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Lefkara

The village of Lefkara is located on the southern slopes of the Troodos between Larnaca and Limassol. Traditional Cypriot architecture and flavor shopping streets of the village probably will not leave anyone indifferent. The village is famous for its lace and silverware handmade.

Attractions Lefkara

The village of Lefkara

Since the Middle Ages, it is known for its handmade lace "lefkaritika." They say that even Leonardo da Vinci during his stay on the island is bought lace for altar veil Duomo. In addition, the village has a silversmith, who create filigree trinkets, and small enterprise, which produces Turkish delight (Gk. 'Lukumi ").

The village of Lefkara is located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains in the Larnaca district. Traditional Cypriot architecture and flavor shopping streets of the village probably will not leave anyone indifferent.

To this day the village Lefkara retained not only the architecture, but also folk crafts. Of course, great interest is the set of surviving in the pristine beauty of the village buildings. Houses and shops of white limestone (which hence the name of the village) are decorated with small windows and flat roofs. Structurally, the village is divided into upper (Pano) and Lower (Kato) Lefkara. Besides its architectural identity Lefkara is famous in the whole of Cyprus and far beyond the island of lace products and products from handmade silver.

Lace from Lefkara

There is a legend according to which in 1481 Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by skill lefkarskih lace and lace garments purchased at the main altar of the Duomo in Milan. True or not, but the lace cover in this cathedral you can view today, and then, if there is a desire to compare with what they are doing in Lefkara.

In the village you can still see in the streets right now, as craftsmen weave the most complicated ornaments on napkins, tablecloths and bedspreads. Do not be surprised if suddenly for a product you will be called a high price. On some specimens a month of painstaking work takes place. However, in most cases, the cost of Lefkara's products is reasonable. Famous laces are sold here in the village. A lot of shops will offer products of local craftsmen. In many such shops you will find unique things, like which you can not buy anywhere else in the world. It is worth saying a few words about the lace Lefkara itself: a classic tablecloth decorated with "lefkaritikoy" is made only from the Irish jacquard and can be beige or white flowers. Lace is woven into fabric and forms a complex geometric ornament that looks the same on both sides. Residents of Lefkara do not make any changes to the design of the patterns: the secrets of mastery are passed from mother to daughter for several centuries.

Silver in Lefkara

Not so legendary, but no less beautiful handiwork of the male population of Lefkara. Especially good filigree technique similar to the silver lace. In the early 18 century censer made with CF and other ceremonial accessories, using a special technique of forging. Today, this tradition was interrupted. But a lot of new techniques of jewelry - and now you can buy Lefkara bracelets, necklaces, earrings, spoons, dishes, trays and animal figurines made of silver.

Museum of traditional embroidery and jewelry

Those who want to learn more about local crafts to buy, it is worth to visit the Museum of Traditional Embroidery and silver jewelry in the family home Patsalos in Pano Lefkara. It shows how people lived in Cyprus a hundred years ago. The exhibition consists of items of home furnishing a fairly consistent while the family of the local national costumes and beautiful embroidery.

Since the end of 1980-ies of XX century in acting District Museum Lefkara embroidery and jewelry. The museum is housed in the mansion of the XIX century, family-owned Patsalos. The museum houses a collection of colorful embroidery and jewelry.

The main exposition is devoted to lefkaritike - lace, which the world is famous for Lefkara. Embroidery with white threads ("levkokenty") originated in Cyprus in very old times. Geometric ornament, inherent in all traditional Cypriot embroideries, is executed by a special kind of stitches. As it is supposed, this kind of stitches was adopted from middle-eastern sewing. "White embroidery" was practiced throughout the island. However, the most complex tricks and the most intricate patterns were born in Lefkara. By the name of the village, the works of the local craftsmen were also called lefkaritika.

It is believed that lefkaritika (another Cypriot name - "tagiades") is of Venetian origin. Proof of this is the presence in lefkaritike not only of elements characteristic of early Cypriot embroidery (the same geometric forms), but also differing from all previous openwork plexuses. In addition, as Angelika Pieridu, who researched this issue, found out, the embroidery of Lefkara has an obvious resemblance to the old Italian embroideries. This is confirmed also by another researcher - Olga Polemidu, who came to the conclusion that medieval Italian embroidery is surprisingly similar to the lefkaritic of the XIX century. Thus, the story that once in the sixteenth century the noble Venetians shared the secrets of their skill with the Lefkarian women, when they came to the village to rest, did take place.

Lefkaritika - this kind of needlework, which intertwined traditional and folk motifs borrowed sewing machines. Lefkaritiki color can be white, beige or shades of pistachio.

Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci visited the village and bought here covering on the altar, which he then donated to the Cathedral of Milan. They even say that da Vinci did some sketches for embroidery and gave them craftswomen Lefkara. Since then, and there was the famous "pattern of Leonardo", which will certainly present among other ornaments lefkaritiki in any souvenir shop.

The museum also exhibited jewelery and church utensils made by local craftsmen of silver. In addition, the museum - traditional clothes of inhabitants of Lefkara, as well as furniture made of more than two centuries ago.

Address: The village of Lefkara, the residence Patsalosa
Phone.: 24-342326

Wax Museum

The museum has more than 200 wax exhibits telling about the different periods of Cyprus history, spanning 3000 years, from Neolithic times to the present day. The exhibition consists of eight chronological sections: they are presented, and the first Christians, and St. Barnabas, St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great and Archbishop Kyprianos, who died tragically in 1821 year and ideologues Cyprus nezavismosti General Grivas and Archbishop Makarios, and checkpoints UN soldiers in blue helmets.

Since May 2005 year in the village of Lefkara works the Wax Museum "Fatsa" ("Face"). The founder of the museum is the historian Pambos Nikolaidis. Pambos Nikolaidis studied and worked in London. One of the most beloved places in the British capital for him was the Madame Tussaud wax museum. Every time he came home on vacation, he half-seriously half-seriously noted that Cyprus, unfortunately, has only beautiful mountains and a delightful sea. In 1998, he had the idea to create in his homeland a museum similar to London, but with one indispensable condition: it will not have world-famous personalities. His museum will be devoted exclusively to the history of Cyprus. According to Nikolaidis, the new museum was to become a kind of cultural center, fulfilling certain educational tasks. But also about tourists it is impossible to forget: at them similar museums always cause huge interest.

Pambos Nikolaidis has many friends in Russia. Nikolaidis believes that Russian art is the best in the world. Through one of his friends, Vyacheslav Aslanov, he met in Rostov-on-Don with the Russian sculptor Vladimir, told him about his idea and invited him to come to visit Cyprus. He came along with the artist Larisa and her husband, also a sculptor, they discussed the project in detail. He drove them through the old villages of Cyprus, they read many books on the history of the country, Larissa made a huge number of sketches, but most importantly - a chronological layout was made. Some of the wax figures were made in Cyprus, the other in Rostov. On the average, the production of each figure took up to two months. Every six months "wax cosmetologists" come here to Lefkara: to clean the figures, impose a new make-up, wash and dry their hair, because they are real.

The museum has more than 200 wax exhibits telling about the different periods of Cyprus history, spanning 3000 years, from Neolithic times to the present day. The exhibition consists of eight chronological sections: they are presented, and the first Christians, and St. Barnabas, St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great and Archbishop Kyprianos, who died tragically in 1821 year and ideologues Cyprus nezavismosti General Grivas and Archbishop Makarios, and checkpoints UN soldiers in blue helmets.

Several rooms are devoted to aspects of rural life, such as in the same room is a traditional Cypriot village wedding.

"The museum is very popular, and I'm thinking about opening its branches both in Cyprus and abroad", - says Pambos Nikolaidis.

Planned opening of the international section - in the near future. According Nikolaidis in the international section, among other things, will "The Beatles", Peter the Great, David Bethem, and even Superman and Batman - the joy of children. Total in this section is from the 80 90 up sculptures, and some will be wearing things belonging to "Originals" - they have been ordered in the studio «Walt Disney».

Pambos Nikolaidis hopes that his exhibition of the museum will continue to grow and replenish with new exhibits. Some sections will be equipped with computer equipment, it is planned to show short films in Greek, English, Russian and German.

