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Kato Platres

Location

Kato Platres village is located around 42 kilometers northwest to the Limassol city. The way leading to it, passes through the villages of Alassa, Doros, Lania, Trimiklini as well as Saittas area. Right after these, on your left you will spot Pera Pedi, Mandria and eventually Kato Platres. On the way to the village, the traveler will have the opportunity to admire both the valley and the Kouris dam, which is the larger one on the island.

The village is built on an altitude of 920 meters above sea lever. Several vineyards are growing in the area, as well as various kinds of fruit trees (such as cherry, apple, pear, prune and peach trees). Still, the larger part of the land around the village is not agricultural, but covered with wild greens. The population of the community, according to the 2011 census, is 148 residents. The residents of the village work in tourist facilities, wood processing, apiculture and agriculture, or even in restaurants and hotels at Pano Platres. The famous traditional products of the village are traditional fruit sweets, palouzes and souzioukos, rose water, honey, wine and zivania.

History

Kato Platres are not mentioned in any medieval source and it seems to be a village that followed the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, Kato Platres are much more ancient than Pano Platres. The village used to be a small shepherds community at first, which would do pottery a lot (hence the name Tornarides, from the name of the pottery wheel, tornos).

These past few years, the number of house units has been growing significantly, with houses expanding in a radius of around 3 kilometers from the core of the village, to wards Mandria, Fini and Pano Platres villages. This is the result of residents considering the natural beauty of the area, the breezy climate, the panoramic views, the serene environment with the singing nightingales as an ideal option for staying in an ultimately calm atmosphere, as the poet, Giorgos Seferis, had once pointed out.

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The name of the village comes from the medieval Greek word "pratria" ("pratries" in plural). The world platria comes from pratria, by exchanging r to an l, meaning a female seller. In former years, the village was known by the name Tornarides. The main occupation of its people was the process and decoration of wood, and rarely pottery, with the wheel. The wheel was the main tool for wood craftsmen, as well as pottery craftsmen. This tool consists of 2 large pillars, with rectangular share, placed parallel to the ground. Most common decorative motives would be flowers, branches and geometrical shapes. These decorations would vary depending on the order.

The village  is the homeland of important people, such as the former General Prosecutor, Criton Tornatitis, and the great Comedian and actor, Sotiris Moustakas.

Square

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Part of the central square of the village has been upgraded these past years. Next to the square there is a property, donated by the late Antonakis L. Antoniades in memory of his wife Myroulla, which has been renovated into a stone built, modern coffee shop and is now considered a meeting place for entertainment, both for younger and older people. The traditional coffee shops of the village, the Cooperative Mini Market and a renovated house with traditional architecture right next to them, are also part of the  main square. 

Good to know…
The villagers are particularly hospitable and willing to show you around the place and its beauties. If you greet them in a friendly manner, they will quite possible offer you coffee or even some traditional treats, they will host you and talk to you. This might actually be the best way to find out about the village, its history, its scents and flavors, through the ingenuity of its people.

The road to Fini village begins north to the square, while on the east side the road leads to Pano Platres. On the road to Fini, on finds the stone built coffee shop and the paved area of the square. The place is surrounded by walls with traditional, local stone, as well as a wooden fence. The area of the coffee shop consists a safe refuge for children and adults. 

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Houses with traditional architecture, built with local stones, wooden doors, inner yards with plenty of flower pots manage to seduce any visitor. The neighborhoods are connected through a network of narrow alleys, climbing up the hill, which meet the facades of the houses. On the way, one will pass through the bridge that crosses over Yiallitsis river. Within the 2 neighborhoods in the core of the village there are 5 traditional fountains in total, which used to be connected with  the water source, in order to provide the residents with water.

Paved walkways

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The villagers, since the very old times, would not use cars for their basic transportation. The routes connecting the neighborhoods with the main square, have evolved into quiet, paved walkways, which will allow to the visitor a cognitive stroll in the picturesque alleys and the history of the place.

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When you cross these alleys, you can find the now deserted family house of the well-known comedian, who made a great name of himself at the Greek cinema, as well as the theater, Sotiris Moustakas. It is a simple house built according to the traditional architecture, with a small yard and a traditional wood oven, looking towards the magnificent Kastrovounos hill. Even though the actor grew up in the Limassol city, the family stays connected with this traditional house in the village.

