Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kakopetria Village, Cyprus

Kakopetria 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. 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. One 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 named "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).

 The settlement of Kakopetria, although mentioned by the Mediaeval analysts, 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.
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.

 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 summer months.

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