Ancient settlements Choirkoitia

Here is one of the oldest known Neolithic sites in the world, presumably referring to 7000-6000 years. BC. e. (in 1998 was declared a cultural heritage by UNESCO). Analysis of charred seeds and form blades of flint sickles confirm the fact that the then settlers grew wheat and barley. Animal bones indicate how to engage in hunting, and the first attempts at domestication of cattle. In the later cultural layer of the settlement, about 3500 BC. e., found objects made of ceramics. Finds from Choirokoitia can be seen in the Museum of Cyprus in Nicosia.

The ancient settlement of Hirokitiya (named after the name of the nearby village), because of its safety and abundance of finds, is unique among Neolithic archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean. Researchers still do not understand the origin of this ancient Cypriot culture. A number of local and foreign historians believe that its early phases must be sought both on Cyprus itself and on the Asian mainland. The results of archaeological research allow us to talk about the contacts of the inhabitants of Hirokithia with Anatolia, with the ancient settlements of Antioch Valley and Northern Syria. The radiocarbon analysis indicates that the inhabiting of Hirokite occurred approximately in 5000 BC.

2 December 1998 city Chirokotia included in the UNESCO World Heritage List under the number 848 according to IV, V, VI criteria, since this settlement, firstly, the earliest site for the study of the Cyprian proceramic Neolith (criterion IV); secondly, a characteristic example of a significant human settlement, fragile as a result of its great antiquity and its location in a rapidly changing environment (criterion V); Finally, this settlement is associated with ideas and beliefs of historical importance, which are manifested in several aspects of material culture: for example, the use of figurines in funeral rites indicates a ritual and religious practice (criterion VI). The site was discovered in 1934 by P. Dickeyos, who made further archaeological work there from 1936 to 1946. Since 1977, excavations have begun under the direction of Alain Le Bren, director of the French archaeological mission in Cyprus.

During the archaeological site of Choirokoitia has been found in a number of different objects. They talk about the existence of Cyprus highly Neolithic culture. The graves were found necklaces, pins, spindles, suspension, stone beads. In the manufacture of stone tools used for the handles of bone, it is manufactured from pins and needles, spindles.

During the excavations, many tools were found from obsidian (volcanic glass) and bones, fragments of sickles from silicon, stone millstones. The ancient islanders were familiar with spinning and weaving, skillfully crafted stone and wood. Stone utensils made by their hands are simple in form, but carefully crafted: its surface is decorated with ornament in the form of relief cross-shaped or incised figures. Vessels, mostly flat and open, have a wide variety of shapes. Almost on each of them there is a spout for a drain. On the arms of individual vessels depicted human or animal (often sheep and bull) heads. Attempts have been made to produce clay pots, but without noticeable success.

In the settlement can be traced and the emergence of certain religious beliefs. This primarily refers to the burial rite, reflects a belief in the afterlife. In Choirkoitia found idols - samples of ancient sculpture of Cyprus. This flat stone with a sexless figures arbitrarily interpreted heads and one female figure of unbaked clay.

Burials arranged between the houses or in the under floors. Often this lonely grave where the deceased was placed in a contorted position. Along with the skeleton usually find stone vessels, broken out ritual reasons. Sometimes with the female skeleton found rich funeral gifts that can make the assumption that some women were particularly honored. In the body of the deceased is usually put a heavy object - a stone slab or a millstone, as the dead inspire fear.

A study of the remains of well-preserved skeletons and helped restore the look of the inhabitants of the settlement. All of them were stunted: men about 1,6 m, and the growth of women does not exceed m 1,5. The average life expectancy for men - 35 years, women - 33,5 years.

Finds from Choirokoitia make no small part of the collection of the Museum of Cyprus.

Monastery of Agios Minas

Date of foundation of the monastery of Aghios Minas in the village Vavla not known. It was reconstructed after 1965, when became a convent. Today, the monastery is famous for its apiaries.

Kalavasos - Tenta (Neolithic settlement, 7000 century BC)

The earliest traces of human presence on the awning relate to the Neolithic period (7500 - 5200 BC). From the end of this period it seems to have been a break yet again settled in the area during the Neolithic pottery (4500 BC). The houses are arranged in a circle, as in Choirokoitia. They are either completely made of stone, or their foundation is built of stone and the upper part of mud bricks.

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