Famagusta Province: Eleven Medieval Settlements That Have Been Lost Over Time

Adam's Apple, Stefanou, Agios Fokas, Anachiada, Koroneia, Machaironas, Palaichori, Paradeisi, Chrysoprasini, Trasia and Bank - The 11 Medieval Settlements of Famagusta Province that have disappeared

1594562200 27918 exclusive, Archaeology, History

The Medieval period in Cyprus begins with the concession of the island to the Lusignans in 1192 AD. Later, the conquest of Cyprus by the Franks and the Venetians until 1571 AD. stigmatizes the island having left their mark in various parts of the island, in castles, settlements, fortifications and church monuments. The medieval past of the island is reflected in the monuments that have been preserved from this period, both in the cities and in the villages of Cyprus.

But there is also a part unknown to most, as many such buildings and especially settlements have disappeared over time. A unique element of the existence of the travelers who visited the island in those years and left their own testimony, maps of the time as well as toponyms that are preserved to this day.

With the help of the electronic encyclopedia "Polygnosis" we present below the eleven Medieval Settlements in the province of Famagusta which have disappeared.

Adam's apple

Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which does not exist today. It was located in the province of Famagusta, in fact close to it city ​​of Famagusta and to its southwest, i.e. somewhere further west of the village Derynia, according to old maps. On 16th century maps (such as that of Abraham Ortelius of 1573) the village is marked as Pomo d'Adam, while it is also found in various written sources, also from the 16th century, in which it is also referred to as Pano d'Adamo. The written sources that mention this settlement are all related to the siege of Famagusta by the Ottomans in 1570-71, since they are all found in accounts of eyewitnesses of the siege or people who wrote about it. Thus, Codarini writes that the Ottoman besiegers had set up camp in the fief Let's go (as he calls it), while Angelo Kallepio writes that the leader of the invaders, Lala Mustafas, had camped in the village Pomo d' Adamo, three miles from Famagusta. Angelo Gatto, who had fought at Famagusta, also asserts that the bulk of the invading army was encamped at Pomo d' Adam, which he calls "a place a league distant from Famagusta."

We should consider that, precisely because of the war of 1570-71, the inhabitants of this village had abandoned it. The village itself, precisely because it was located so close to Famagusta, would probably have been completely destroyed, if not during the 11 months of the siege, perhaps on the eve of the start of the war. Because the Venetian leaders of the resistance had given the order to destroy everything in a large radius around Famagusta, so that when the Turks arrived there would be no places to take cover, nor useful materials. Angelo Gatto reports that, by order of Astorre Vaglione, shortly before the war began, the moat around Famagusta was widened, and the area outside the city was also leveled, and churches, houses and lodgings were demolished, among other things, destroyed completely and the most beautiful Gardens of Famagusta, in the area of ​​today's new (outside the walls) city. This leveling all around had also taken place in Nicosia, and probably also in Kyrenia, because it was a common tactic in cases of siege, to make it more difficult for the enemy.

Stefani or Stefanou

Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which does not exist today. It seems to have been one of the two adjacent settlements that made up Stefanou Vatilin mentioned by the medieval chronicler Leontios Machairas. In Machira, Stefanou Vatili is presented as a single settlement. But in old maps of Cyprus (such as that of Abraham Ortelius of 1573 and that of Jodocus Hondius of 1606), in the same area two different but adjacent settlements are marked as Vasili (=Vasili) and as Stefani (=Stefani). It seems, therefore, that Stefanou Vatili of Leontios Machiras was once two neighboring settlements that were often considered as one (like e.g. the villages of the province of Famagusta Peristerona and Pigi, which are often mentioned as one: Peristeronopigi). Today's large village Vatili ή Vatili, should not, therefore, have taken the name of an owner (of the Byzantine Period) named Stefanos Vatilis – as is often assumed by various scholars – but should be the successor settlement of the villages of Stefani or Stefanou and Vatili or Vassili. These two medieval villages may have originally had the names of Agios Stefanos and Agios Vasilios and may have been united during the Frankish period into one manor if one was their owner, the de Montoliffe family as testified by Leontius Macheiras, and later the noble Antonio de Bon according to de Mas Latry. In the manuscript of the Cyprus Museum, from the period of the Venetian rule, the settlement of Stefani is also mentioned among those that were in the geographical and administrative area of ​​Asia, while in the roughly contemporary Lemonidas manuscript Stefani, as well as Vasili separately, are included among the settlements that administratively belonged to apartment of Mesaoria. But already Florios Voustronios (16th century) mentions: Stephanovatili, i.e. one settlement with this compound name, and not two.

