Lania: The charming village with a name that became a bone of contention!

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On the way to Troodos Mountains you will find a charming little village, where time seems to have stood still. Lania, a village with plenty of history and traditions, is considered special thanks to its gorgeous, green gardens, picturesque alleys and stone-built houses, awakening memories and enchanting visitors.

The wealth of its traditions is in fact evident in its name alone, which is now a matter of debate, as many people prefer to spell it one way in Greek, despite official government documents and road signs spelling it a different way. Though it is still not certain which of the 2 forms of the village name are more accurate, all 3 versions of the story as to how they came to be are quite fascinating.

One version refers to Lana, daughter of Greek god Dionysus. The area is well-known for its vineyards and wine since ancient times, and in the book by Simos Menandros ‘Toponyms and Folklore Studies’ (1907), reference is made to the village as being “particularly rich in wine”, with a mention of an area called ‘Dionysos’.

The book of Simos Menandros also mentions another version, which relates the origin of the name to the acorns which fall from the oak tree (‘valanidia’ in Greek), as this type of tree is frequently found in the area and the legendary ‘Royal Oak’ stood at the entrance of the village for decades. The village may have taken its name from this tree, therefore, and so may have the area of ‘Valanas,’ and the homonymous church in the village, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

A third version suggests that the bird Lanius may be the origin of the village’s name. The female of this kind of bird is called ‘Lania’ in Greek.