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Vouni, is a picturesque village with stone-paved alleys, traditional houses with wooden doors, big windows, narrow balconies and indoor yards.The rich architectural legacy attracts local people and visitors who behold in it an outdoor museum of life and society shaped through the past centuries.

It is located in Limassol District, in the area known as Krasochoria. It is built at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level. The village spreads on a south-facing slope of a mountain. The view from the village is “breathtaking with summits such as that of Moutti of mount Afamis, in the north of the settlement, and the bed of the river Hapotami in the west and that of Kryos Potamos in the east”.

The name of the village is linked to its location. According to the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, the village was given the name “mountain” which means “low mountain” because of the location on which it is built.

A winegrowing village

The name of the village is closely linked to its location. According to the Big Cypriot Encyclopedia, the village was named “Vouni” which means mountain with low altitude, due to the location on which it was built.

Just as the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia states, Vouni “has always been a village of viticulturists”. Up until the 90s, Vouni was the third largest village full of vineyards and winemakers, with Pachna and Omodos being the first and second respectively”. In fact, 40% of the village’s area was used as vineyards. Nowadays, winemaking has significantly dropped due to urbanization.

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. Vouni residents had developed immense agricultural activity in these communities by growing cereals, carobs and olives.

The name of the village is linked to its location. According to the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, the village was given the name “mountain” which means “low mountain” because of the location on which it is built.

A winegrowing village

The name of the village is closely linked to its location. According to the Big Cypriot Encyclopedia, the village was named “Vouni” which means mountain with low altitude, due to the location on which it was built.

Just as the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia states, Vouni “has always been a village of viticulturists”. Up until the 90s, Vouni was the third largest village full of vineyards and winemakers, with Pachna and Omodos being the first and second respectively”. In fact, 40% of the village’s area was used as vineyards. Nowadays, winemaking has significantly dropped due to urbanization.

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. Vouni residents had developed immense agricultural activity in these communities by growing cereals, carobs and olives.

Our village in the past

The first report about our village goes back to the Middle Ages and appears in Venetian maps.  In particular, according to the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, 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, reference 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 reference 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 times, 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 local 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”.

In the old times, 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 local 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”.

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Population

According to researchers, the populating history of Vouni is of 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.

Year Number of Residents Year Number of Residents
1881 706 1960 990
1901 834 1976 617
1921 1089 1982 373
1946 1247 2001 136

Education

Education, as the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia 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 and a Boy’s School. It appears that the first one began operating in 1890 whereas the second one started 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 receiving a higher education ever since 1900”.

Education

Education, as the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia 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 and a Boy’s School. It appears that the first one began operating in 1890 whereas the second one started 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 receiving a higher education ever since 1900”.

Sources:

Aristeidou I. Aristeidou, Education in Vouni (1850-1985), Lemesos 1997

“Rides to the past, a vision to the future, European Days of Heritage, Cyprus 2004”