*The manuscript of the Cyprus Museum also mentions another settlement called Stefani as being located in the administrative area of ​​Lapithos (province of Kyrenia). However, there is no other information about this settlement. The historian Florios Boustronios mentions the settlement of Stefani as one of the 9 villages that the King of Cyprus James II granted in 1460 to Shore de Naves in order to enlist him in his service.

Saint Phocas

Medieval settlement of Cyprus that does not exist today. She was on her plain Mesoaria, approximately to the north of the current village White House, in a location where until recently there was a church dedicated to Agios Fokas. Apparently the settlement was founded during the Byzantine years and was dissolved during the period of the Turkish occupation. On old maps (eg map of A. Ortelius, 1573) the village is marked as S. Faca. The village is also mentioned in an old manuscript (from the Venetian period). The last mention of the village was made in 1785, in a surviving sales document, in which it is stated that a certain Hassan, "of St. Fokas's hayfield", had sold 2 scales of carpeted field to a certain Apostolis, a shepherd from White House. There is an archaeological site in the area. Various ancient objects were found from time to time, several of which are in the Cyprus Museum. Archaeological research, carried out in 1913, also brought to light the ruins of a temple from Roman times. Until the end of the 19th century, there were few real estates in the area, mainly stables.


Medieval settlement of Cyprus that does not exist today. It was located in Carpasia, east of the village Gialousa, on the hillside, where the toponym survives today Anassia. In the same area there is also the toponym Towers. This settlement existed since the Byzantine years, since one of its remains is the small church of Agia Marina, a building of the 11th or 12th century. There is another church in the area, that of Agia Pavlou. Anachida was probably the successor of an ancient settlement that existed in the area, which, among other things, is evidenced by the existence there (southwest of the church of Agia Marina) of two large stone statues that lie half-finished on the ground and according to some estimates belong to the Roman era sovereignty. On old maps of Cyprus (e.g. map of Abraham Ortelius, 1573) the settlement is marked as Anacnida (with a misspelling of the letter h as n. During the Frankish period the settlement was a fiefdom. Florios Boustronios (16th century) mentions the settlement in the plural, Anachides. He writes that the King of Cyprus James II (1460 – 1473) had assigned Anachides, together with 7 other villages, to the official Ioannis Perez Fabreg. During the Venetian period, the settlement is found in various state documents of the time. It is mentioned in a report from the year 1520 by the official Francisco Attar. But also in a report by Badolfo Guoro, from the year 1563, it is mentioned as the most populous settlement in the area, with 135 male inhabitants (Fragcomatus), without reference to women and children. The settlement survived until the first years of the Anglo-occupation period and was dissolved at the end of the 19th century, with the relocation of its inhabitants to neighboring villages.


Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which does not exist today. It is mentioned in two manuscripts of the Middle Ages, as Corona. In one of them it is included among the villages that belonged administratively to its department Karpasia. In the second it is also mentioned that he was in the "province" of Karpasia. Near the village Gialos comaIn Carpasia, there is a toponym Koronia, which today is also the name of a small forest. The settlement of Koronia was probably there, which seems to have been dissolved during the Turkish occupation. It is also possible for the settlement to preserve an ancient toponym. From reports of ancient authors we know that in the "province" of Salamis there was an ancient city or county called Koroneia. Could it be the current settlement of Korovia, where there are also ancient ruins. A site called Koroneia also exists near the medieval fortress of Kantara, where the site of Kionia (= columns, ancient ruins) is also located and where there is also a medieval settlement of the same name. Andros Pavlidis identified in 2008 extensive ruins of an ancient settlement as well as carved tombs on the coast, east of the village of Galinopourni (where there is also an archaeological site), not far from the village of Koroveia. He therefore suggested that the city of Koronia was located on the eastern coast of Carpasia. According to the same researcher, the city on the coast seems to have been abandoned around the middle of the 7th AD. century, due to the first Arab raids. As had happened with a number of other coastal settlements in Cyprus, the inhabitants moved inland, to positions that offered better protection. Therefore, according to the same researcher, the current village of Koroveia was founded since then and preserves the name of ancient Koroneia (so it should be written: Koroveia).

