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History

Built on an altitude of approximately 900 metres, Lazanias is one of the most picturesque villages of the Nicosia District. In the northwest it neighbors with the village of Gourri, while in the southwest with the village of Farmakas.  

The preservation of its beauty through time proves that it is a “blessed” place which is protected by Virgin Mary and the Monastery of Machairas.  

Strolling along the narrow spiral alleys which constitute an integral feature of our island, visitors can travel back in time. Adobe made houses with tiled roofs and balconies supported by wooden posts, carved windows and doors compose the majestic image of Lazanias.  

Also imposing and significant from an archaeological perspective is the church of Agios Georgios, which is dated back to the 19th century and constitutes one of the most important reasons why somebody should visit Lazanias. The multicolored décor of the wooden roof mesmerizes the visitor in the same way it did with the British researchers Jeffrey and Gunnies, who were impressed by the interior of the church. More: Churches    

Historical Information – Naming

According to researchers, the history of the village is dated back to the Late Byzantine times and it is linked to the establishment of the Holy Monastery of Machairas which is dated back to 1160 A.D. According to research, the residents of the areas where the village is built today used to live in other smaller housings which united after an initiative was taken by two monks of the Monastery of Machairas. Lazanias, along with other villages in the area, were conceded to the Monastery of Machairas as privileges during the Komnenus Dynasty. However, during the Frankish occupation these privileges were repealed and the villages became the property of Frankish Feudal Lords. The Frankish Family of the Lusignan appears to have named the village, which was their fief, after their family name. In particular, the name Lazanias derives from the name Lusignan, which refers to the Frankish Royal Family of the De Lusignan. The initial viewpoint of the researchers was that the village was a fief of the De Lusignan family who named the village after them. However, some claim that the name is not linked to the Frankish Royal Family since it is not included in the Frankish Fiefs list.   

Giorgos Karouzis remarks in his book that the “first settler who obviously named the village as well settled in the village by creating a fief with the locals who worked in it” (p.331-332). 

Finally, some researchers believe that the village is dated back to sometime between the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 19th century, and this is based on the traditional architectural structure of the village’s housings.

Population – Development

From 1901 until 1946, Lazanias presented a slight gradual population increase, reaching a peak in 1946 with 175 residents. However, from 1960 onwards, one would say that the trend was downward. As the Great Cyprus Encyclopedia underlines, during the official census of 1982 a significant 59.5% of the houses were uninhabited. Finally, according to the census of 2011, only 33 residents were recorded in the village, while the Community Council informs that today only 7 people still live in Lazanias.

Despite everything, in the past years the village has been back on a developing course. Its very few residents strive to keep the village alive and so far they have succeeded. The Community Council constantly plans new projects such as the Folk Art Museum which is expected to operate soon. At the same time, houses are being renovated and guest houses are being built so that they can attract visitors.

When you do decide to visit Lazanias don’t fail to buy traditional products produced by its few residents, including the well-known dried fruit, as well as their quince pie.

Now let’s take a look at the village’s populating course. 

YEAR NUMBER OF RESIDENTS Year NUMBER OF RESIDENTS Year NUMBER OF RESIDENTS
1881 82 1921 141 1973 91
1891 80 1931 152 1976 45
1901 118 1946 175 1982 43
1911 143 1960 101 2001 33

Source:

  • Giorgos Karouzis, Strolling Around Cyprus, Nicosia, City and District, 2002
  • Great Cyprus Encyclopedia, vol.8, Philokypros Publications, Nicosia 1986

Lazanias Community Council 

 
 
 August 2020

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CONTACT US
 
COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF LAZANIAS

2618, Lazanias Lefkosia
Tel: 99464426
Fax: 22632770
Εmail:  lazaniascommunity
@primehome.com
 
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