Information on Potamiou Village

Potamiou Village                                                     Photo ©

Potamiou Village is located in the Limassol District of Cyprus and lies close to Kissousa, Omodos, Malia, Vouni, Vasa Koilaniou and Pachna Villages.

The village is built on the west bank of the Chapotami River at an average height of 670 metres above sea level. The name of the village is believed to have derived from the name of the nearby Chapotami River, and the name evolved over the years to it’s present name.

The village has a long history dating back to the Frankish rule, where the village came under the fiefdom as a royal estate. Potamiou Village also served as the headquarters for the Greek Orthodox Church. A bishop was resident in the village to serve the surrounding areas, and was under the jurisdiction of the Greek orthodox Church of Paphos.

The current population of the village has 35 registered residents, a small fraction of the around 500 people living in the village at the height of it’s popularity.

Potamiou Village has a long history associated with the cultivation of vineyards. The altitude of the village and the availability of a regular supply of water, helped the village cultivate vast areas of vineyards. The village also cultivated almond and olive trees, but these were on a much smaller scale.

The vineyards were the main employer for the village, with the harvested grapes being mostly processed into wine and the local traditional Cypriot Zivania drink. The surplus grapes were processed into Soutzoukos and Palouze. In the event of any further grapes being available, these were either sold in local markets or used for local consumption.

Each household produced their own wine and Zivania in their courtyards, but Potamiou Village also had it’s own local winery at one time. The original winery is no longer in use, but the old buildings are still visible as well many of the pithari’s used for the storage of wine, but. The village has however recently began operating a small winery that produces wine used for marinating meats, such as pork and the loukanika sausages.

Potamiou Village also produced it’s own halloumi, anari and drahana. The production was limited as each family had only one or two goats producing milk. The milk production was passed on as a cooperative with each family taking turns to accept the milk production of the village at agreed intervals, normally when a family had around 10 litres of milk.

Potamiou Village has a long association with Souni Village. The villagers of Potamiou Village owned land in Souni Village, where the land was more level and the climate more favourable to grow crops such as wheat and crops as feed for their animals. Carob trees were also cultivated as this was a valuable crop at the time.

The main church of Potamiou Village is the Agia Marina Church, which was built in 1551, and is located in the village square. The church has a plaque above it’s main entrance dedicated to the famous Cypriot writer, Neophytos Rodinos, who was born in the village in 1579, and is regarded as the most famous person associated with the village.

The Chapel of Agios Mnasonas is however the more well known and historic church of the village. The chapel was built in 300 A.D. And was dedicated to the saint that taught the Christian religion to the local village community and the surrounding villages.

There are many chambers built underneath the chapel, with many arches and a long tunnel, leading away from the chapel. The chambers are the home of many relics of the period and the restoration of the chapel is now under the authority of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, who began a major restoration programme in 2008.

A small chapel lies next to the old school, which is dedicated to Timios Prodromos. . The church was purchased in Greece a couple of years ago and came in the form of a pre-constructed building. The chapel lies above the original location of a chapel dedicated to Timios Prodromos.

The old village school building, which was built in 1906, is situated next to the Agia Marina church. The school building is no longer in use, and is mainly used for storage. The school building is still in a very good condition and is a fine example of the local architecture at the time.

A Venetian bridge lies to the south of the village and crosses the Chapotami River. The bridge was constructed to connect the village with Vouni Village and Koilani Village, with which the village had extensive trade links.

At the main entrance to the village, a water well has been constructed to replace the original, which became a ruin over time. The new well has been constructed to replicate the original, to give an insight as to where the village was supplied with drinking water.

Potamiou Village                                                     Photo ©

Potamiou Village                                                     Photo ©

Agios Mnasonas Chapel In Potamiou Village                     Photo ©

Potamiou Village Venetian Bridge                                           Photo ©

Potamiou Village Venetian Bridge                                           Photo ©