Machaironas or Mas'aironas

Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which does not exist today. On old maps (eg Abraham Ortelius, 1573, Jodocus Hondius, 1606), the settlement is marked as Machirona, in its northern coastal area Karpasia but not exactly on the coast, near and east of the village Ialussa (=Gialousa). This village is also mentioned by the visitor to Cyprus, Richard Pocock, who had come to Cyprus in 1738: "... On the 14th of the month we arrived at a ruined village called Mashargona; there is a tradition in the area that a certain king lived here in Antiquity. A little later we arrived at a small cape on which there is a ruined church dedicated to Saint Marina…. (see: A. Pavlidis, "Cyprus Through the Centuries through the writings of its foreign visitors", volume 2, 1994, p. 742). The village was therefore already in ruins during the first half of the 18th century. However, his name exists, as a toponym today, in that area where, until at least the middle of the 20th century, there were stables and farms (N. Kyriazis, The Villages of Cyprus, 1952, p. 123). The local tradition that Pocock mentions about a "king" who was related to this village, obviously would have come either because of the antiquities that existed in the area, or because of the existence of a feudal lord and local lord there during the Middle Ages. However, Machaironas or Mas'iaironas does not seem to have had an important settlement, although it had in its area a small natural harbor (probably an anchorage) which was actually called Nisin - because of a rock extending into the sea that resembled an island. N. Kyriazis (ibid.) mentions that there was also a jetty made of large stones that were fixed by connecting them together, made of lead, but the lead was removed. Unfortunately there is no information as to the era in which this arm was created. Since the area has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974, archaeological research is impossible.


Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which does not exist today. It was in her province Famagusta, to its northwest city ​​of Famagusta and near and west of the village Saint Sergius. On old maps of Cyprus (such as that of Abraham Ortelius of 1573) the settlement is marked as Palicori, to the west of S. Serio (= Saint Sergius), and between them is marked a series of arches of the aqueduct of ancient Salamis/Constantia, whose the water supply was from the Kefalovryso of Kythrea. In the same area as Palaichori, there are other medieval settlements that do not exist today, such as S. Papo (= Agios Pappos), Colos (= Kolossi), Salari (= Salari?), Gilida. The village of Melia is also marked to the northwest of Palicori. In the area of ​​the village of Milia there is a location called Paliohorin, which probably preserves the name of the old settlement. Palaichori is also found in the list of the settlements of Cyprus during the Frankish period contained in the well-known manuscript Lemonida (where it is also mentioned as Palicori). The 16th century historian Florios Voustronios mentions Palaichori (writing it as Pagliochori) as a fiefdom during the Frankish period. He mentions specifically that during the redistribution of the fiefs carried out by the king of Cyprus James II after his accession to the throne in 1460, Palaichori was given to an official, John Aragon, who also took two other villages, Aloa and Palealoa. On old maps of Cyprus (eg map of Abraham Ortelius, 1573) the village is marked in the province of Famagusta, west of the village of Agios Sergios. This settlement should have been dissolved during the period of the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus.


The Paradise it was located north of the village Lakes of the province Famagusta, not far from the sea area of ​​the bay of Famagusta. On old maps the settlement is marked as Paradise. Today it exists only as a toponym. The settlement appears to be from Byzantine times, which during the Frankish period was a fiefdom, originally owned by the royal family. It is mentioned that in 1197 Queen Ehivi (of the Iveline family), wife of the first Lusignian king of Cyprus Amalrich, was present in Paradisi, together with her children; at that time she had been kidnapped by the Greek rebel and corsair Kanakis. Therefore we can consider that there was a royal mansion in Paradise. de Mas Latry mentions the settlement (Le Paradis) as a manor which belonged, at the beginning of the 14th century, to Jean de Brie. The historian Floris Boustronios (16th century) repeatedly mentions Paradisi as the property (fiefdom) of the noble John de Bri during the first decade of the 14th century. He calls this nobleman "lord of Paradise" (signor de Paradisi). Further east, and closer to the sea, there is a ruined chapel dedicated to Panagia Paradisiotissa. G. Jeffery (1918) speculates that the royal palace may have stood on the site of this chapel, which had been built with material from nearby ancient Salamis. Paradeisi seems to have survived as a settlement during the period of the Turkish occupation. It was completely abandoned at the end of the 19th century.

