Pano Lefkara Architecture!

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Where I stayed
Lefkara Hotel & Restaurant Pano Lefkara
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Exploring the village

Flag of Cyprus  , Larnaca,
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Before writing anything else, I believe I should start by telling you what the word "Lefkara" means. In Greek the word “lefka' means white, and 'ori’ mean mountains. The hills around this beautiful village has limestone and silica. It is about 35 kms from Larnaca my hometown.

It attracts many tourists the year round and it is mostly popular for its lace. Besides lace, the village is popular for its skilled silversmiths. This time however I did not come across one. I had more luck on a previous trip last March when I found a silversmith working on a beautiful piece and even though I searched for him it was not possible to spot him this time. Here they produce fine filigree pieces of art similar to the work of silversmiths in Ioannina in Greece.

The village has beautiful architecture, cobbled streets and it is spread in two administrative regions, -the upper and lower Lefkara. My hotel is in the upper Lefkara, while our little country-house is in the outskirts of the lower village.

I have arranged to visit the Cyprus Wax Museum Fatsa in the nearby village of Skarinou, and Babis the manager of the hotel offers to drive me there, but I am writing about this visit on the next entry.

After the visit to the Museum, I am out in the narrow streets of Lefkara with just my camera. I  want to walk and take pictures and I am determined to talk to locals, even knock on their doors if something attracts my attention.

My first stop is at the small factory of the village a few steps from the hotel I stay. Here they produce ‘loukoumia’. The lady tells me that I should return the following morning when they work on the mixture but unfortunately I am leaving early tomorrow so I will miss it.  Well, it is here that I find my little companion who agrees to accompany me as far as the Museum of Folk Art. His grandmother, and owner of the factory, Mrs. Mary agrees that I take Thodoris along to show me the way to the Museum.

We walk together but stop every now and then for pictures. Thodoris tells me about his village, his hobbies, and school. As we walk I see a well in a garden nicely decorated with pots of flowers and decide to knock on the door and get in.

The lady welcomes us in. If I am not mistaken her name is Mrs. Singer. She was to leave soon and go to her other house in Nicosia she told us.  Well, this lady not only welcomed us inside but offered to show us her whole house which in reality was like a museum.  She let me take photos, and offered us ‘dachtila’….a cypriot delicacy.  I picked one but she insisted that I take the whole dish. I replied that it was not possible, so she immediately decides to wrap for me 10 of these pieces to take along. We thank her for her hospitality and we say goodbye.

We come to the Museum but to my disappointment the lady does not allow me to take photos. I am given a locker where I have to leave my bag and camera behind until the tour is finished. To be honest I want to leave, and although I made a few steps back I returned and decide to have a look at least.  Well, the reason they don’t allow cameras is because they want to sell the leaflets or guide books. The folklore museum shows visitors what life was like in Cyprus a century ago. It is located in a restored house and exhibits the furniture and effects of a wealthy family, local costumes and examples of the Lefkara lacework.

We are now out in the narrow cobble-stone streets again, and with the many shots we have every here and there I tell Thodoris that it is time that he returns to his granny.  He replies that he wants to come along with me, telling me that he wants to accompany me until it gets dark. The little boy sounds excited because we are talking all this time. Generally, I am a person who loves children, and I give much attention to what they say and confront them as adults. Thodoris is a clever guy very warm with a heart of an angel. In him I see my grandchildren. I remember that his granny had given me a packet of loukoumia, so we sit on some steps in a nice neighbourhood to find Mary’s phone number. I tell her not to worry and that we are together.  I promise to take him back in an hour.

An hour later I kiss my little friend goodbye, thank him and move on to the centre of the village. I see an old lady through a window with her embroidery and lace sitting in her living room and I get in the house.  She thinks that I am interested to buy but I explain that I just want to greet her and take a photo. 

I am glad that I have many sets of these authentic Lefkaritika pieces which my Mum bought from a woman in Lefkara years ago. These ladies spend endless hours to finish these masterpieces.

Many tourists are scattered here and there, some in the streets others in the different shops listening to the ladies telling them about the authentic Lefkaritika. There are many coaches parked at the parking lot today. It is said that in 1481 Leonardo da Vinci came to Lefkara and purchased a lace for the main alter of the Duomo di Milano.

It is believed that the style of this embroidery was imported to the village from antiquity. (Assyria) Later on the Venetians took it to their country and began their own lace industry there. In 1889 a local lace schooled was opened in Lefkara.

With this and that it gets dark and I am still out!  I guess it is time for me to get back to the hotel and rest. I have no plans for tonight other than to sort my photos and relax. It has surely been a full day!

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icunme on

What a great collection of photos here - and that winsome little boy! Outstanding work and I have a view now that will never leave my mind! Thank you!

rossport on

awesome Popi and loved the photo's i feel as if i was there with you thank you

venoth on

Beautiful photographs of the place and great hospitality. If I were to do that in Malaysia i.e. knock on people's doors, they might get suspicious and call the police in. Its great to see that such neighbourly touch still remains at some places.

greekcypriot on

This is exactly what I want to show in my travels Venoth. The human touch and hospitality, and the warm welcome still exists in my beautiful island of Cyprus.This does not happen in many countries..In Greece especially in some islands and villages people react in the same way. Surely not in Athens!

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