Climbing up the square, one finds straight ahead the oldest fountain used by the residents. Built with stone, with a large water deposit in the back, it has always been at a central spot in the village, in order to serve the entire population. Going northwest, the path leads to a more recent fountain, made of concrete during the British colonial era, dated in 1943, according to the inscription on it. In a small distance from there, when heading down to the river, there is a monument dedicated to Demos Herodotou, who fell during the struggle of EOKA against the British rule in 1955 — 1959. 

Characteristic trees

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Close to the square there are 3 huge, perennial oak trees. Since Ha Potami river crosses through the community, its banks have been nurturing a special habitat, where greens are present all year round. Apart from the shadow and breezy stream of air, the huge trees have become a landmark for the area, being true monuments of nature. 

Cultural Center

During the school year 2016 – 2017, the building of the Primary School, which was operating by the June 2016 as a District School, was shut down and given to the Community by the church for a 30-year-long lease, in order to create a Cultural Center, a place for lectures, infirmary and a library.

Wineries

Papaloucas winery

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A family winery keeps producing wine and grape products with the same love and care that the people of this land have always been doing it. Even if it is a rather small unit, located in the heart of the village, the winery uses modern production and quality control means. The winery, apart from amazing wines, also produces other products, too, such as traditional zivania and cherry liquor.

Lambouri winery 

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The winery is located in an excellent location above the stream of the river. Its balcony is surrounded by tall, green trees, which create an exquisite landscape to get acquainted with the special flavors of the products of the winery. 

Keeping up with a long tradition of the Lambouri family, the winery produces fine wines, among which one of the most famous commandaria wines in the world, which is sold for up to €3000 abroad. It also offers other grape products, such as pralines with commandaria flavor. The winery is open for visits during 9 am — 6 pm, providing an opportunity for you to have a taste of its products.

Good to know...
Make sure to visit the village during the opening hours of the Lambouri winery and spend a few more time there, touring in its facilities and tasting some aromatic wine on the balcony, with a view to the green river bank.

Churches 

Agios Demetrios church

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Close to the Primary school, the main church of the village is rising, dedicated to Agios Demetrios. The church is thought to have been built in the 18th or 18th century, surrounded by a large yard, following Gothic architectural lines. 

Entering you will see the old floor, laid with square stones. A very old, wooden and artistically carved frame for the pictures, constructed in 1898, being a true treasure for the temple. The pictures of Saints are placed on this frame. The temple can host 200 people and it celebrate on October 26th.

Old Agios Demetrios church 

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A few meters away from the main church, there is the old church of Agios Demetrios. It is a small and rather simple building, built with stone and painted white. Its bell used to hang on a nearby tree until recently, but the branch of the tree bent and the bell moved on a construction with built pillars holding it up.

When the main church was built, the little church was left empty, since all the furnishing moved to the new one. So, since 1930, the little church was used as a school classroom with 3 grades and 40 students. Afterwards, the school was built and the church was eventually deserted. At some point it was a shelter for animals for quite some time.

In 1974 they started fixing it from the inside out. A new wooden frame was constructed for the pictures. Its square roof has wide, wooden panels inside, as a decorative element. Both in its outside and inside roof area, its a characteristic sample of the local architecture, with fine carved details on the woods holding the roof. The chapel now celebrate twice a year: on Easter Monday and on December 26th.

Timios Prodromos chapel

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East to the village, between the woods, leading to Pano Platres village, there used to be the chapel of Timios Prodromos. Now, there are only the remaining of the temple and the Holy Table, above which an old, large tree is rising. The residents called it a summer chapel, since any ceremony would take place in open air conditions. 

In 1975, right across the deserted chapel, a new one was built. It is rather small, square shaped and painted white on its outside. It has a simple wooden frame for the pictures, among which the picture of Timios Prodromos. The chapel can host 40 – 50 people.

The chapel celebrates 3 times per year: on Easter Tuesday, on June 24th, the birtday of Timios Prodromos, and on August 29th, day of the decapitation of Timios Prodromos. The ancient picture of Timios Prodromos, from the byzantine era is kept at the main church of Agios Demetrios.

View point from Kastrovounos hill

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Kastrovounos is a hill that impresses the most, among those surrounding the village. On that hill, there is a nature trail which leads from the village to the top of the hill and backwards. From the top of Kastrovounos, one can enjoy a rich view to the peak of Afamis mountain, on the west (1153 meters high) and to Agia Paraskevi at the southeast (1050 meters high).

The evergreen slopes spreading to where the eye can see, planted with vineyards or with flora, the clean air, the ultimate silence, interrupted only by the sound of the air between the leaves and the singing of the birds, are the elements that make the visit to the spot a unique experience.

