With an e-museum in the making, one Cyprus village is making sure its history is not forgotten.
In less than a month, seven traditional villages and towns across Cyprus will transform their rural aesthetic into one of magic, mysticism and enchantment. Streets, alleys, and courtyards will come to life with traditional music, local produce, and the delights and eccentricities of local markets.
Although the island boasts countless attractions and events over the festive season, the village of Fikardou will once again provide an authentic travel experience for both locals and visitors.
The island’s Christmas villages and markets will open on November 25 and will operate on Fridays, weekends and public holidays until mid-January.
But Fikardou is more than a Christmas village; it is an open-air museum that has played an active role in the preservation and promotion of the island’s history, handicrafts, wine, and gastronomy.
Fikardou, in the Nicosia district, may appear deserted at first glance, but within its narrow cobblestoned streets are two remarkable structures (which won the Europa Nostra award in 1986) that have been restored and preserved by the Department of Antiquities in collaboration with the Leventis Municipal Museum, providing an insight into the village’s past rural life.
Fikardou, like all traditional villages in Cyprus, has a church at its centre which dates back to the 18th century and is dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul. The view from the church, which is enveloped by trees, is spectacular, as the entire forest and valley below unfold before the eyes.
Although there is only one tavern serving local cuisine, and local wine served in carafes made from the pumpkins cultivated in the village, Markides and Tyrimos have revealed that a new café offering traditional delights, and locally produced wine, will open to coincide with the Christmas village and will remain operational beyond the season.
Another milestone in the development of sustainable cultural tourism is a memorandum of understanding that was signed towards the end of last year by the Municipality of Anfeh, Lebanon and the Community Council of Fikardou to create a roadmap for cultural heritage and tourism cooperation between both villages.
Thanks to the digitalisation of its heritage assets, this semi-abandoned community is now embracing its future as a newly recognised e-museum, safeguarding and promoting its rich traditions and historical past.