I can write a thousand reasons to visit one of the most beautiful villages of Cyprus, Lefkara.
Lefkara is one of the six municipalities of Larnaka province and it is the smallest of all, 35km from Larnaka, 50km from Nicosia and 55km from Limassol. Lefkara is built at an altitude of 570 meters southeast of Troodos.
Approaching the village and seeing it from afar reminds you of picturesque villages you can also see in the mountains of Greece, they are like a painting painted on the mountainside and invite you from afar to explore them.
From what we learned there are three versions of the name of the village, the first one says that it took its name from the White Mountains, that is from the rocks of the area that are limestone and create a white landscape.
The second version says that it took its name from the small poplars that grew in the area.
And finally it is said that the village took its name from the first inhabitant, Lefkalo.
A walk in the village:
Entering the village you are struck by the uniformity of the houses, old mansions stand imposing reminiscent of a bygone era, plucked as if from a fairy tale. Wooden shutters, colourful doors with bronze hands make the village even more beautiful. Inner courtyards that make you short to See Inside No grandmother making embroidery, maybe children playing, Housewives making dishes, bees playing with the fragrant flowers.
For what is Lefkara famous both in Cyprus and worldwide?
Did you know that the notorious Marikkou from Lefkara who has become a proverb was the first female entrepreneur who went by boat abroad to sell her embroidery?
As you have understood if you do not already know Lefkara are famous for their embroidery.
Even Leonardo da Vinci himself when he came to Cyprus took embroidery from the village and gave it to the Milan Cathedral.
The women of Lefkara embroidered the lefkarian embroidery to decorate their homes. Tradition says that lefkarian embroidery began in the period 1191-1517, when the Venetian ladies taught the women of the village embroidery. At the end of the 19th century the inhabitants of the village began to sell their embroidery in other areas inside and outside Cyprus, starting the trade of lefkaritian embroidery, which brought revenue to every family in Lefkara.
From the beginning of the 18th century Lefkarites made jewellery, chains, wedding rings and ecclesiastical items and until today you can find beautiful jewellery to be sold in local shops.
Lefkara as one of the largest villages in the area has a primary, secondary and high school that serves the children of the surrounding areas and is a building of the last century a small miracle of architecture, with the huge clock adorning the courtyard, the large courtyard that overlooks the village, and I admit that I would like to go to such a school, it is located in the centre of the village and is perfectly harmonised with the rest of the village.
In my view the whole village is a museum in itself, but there are many museums for every taste. For the sweet breakers there is a 150-year-old production of lokum. There is also a bee museum, a handicraft Centre, a museum of folk art, a museum of embroidery and silversmithing. As you can see, there are a lot of educational places to visit, because the ride is good but it becomes even better if it is combined with knowledge.
Churches and chapels:
The panoramic view from the Central Church of Timios Stavros I do not forget and although so many months have passed since the day of our visit, the church that embraces the whole village standing imposing is built from the 14th century.
Characteristic of the church is the carved wooden iconostasis, which was created in 1760 and in which there is an unseen crypt where is kept the great silver-plated cross which, according to tradition, bears a piece of the Honest wood. According to tradition, the Cross in Pano Lefkara was reportedly brought to the village from Agia Eleni during her visit to Cyprus. In the iconostasis there is an unseen recess. It is the crypt where the large wooden cross is kept, to which the temple is dedicated. In the centre of the Cross there is, according to tradition, a piece from the Cross of the Lord .The whole Cross is covered with thin sheets of silver.
In the heart of Lefkara and the area around them is scattered by churches, chapels, old, small, picturesque and plain. Several of them have strange names, such as St. Xorinos, St. George The Ox, the Virgin of Beauty , and the horseman in the lion's Mane who resides as a symbol of overpowering power and as a guard in the middle of the village. Other chapels are dedicated to famous saints and Saints of orthodoxy such as Agia Marina, Agios Georgios and Agios Mamas.
For coffee or for food:
If you want a coffee or if you are hungry do not worry because there are many cafes in the village as well as taverns with meze to satisfy even the most demanding visitor. But make sure to reserve a seat early as the village is flooded with visitors from very early in the morning until late at night.
Watch the video and photos and travel with us mentally to this magical village: