Vouni, a picturesque village with cobbly alleys, traditional houses with wooden doors, large windows, narrow balconies and inside yards, attracts both locals and foreigners with its rich architectural heritage, who see it as an outdoor museum of the life and culture of the most recent centuries.
It is located in the Krasochoria region of the Lemesos District, on an altitude of 800 metres above sea level. The village spreads on a slope with a southern gradient. The village’s landscape is “impressive with its high peaks reaching a height of 1153 metres at the location ‘Moutti tou Afami’, north of the settlement, and the beds of the rivers ‘Chapotami’ in the west and ‘Kryos Potamos’ in the east”.
The naming of the village is linked to its location. According to the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, the village was named ‘Vouni’, “which means “low mountain”, due to the location where it is built.
Vouni, as the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia remarks, “has been a vine village since the ancient years”. Up until the 90’s, the village of Vouni was “third in line after Pachna and Omodos in relation to the extent of cultivated with vineyards land”. Actually, 40% of the total land extent of the village was covered with vineyards. Nowadays, viticulture has been significantly reduced due to rural depopulation.
The village also possessed the third place in the whole of Cyprus in relation to the extent of land, since the present villages of Souni-Zanatzia, Sotera and Sterakovou were mainly owned by residents of Vouni, who had developed immense agricultural activity in these communities by growing cereals, carobs and olives.
Our village in the past
The first salvaged report about our village goes back to the Middle Ages and appears in Venetian maps. In particular, according to the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, the village “is marked in the Venetian maps under the name ‘Voni’. However, it is not marked at its real present location but north of the village of Kivides”.
Neither the visitors and writers of the Middle Ages nor the 19th century travelers, report Vouni in their texts. The same thing is observed with A. Sakellariou and G.S. Fragkoudes, who, although “they describe the villages of Kilani and Agia Mavri, do not mention Vouni in their texts at all. A simple report to the name is made by Jeffrey. It is very probable that the latter had never visited Vouni, and therefore simply mentions the village by its name without making any further comments.
In the old years, as local tradition preserves, there used to be four settlements in the area of the present village, which were built on low mountains. Three of them, ‘Pera Vouni’, ‘Velonaka’ and ‘Ais Mamas’, were desolated by the plague which struck Cyprus in 1692. The settlement that was salvaged, Vouni, was protected by Agios Ioannis Prodromos, to whom the main church of the village is dedicated.
According to tradition, “there used to be a monastery there, dedicated to the saint, with several monks. Any residents of the three settlements that were saved by the horrible plague, moved to Vouni. The first houses of Vouni were built at the ‘Rotsos’ neighbourhood. Its residents were Religious, progressive and hard-working. They dealt with the cultivation of the monastery’s land”.
The populating history of Vouni, as researchers observe, presents particular interest. Ever since the end of the 19th century up until today, “the community has met large populating upheavals”. In particular, from 1881 until 1946, the population number followed a constant upswing. In 1881, with 706 residents, “Vouni was the second largest village of Lemesos after Kilani”, whereas in 1946, with 1247 residents, it was the sixth largest village of Lemesos after Kato Polemidia, Pelentri, Pachna, Agros, and Kilani”. However, from 1960 onwards, the village’s population began to decrease gradually. Presented in the table below is the analytic course of the population number of the village.
Education, as the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia underlines, was “cultivated in the village from the very early years”. According to Aristeidou, who is a basic researcher of education in Vouni, the “first written testimony for the existence of a school in Vouni dates back to the 1850 and it was written by Loizos Philipou. In our village, there was a Women’s school and a Boy’s School. It appears that the first one began operating in 1890 whereas the second one earlier. In 1936, a mixed school begins its operation. In the middle of the 20th Century, an eight grade school with 12 teachers and 200 students used to operate. It is also worth mentioning that the residents of Vouni began getting a higher education ever since 1900”.
Larnaka airport 71 km
Pafos airport 34 km
For more information please visit Vouni Village website.