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The Village

 
HISTORY

Lysos is located about 36 kilometres north-east of Pafos. It is the largest -with regard to territory -village of the Pafos district and covers a range of 9,526 hectares.

The village is built at an average altitude of 560 metres and it borders with the Nicosia district in the east. The village's highest point is "Tripylos" (1,362 metres), located in the most eastern section of the village, in the "Stavros tis Psokas" region. The largest part of the village's territorial range is covered by forest and wild vegetation. These are the grounds were the Cyprus Mouflon ("Agrino", Ovis Orientalis Ophion Cyprius) and several other rare birds live. There are remarkable Nature Trails in the region, the visitor being able to observe -unique in their kind -plants, birds, and reptiles. A forest police station has its headquarters in "Stavros tis Psokas" and there is also an amazing camping site. A similar site also exists in Agios Merkourios, not falling short in natural beauty.

Lysos receives an average annual rainfall of about 615 millimetres; vines, fruit trees, olive trees, carobs, citrus trees, legumes, cereals, and a few vegetables are cultivated in the region. However, the greatest part of the village is not cultivated and in it grows wild, natural vegetation such as pines, "ksistarkes" (Cistus Cretan/ Ladaniferous and/or sage Cistus), "latzies" (Abies Chephalonica, fir-quercus, pointed oaks), cedars and more. The state forest of Pafos takes up the largest part of the administrative range of Lysos.

As far as transportation is concerned, Lysos is connected to Polis Chrysochous via the Meladeia-Peristerona-Steni road. In the north-west it connects to the village Pelathousa and -from there on -to Polis Chrysochous. In the north-east it connects to Stavros tis Psokas, the Monastery of Kykkos, and from there on to the mountain resorts of Troodos.

The village went through a constant increase of its population until 1946. In 1881 the village's inhabitants were 287, increasing to 352 in 1891, to 416 in 1901, to 468 in 1911, to 542 in 1921, to 566 in 1931, and to 659 in 1946. Then the village was struck by the urban pull and migration and -as a result -its inhabitants decreased to 587 in 1960, to 373 in 1976, and to 307 in 1982. In the 2001 census the inhabitants of Lysos numbered 158. Today, the number of inhabitants exceeds 200.

The name Lysos has archaic origins and relates to the ancient Greek settlements in Asia Minor, from where settlers transferred ancient names to Cyprus. Lisos or Lissos was also the name of an ancient city in Crete. There is another interpretation -and it cannot be ruled out as untrue -reporting that the name Lysos originates from the verb "lyo" ("liono" = melt), because Lysos was used as an industrial area for the melting of metals, due to the abundant water that Lysos had in previous times and also because of the copper-bearing deposit in the area of Troodos's west side.

There is no doubt about the village being inhabited by the ancient Greeks. The geometrical vessels, the tombs carved in rock and other findings discovered in the region's archaeological areas, are incontestable testimony. Lysos, through the passage of the aeons, has preserved its national and Greek identity unadulterated and has not allowed the alteration of its ethnic character. The constancy of the various place-names is also confirmed by the folklore, such as the presence of the Mediaeval Digenes with his "patia" (footprint), the Stone of Chartzie, etc.

Lysos has been quite active in the national struggles. It was the first out of all the communities in Pafos that started organising groups of guerrilla fighters from the surrounding area. During the struggle, several inhabitants of the village were political prisoners in the detention camps of Kokkinotrymithia and Pyla. During the liberation struggle of EOKA it was a shelter and a base of operations for the organisation's guerrillas. The hero, student, and poet Evagoras Pallekarides acted and got arrested in Lysos. The venues where the guerrillas operated are known as the "EOKA Lairs" and are situated at a distance of 3 kilometres from the village toward "Stavros tis Psokas". The local authorities in collaboration with the Historical Memory Council of EOKA Struggle (SIMAE) have re-erected the hideout in the "Prosefhi" (Prayer) region, in which Evagoras Pallekarides stayed along with other fighters. There are more hideouts in the village's area, awaiting their turn for re-erection and preservation of their history.

In Lysos the visitor can admire the unique natural environment at the "Stavros tis Psokas" venue, the village's Byzantine Church that has an ancient Byzantine fresco in the Sanctuary's (Bema) niche, the frescoes in the small church of St. George, and many other sights.