and the various excavations that have been conducted in 1938 around the old village of Kakopetria (in the Ailades venue) prove this. During the excavations a dispenser of an ancient shrine -most probably belonging to the goddess Athena -came to light. A large number of movable findings were found, mainly terra-cotta, many of which depict the goddess Athena, as well as small, limestone, statues and parts of statues, and bronze and iron shafts from spearheads and arrows. The findings most probably date back to the Archaic and Classic eras of Cyprus. Other statuettes represent Hercules and are an indication that he was also worshiped in the area along with the goddess Athena. These findings are found in the Archaeological Museum of Nicosia.

kakopetria

The settlement of Kakopetria is constructed along the valley of the Kargotis and Garillis rivers. The new Kakopetria with its large, modern houses and their tiled roofs, built in the gradient ground and the riverbanks, is located in the eastern part of the valley. The old Kakopetria is built west of the valley and between the two rivers. The roofs of the houses are sloped and tiled and almost all of the houses have an upper floor and a wooden balcony.

Agios_Nikolaos_tis_Stegis_Byzantine_Church_at_KakopetriaMany years ago, the region of new Kakopetria belonged to the Holy Monastery of “Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis”. After many years it was passed to the hands of the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus. In 1922 the Archdiocese separated the land into 120 building plots that were shared to the inhabitants by lot. Ever since then, the raising of new houses started and also the planting of trees in the new village with its towering and fresh plane-trees, as well as the planting of trees in the -now -celebrated plaza of the village.

Kakopetria was for many years a village renowned for its silkworm breeding and the production -and also the processing -of silk, until even after W.W.II. Indeed, it is mentioned that during the years of W.W.II the British took all of the silk production from Kakopetria (like they did with the production from other villages in Cyprus) for the making of parachutes.

hotel_kakopetria

Kakopetria, because of its healthy and cool climate, its picturesque landscape (towering over the Kargotis valley while Troodos rises over it), the wonderful natural environment, the rich vegetation, the cool and gargling waters, the folkloric heritage, and the relatively small distance from Nicosia and Limassol, naturally drew the attention of many rich families for vacation purposes during the months of summer.

The presence of these “outlander” families in the community goes way back, since 1918, when the first travellers arrived at the village with wagons and stayed in rented houses.

The frequent visits of local and foreign visitors in Kakopetria provided motives to the community’s inhabitants and so they developed Kakopetria with regards to tourism.

As basic factors for the success in attracting tourists to the community of Kakopetria, among others, we can consider the warm hospitality that characterises its inhabitants, their proper behaviour, the impeccable service, the conscious effort for cleanliness, and the correct development of constructions that is done by many of the village’s inhabitants, as well as a number of other comforts that the inhabitants of Kakopetria offer to local and foreign tourists with great joy and satisfaction.