Golden green

Site and possibly settlement of Medieval Cyprus, somewhere near Famagusta. It is not marked on the old maps and the only reference we have to the location is from the 16th century Cypriot chronicler-historian Florios Boustronios as well as the 16th century Italian Cypriot scholar Franciscus Amati, editor of a Chronicle of Cyprus, largely based on the earlier work of Leontios Machiras . Boustronios and Amati refer (in Italian) to the site as Chrusso Prassini, in fact in relation to the first information we have about the use of the cannon in Cyprus. Specifically, during 1404-1406, when the then king of Cyprus Janos was besieging Famagusta which had been occupied by the Genoese for a long time (since 1373). The Genoese, defending themselves, had brought to Famagusta from Venice a large cannon (or cannons) which significantly strengthened their defense, Leontios Macheiras tells us (par. 635). Indeed, in 1406, when Janos lifted the siege, the Genoese attacked Limassol, where they again used a cannon, adds Macheiras. Florius Boustronius adds (as does Amati), that King Janus had then brought a cannon (or cannons) from Venice also, and was beating Famagusta, a large part of whose walls were destroyed, to the site Golden green. It follows, therefore, that Golden green it was a location very close to Famagusta, and the walls of the city reached it. If it was a settlement, it should have been outside but also very close to walls of Famagusta. We do not know exactly where this location was. However, the name (Golden Green) is very characteristic and fits the area south of Famagusta. This area, known in 1570 as the Gardens, was the one in which, after 1571, the new Famagusta (Varosin), outside the walls, developed. The extensive and beautiful gardens that existed there made the area green and reached to the extensive golden sand of the coast. So Chrysoprasini must have been the location where the green of the gardens met the gold of the coast. The extensive gardens (and any settlement) were completely destroyed and everything was razed by the Venetians in 1570, a great distance around the city, on the eve of the Ottoman invasion, as Angelo Gatto testifies. The reason was that the Ottomans would not find anything useful for them when they besieged the city. So if there was a settlement there, then it would be completely destroyed and every trace of it would disappear. In the entire report by Boustroniou and Amati about the fact of the first use of cannons in Cyprus, at the beginning of the 15th century, the attitude of Venice is very characteristic, which - as is often the case with those who trade weapons - hastened to sell cannons to both rivals in Cyprus, to the Genoese and also to King Ianos.


Medieval settlement that no longer exists. It was located to the south of the current village Achna and between villages Xylotympou and Avgorou. Today the name of this old settlement is its toponym Achna village. A church dedicated to the Virgin of Tras'ia (or Trachia) is preserved in the area. Her settlement Road (Tracheal, because it was located in an area of ​​rough land) is marked on medieval maps and is also found in other medieval sources as Tracha as well as as Trachiala (= Trachea). According to ecclesiastical sources and tradition, Trasia existed since Roman times and is related to the local saint Constantine, one of the 300 "Alamite" saints of Cyprus, who according to Leontios Machiras had lived as an ascetic near the village of Ormidia. This saint is said to have taken refuge, together with three of his companions, in a place called Tracheia, from where they set out preaching Christianity in the surrounding area. It is unknown when Saint Constantine flourished, however, tradition says that he was martyred, after being tortured by the ruler of Cyprus Savinus, which means that he had lived during the early Christian years (Roman era). The Tracheia to which he fled was then, probably, a deserted place. In the sequence of St. Constantine, the location is referred to as Trachiada (...the so-called trachia came into being...), a name that agrees with the medieval Trachiala. According to N. G. Kyriazis (The villages of Cyprus, 1952, p. 177), Tras'ia was destroyed either by an earthquake, or by corsairs, or was abandoned during the Arab raids, when the inhabitants of Cyprus had moved to Kyziko. He adds, in fact, that the Thrasians, returning to their homeland, had drowned in a storm. But these cannot be proved. On the contrary, the settlement seems to have survived for a long time, since it is even noted as Trachiala on the map of A. Ortelius of 1573. Thus, we should probably accept that it was destroyed during the Turkish occupation. It is worth noting here that in Cyprus the areas that are strewn with stones from the ruins of old and ancient settlements are called Tras'ies.


