Get to Know LEFKARA (Larnaca District, Cyprus)

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Lefkara Village - Larnaca District, Cyprus

Lefkara Village – Larnaca District, Cyprus

Get to Know LEFKARA (Larnaca District, Cyprus)

The village of Lefkara is situated at an altitude of 750 metres, South Easterly of the Troodos mountain.

It could be said that Lefkara is situated in the heart of Cyprus, since it is located at a distance of just  50 kilometres away from Nicosia, 35 kilometres from Larnaca and 55 kilometres from Limassol.

The dry and healthy climate, the hospitality of the people of Lefkara, the rare beauty of the landscape and the tradition of the embroidery craft, are only some of the reasons that attract thousands of people from all around the world to visit Lefkara.

The village took its name from the limestone rocks of the regions (Lefka Ori – White Mounts – Lefkara).

The houses in Lefkara, built in traditional architectural style, are always clad with the traditional “Lefkara Stone” which, along with the clay tiled roofs, give a distinctive look.

Under Venetian rule (1489-1570 AD), Lefkara became a tourist resort for the Venetian noblewomen, who, according to a historical version, taught the craft of embroidery (Lefkari-tiko Lace) to the women of the village.

It is believed that during this period, the great painter Leonardo Da Vinci visited Lefkara and bought a large tablecloth for the altar of the Milan Cathedral.

Lefkara is well known almost all around the world for its wonderful embroidery, called the Lefkaritiko Lace.

The women of Lefkara initially embroidered and used these beautiful embroideries to decorate their own houses.

At a later stage however, and towards the end of the 19th century, they realised that these works of art could be sold to decorate the houses of people from the other regions as well.

This idea gave way to the beginning of the Lefkara Lace trade.

With a bag full of Lefkara lace in their hands, a number of daring young villagers began travelling in all directions aiming to sell the famous embroideries.

Coming back to the village with a respectable amount of money, the villagers realised that the trade was then on its way, and at the same time, a great potential of the evolution of the embroidery itself was realised.

People all over the world loved the Lefkaritiko Lace and this great love was kept alive through the centuries.

Even today, watching the Lefkara women embroidering in the narrow streets of Lefkara becomes an enjoyment for every passerby.

The Lefkara Lace – the beautiful embroidery which was used by generations of people all around the world to decorate and beautify their homes – is still loved, admired and used in the same manner today.

And while the Lefkara women expressed their artistic sense by creating beautiful embroideries, the Lefkara men, also blessed with a sense of art, decorated with special artistry the censers, the rose water canisters, the silver teaspoons and so many other silver works of art.

The art of silverware, still flourishing today in Lefkara, offers fine works of art to silver lovers everywhere.

In the heart of the village there is the church of the Holy Cross which dates back to the 14th century AD.

What is characteristic of the church is the wood carved shrine, made in 1760 AD.

According to tradition, the big silver cross which bears a piece of the Holy Wood, is kept in the unseen crypt found in the shrine.

Every corner of Lefkara is deeply related to Christianity since many historic chapels where services are still held today, are scattered around every neighbourhood of the village.

Lefkara, as a whole, represents a lively museum where the visitor can, in very corner of the village, feel the experience of living in past periods.

The Museum of Folklore Art is the most representative sample of Folklore Architecture which characterises Lefkara.

The museum is a 19th century mansion (the Patsalos Residence), where time has stopped and everything reminds the visitor of the past.

The sofas, the big wood carved mirrors, the old beds, and the costumes of the house’s dignitary and noblewoman are some of the wonderful exhibits of the museum.

The pride of the museum,however, is the old collection of the 19th century Lefkaritiko Lace embroideries which is exhibited in one of its rooms.

The skilful manufacturing of Loukoumia (a traditional Cypriot delight) is still another factor which makes the village of Lefkara so renowned.

Visitors from other regions of Cyprus as well as visitors from abroad have the opportunity to observe the traditional way of making these delicacies as well as taste them.

The two hotels of Lefkara, built in the heart of the village, in traditional architectural styles, offer visitors a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

By staying in Lefkara, visitors are given the opportunity to live for a while in the gitonia (neighbourhood) and the sokakia (narrow streets) where girlfriends “gossip” and the koumbari (best men/friends) have their coffee in the coffee shop of the square.

The village’s restaurants are always open and ready to serve the visitors a variety of excellent dishes, such as the Lefkaritko Ttava (the traditional dish of the village) and the traditional Cyprus meze.

Many cultural events take place in the small Municipality of Lefkara all year round. Amongst them, the most important event is the Annual Festival of Lefkara which is organised every year in August.

Famous Cypriot and Greek artists participate, offering unforgettable evenings to visitors, while at the same time, the traditions and customs of the area come alive through folklore dances, songs and plays.

Fishing can be enjoyed by the Lefkara visitor, since two of the biggest dams in Cyprus are located a very short distance from the village.

Taking long walks into the heart of nature can become an unforgettable experience for the Lefkara visitor.

Beginning at Lefkara, and following the Path of Nature, one can reach the village of Kato Drys.

Walks alongside the various rural streets and paths around the village are also an enjoyable and relaxing experience for visitors.

Many other picturesque communities are located in the surrounding area of Lefkara, such as Kato Drys where one can visit and offer respect to the Monastery of Ayios Minas.

Following the same route, one may find themselves at the villages of Vavla, Ora, Meline and Odou.

Leaving Lefkara and heading towards a higher altitude we find the picturesque villages of Vavatsinia and Ayious Vavatsinias.

Words do not suffice and do not have enough colour to truly describe the beauty of both,  Lefkara and the wider region. Hence, you only have to visit Lefkara and allow yourself to feel the magic!

Lefkara Lace - Lefkara Village - Cyprus

Lefkara Lace – Lefkara Village – Cyprus

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