Lofou Village

TThe village of Lofou is in the district of the ‘ampelochoria’ between Limassol and Paphos, about 26 kilometers northwest of the city of Limassol.

Lofou is built in a circular pattern on hills, at an altitude of 780 meters and has a total of about 650 centimeters in annual rainfall. It is surrounded by mountains with narrow and steep versants. The landscape is divided by two rivers that are canals of ‘Kryos’ and ‘Kouris’, which both come from the river ‘Kouris’.

From a geological perspective there are significant geological resources in the village’s municipality from the greater region of ‘Pachna’ (alternating layers of chalk, margo and psammite) upon which a clayey ground has developed.

Lofou is connected with nearby villages by asphalted lanes. It is connected with ‘Pera Pedi’ village in the North (at a distance of 6.5 km) and from the Southwest with ‘Saint Therapon’ village (at a distance of 4.5 km). In the Southeast it used to be connected with ‘Alassa’ village. The whole village was reconstructed in another location as it was flooded by ‘Kouris’ weir. From the East side, Lofou is connected with the villages of ‘Sylikou’, ‘Monagri’ and ‘Doros’.

Today, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the village for someone setting out from Limassol. Driving up the main road that leads to Platres and making a left turn after Alassa (current position), the visitor may be able to reach the village within 15 minutes.

 

THE NAME

The village is built on a hill between mountains and gets its name based on this fact. The name Lofou was inspired by the Greek word ‘lofos’ which means ‘hill’. The original name of the village was “Lofos” since the early 20th century. That can be proven by the birth certificates provided by the local primary school, on which “Lofos” was written as the birth place of the students.

Simos Menandros (1970) supports that the renaming of the village from “Lofos” to “Lofou” may be attributed to a linguistic change in the everyday language of local farmers. The latter’s used “Lofou” to refer to the village, since they were using such kind of suffixes when they were referring to the village’s residents or its local products. This change of gender (‘Lofou’ is considered as being of female gender having the suffix “ou”) is also justified by the need to accompany the word Lofou with the word ‘komi’ which is also female in gender and means burgh. It was normal for someone at those times to assume that since ‘komi’ was female in gender, ‘Lofou’ should be female as well. Therefore, ‘Lofou’ ended up having a female gender because of a linguistic change in morphology. ‘Lofou’ is the name by which the village is nowadays widely known and referred to.

 

ESTABLISHMENT

There are no historical findings that may help us define the exact date on which ‘Lofou’ was founded. The area must have been inhabited since the Bronze Age. This fact may be verified by the various archeological findings, particularly by the ancient pots that they were scattered around the area of the village.

The dominant view regards that the village must have been founded some years before Cyprus was occupied by the Franks in the late 12th century. During that time and because of the Ottoman invasions, the locals were forced to abandon the coasts and move to the inner parts of the island in order to find refuge. The location of the village was truly ideal for their needs since it is hidden in the mountains and, as a consequence, it provided a sense of security. This theory is also supported by Nearchos Kliridis (1961) and J. C. Goodwin (1977), both of whom support that the village must have been built before the word ‘lofos’ was replaced by the word ‘laonin’. There are quite a few settlements in Greece under the name ‘Lofos’ or ‘Lofoi’ (hills), a fact that confirms the theories of Simos Menandros (1970) and other researchers that we should consider the village ‘ancient’. The same applies to all other villages whose names derive from words that have been replaced or are no longer used.