Medieval settlement of Cyprus, which no longer exists. It was located in the area of ​​today's village Acheritou, in the plain of Mesaoria, west of the city of Famagusta. On old maps (e.g. map of A. Ortelius, 1573) the settlement is marked with the name Trapeze. This settlement, which seems to have been founded since the Byzantine years, was favored by its proximity to Famagusta during the great prosperity of this city, in the 13th and 14th centuries. When Famagusta was captured by the Genoese in 1373, the Bank continued to be the property of the royal house of Cyprus. After its destruction by the Mamluks of Egypt in August 1425 (an event reported by the chronicler Leontios Macheiras), the Bank managed to survive and flourish again. Besides, the surviving church of Panagia tis Banka (or Panagia Trapezitissa), had been radically renovated and even expanded in 1563, according to a relevant inscription on the church itself. Also, the Bank is mentioned as a settlement in two manuscripts from the Venetian period, the Cyprus Museum manuscript and the Lemonidas manuscript. So, the settlement also existed during the Venetian period, well after its destruction by the Mamluks in 1425. The Bank is also mentioned by the chronicler Georgios Voustronios (Diegisis, par. 61), writing that in March 1461 the king of Cyprus James II appointed Petro de Naves as commander of the Bank. It was about the case where James II conducted an operation to capture Famagusta, which was occupied by the Genoese. de Mas Latrie mentions the Bank, which he lists among the fiefs belonging to the king of Cyprus. Besides, the Bank is also mentioned by Florios Voustronios (16th century) in his Chronicle, giving the names Trapesa and Trapeza, as two leagues away from Famagusta. The destruction of this settlement may have happened in 1570-1571, when the city of Famagusta was besieged by the Ottomans, but it may have happened a little later. However, again the Bank was either re-inhabited later, or continued to exist but with a few more inhabitants and largely in ruins. Various visitors testify about this. One of the last who testifies to the existence of (still) a few inhabitants in the Bank, is Abbot Giovanni Maritti, shortly after the middle of the 18th century. Features include:

...Further, to the west, there is the large village of Trapezi. Its ruins mark the site of a great city, and the Greek with whom I was traveling assured me that a city once existed there. But the history of the island in the 16th century mentions a village there and makes no mention of any earlier town. There are two churches, one partially decorated with different kinds of marble and with a propylaion supported by some marble columns. There are only a few inhabitants and the village seems to be just a refuge for the shepherds and their flocks that graze in the surrounding plains... (A. Pavlidis, Cyprus Through the Ages..., volume II, 1994, pp. .862-863). So we have the testimony of Giovanni Maritti that, around 1760, the Bank was almost completely in ruins and only occasionally used by shepherds. Besides, the German archaeologist Dr. Ludwig Ross, who visited Cyprus in 1848, mentions the settlement as completely destroyed and mentions the existence of two ruined churches. Today one of them is preserved. Nearchos Clerides, unknown from where he derives, writes that the Bank was known for its 72 taverns in total, and that it was finally dissolved in 1707.

G. Jeffery (Historic Monuments of Cyprus, 1918, p. 200), also mentions the existence of ruins of the settlement, and two ruined churches. One of them is dedicated to Panagia, who bears here the epithet Trapeziotissa, and is known as the church of Panagia tis Banka. The second was dedicated to Holy Friday. The area was later a farmstead, today it is not the toponym of the village of Acheritou, occupied by the Turks since 1974. The Bank probably got its name from the morphology of its terrain, where a low plateau resembles a table. Similar toponyms exist in various parts of Cyprus (near Kyrenia, Kivides, Pissouri, Davlos, Limnia etc.) It is also possible that the name existed since ancient times. Ancient Greek settlements with this name existed in the Peloponnese, in Asia Minor and elsewhere.

Famagusta.News / With information from Polygnosis