Because all the destinations
are not the same...
We live in a unique place, dowered from nature,
worked by people centuries ago.
A landscape that cuts your breath, a nature
hard and simultaneously generous to people, a nature
that speaks more clearly than people… dangerous mountains,
full of stones, a wild and imposing landscape.
Here nature and people are joined together,
here anyone finds the secret bonds with life, here anyone
"speaks" more easily with God.
The village of Polystipos has the privilege to be included
among the villages of Cyprus having the highest altitude
since it is built at an altitude of 1150 meters and
simultaneously has the "privilege" to be one
of the smallest villages of the province of Nicosia
since it is the third smaller one in administrative
extent having an area of 239 hectares.
The name Polystipos is complex and implies a locality
with many "stipes" that is to say plants of
vine. Consequently Polystipos means a locality with
a lot of vines. In the old years the region of the village
was full of vines which were decreased considerably
during the 18th century (the period of the Ottoman domination),
because most of them were abandoned after a special
taxation that was imposed in the production of wine
and it was judged as disadvantageous.
The precise date of the foundation of the village is
unknown and the various researchers have not reached
a final conclusion. However it is considered sure that
the village existed since the medieval years.
A foreigner sightseer, Nte Mas Latri, reports it as
"Polistipia" and includes it between the royal
properties of the Franks domination period.
Older researchers supported that Polystipos was initially
named Apostle Andreas, because in medieval documents
is reported in the region, a village with this name.
This opinion is supported also by a map of 1573 of the
great Dutch cartographer Abraham Ortelius that marked
a settlement with the name "Apostle Andreas Polystipos".
In handwritten documents of the museum, Polystipos is
reported in the mountainous villages of Saint Rinc.
Important information for the villages of Cyprus and
the various names of the regions is taken from the handwritten
document Leimonida. In this handwritten document, the
villages of the Venetian domination period are reported
and are separated in Casali or Prasti according to the
number of their residents. In the handwritten Leimonida,
Polystipos is reported as Casali of the province "Pentagia".
It should be clarified, that afterwards Great Constantine
and during the entire Byzantine period, Cyprus was divided
into 14 provinces or regions. One of these provinces
was "Pentagia" or "Solea", in which
Polystipos was belonging to. This subdivision of Cyprus
was maintained up to the years of the "Luzinians"
that divided Cyprus into 12 provinces.
The skepticism that prevails regarding the name but
also the season of the foundation of the village is
supported also by a name that is reported by the older
residents of the village and is connected with tradition.
It is the name "Avlonitis" that is still being
used by the old men in order to declare a locality near
the monastery of Apostle Andreas.
The two prevailing theories regarding the names are:
The word Polystipos initially constituted a surname
of the monastery of Apostle Andrea, from the name "Apostle
Andreas the Polystipos" and later constituted the
name of settlement that was founded near the monastery.
This theory is explained satisfactorily:
1. The existence in the maps of a settlement reported
as Saint Andreas and
2. The existence in the Venetian lists of a village
named "Apostle Andreas the Polystipos”.
This theory is the most acceptable one between the researchers
and certain accept the existence of only one village,
overlooking somehow the popular tradition that states
a village with the name "Avlonitis".
This theory takes into serious consideration the name
"Avlonitis" and speaks for the abandonment
of a settlement and the creation of some other or the
conjunction of two settlements with the locomotion of
the one to the other.
The abandonment of a settlement during the period of
the Ottoman domination was a usual phenomenon, due to
the fact that from the 850 villages of Cyprus that were
reported during the Franks domination, only 600 villages
are reported from the beginning of the Ottoman domination
and then. They were abandoned more than 200 villages.
The reasons for the abandonment of a settlement were
mainly the contagious illnesses or the lack of water
and cultivable ground, but also the insecurity due to
the various raids that forced people to move to safer
This theory therefore accepts the abandonment of a settlement
(that was near to the church of Apostle Andreas) and
the creation of some other at a near distance (in the
locality that is built now the village of Polystipos),
without of course excluding the fact that two settlements
existed and the residents of the one abandoned their
settlement and were installed in the other that already