Good to know…
You can reach the view point by car, following the signs directing you from the main road to the nature trail. Turning left when indicated be a sign, the route keeps going on a dirt road, which is accessible to all type of vehicles.

Kastrovounos nature trail

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With a lowest altitude at 920 meters and the highest at 1020 meters, the trail covers a distance of 850 meters, from the top o Kastrovounos hill to its roots. From the starting point to the top of Kastrovounos the trail follows an upward route with a mild inclination and the route is going round the hill.

Hikers can admire the majestic local nature, observing the endemic and other species of flora growing in the area. Also, notable species of fauna are found in the trail, such as mammals, birds, snakes, butterflies etc. Different kinds of herbs are growing on the hill, such as lavender, rosemary and more, which blend their scents with the ones of the pine trees and they create a mesmerizing atmosphere.

There are several benches for resting on the way. There are also light installation for those wishing for a walk after dark. At the starting point there is sufficient room for parking.

Rivers

Ha Potami

Ha Potami rivers crosses through the village and runs across the entire length of the main road connecting Kato Platres with the nearby communities. Ha Potami follows a route to the west, running through the Troodos slopes, and ending to the Paphos district. The passage of the river from Kato Platres has proved to be quite beneficial, since its bank is hosting a rich ecosystem, with tall trees, as well as bushes, preserving their green colors all year round.

Yiallitsis

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The river crosses the core of the village creating an evergreen center around its bank. The stream is full of all kinds of trees, from walnuts and cherry tress, to plane trees, creating a small Eden, which one can enjoy by crossing the short walkway that goes around the bank. The walkway ends in a picturesque, stone built bridge, over which the street still used by the villagers passes.

Festivals - Celebrations

Easter: Traditional games at the school yard (donkey rides, racing in bags, egg racing, basketball shots etc) as well as bingo.

Easter Monday: Music, dancing and various traditional games. 

Cherry festival (July): The village celebrates one of its most famous products, the cherries, produced massively in this area. The festival is an excellent opportunity to try special flavors of the different versions of processed or fresh cherries.

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Annual feast (August): The club of friensds of Kato Platres (Tornarides) in collaboration with the Community Council present the annual traditional feast for everyone in the village.

October 26th : A traditional fair with products from the countryside is taking place outside the main church of the village, to celebrate the day of Agios Demetrios.

Dining

- "Kaminia" Tavern

On the main road from Kato to Pano Platres, the restaurant is just a few meters after the the village square, on the left side of the road, when heading to Pano Platres. Quality food is combined with warm hospitality and friendly service, while you enjoy the view to the green bank of the river be the street.
Contact number: 99 452 608

- Paradeisis Restaurant

In the heart of the village, the restaurant is just a few meters after the first houses, on a corner location, on the left side of the street, when moving towards the square of the village. Tables outside are covered by the rich shadow of the trees, with a view to the bank of the river.
Contact number: 99 633 561

- "Agios Demetrios" Restaurant

The restaurant is located right across the main church of Agios Demetrios, on the right side of the road, heading towards the village square. Apart from food, he place can offer coffee and snacks for a short stop during you trip in the area.
Contact number: 97 669 791

- "Aedonia" grill

At the square you will find a grill that makes different kinds of grilled meat and gyros for those who wish to sit around there, as well as take away option for those who will not sit in the area. The same place also operates as a coffee shop.

Contact numbers: 99 621 691, 25 421 322

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Coffee — Drinks

- "Pi ke Fi" coffee shop

A traditional, stone built house, donated to the Community by Antonakis Antoniades, and was restores recently, to become a meeting point for young and old. Combining the modern decorations with the vibrant colors and the traditional hospitality and architecture, it sure is a favorite option.

- Traditional coffee shops

At the village square, left to the main street leading to Pano Platres, you will find the coffee shops where locals regularly meet to chat about their day to day news, as well as guests that wish to have a rest during their trip. You can enjoy aromatic, Cypriot coffee, you learn about the history of the place straight from the locals, who are always willing to chat with you, and you enjoy the 3 majestic oak trees surrounding the area. 

*Extra tip: If you are out of supplies during your trip, the mini market next to the coffee shops could be a savior. Also, just a few meters down, on the right side of the street, as you head to Pano Platres, the butchery of the village is quite famous for its quality merchandise.

Contact information:

Telephone: 25 422 219
Fax: 25 421 448
Email: [email protected]

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