The “Motides” village was the smallest of the surrounding villages yet the closest one to the town of Karavas.

There are no reliable records regarding the origin of the village’s name. Some people believe that the village took its name from the Italian word “Monte” which means mountain, because the village itself was built between two hills. Others think that the village took its name from the small pottery workshop situated in the western part of the village in which the craftsmen used to make the famous “Mpotides” vessels used to store drinking water.

Nearchos Klerides, in his book “Villages and Cities of Cyprus” claims that the name of the village comes from the name of the village’s first immigrants called “Motides”. Their name was associated with their occupation. Their job was to visit the acres and lands of the farmers and determine the amount of products they would take for taxation purposes. It is well-known that during the years of the Turkish rule, for every product they owned, farmers used to pay 1/10 of their harvest to the government as tax payment. This was compulsory for all the main products produced by the villagers. The village “Motides” was therefore inhabited by these property surveyors which people used to call “Kastellanoi” or “Tatsiarides”.

The village might have been a “tsifliki”(estate) in the past which belonged to a wealthy individual. This speculation is reinforced by the fact that there is a half-ruined big house with big rooms and arches in the village. Inside some of these rooms, there were large food containers in which the owners of the house kept olive oil.

In the ancient years, there used to be an oil mill in the village but it seized working at the end of the 19th Century.

The main products of the village were olives, lemons and almonds. Lemon cultivation increased and grew a few years before the Turkish Invasion.

The village belonged to the commune of Saint Georgios in Karavas. Children used to attend the Primary School of Paliosofos or the Primary Schools of Karavas.

The area developed substantially during the years before the Turkish Invasion and new and modern houses were built. Several foreigners who visited the village and loved the beauties of the area bought properties in the village and built lodges.

Before the Turkish Invasion, the village had 50 inhabitants.

During the Turkish Invasion, from July 20 to August 6, 1974, the village served as the headquarters for the fighters who defended the town of Karavas. This group of fighters, under the instructions of Yiannis Kitsios, remained in its position and fought off the Turkish invaders.

Kyriakos Giannakou.


Paliosophos is on the northern side of Pentadaktylos, at an altitude of 210 metres. It is one of the four small villages near Karavas and is just 2.5 km away from it.


There is no historical data as to when the village was established. However, it is believed that the first inhabitants of the village were from Lapithos-Lambousa, when in the 7th century (653/4) it was surrounded by the Arabs and the inhabitants were forced to abandon the town. The inhabitants of the destroyed town of Lambousa fled to the slopes of Pentadaktylos in order to protect themselves from the continuous invasions, and formed today’s Lapithos, Karavas, Motides, Elia, Fterycha and Paliosophos.


Paliosophos, as the other villages of the area, excluding Lapithos, do not appear in medieval sources. The name of the village appears for the first time in the years of Turkish occupation.

There are no records on the name of the village, which is quite strange. Paliosophos – Palaiosophos – Palaios (ancient) sophos (wise). But who this wise man is and when he became connected to the area, we do not know.

Of course, if we look back to the years of the Frankish occupation, we know that a wise scholar named Georgios Lapithis used to live in the Lapithos-Karavas area. Indeed Georgios Lapithis was a Greek Cypriot who lived during the first half of the 14th century. He held a senior position in society and had knowledge of Greek and Western wisdom.

In Cyprus during that time, the Lousignan house reigned and the king was Ougos IV. Georgios Lapithis was a friend of the rulers of the Lousignan royal house and a supporter of theirs. History has it that Ougos IV (1324-1358) studied continuously, loved philosophy, and often withdrew himself to his manors in Lapithos and Ayios Ilarionas, to meet with wise Georgios Lapithis, with whom they discussed various philosophical issues.

It is possible that the truth regarding the name of Paliosophos lies in this anecdotal evidence. Because for Georgios Lapithis to travel from Lapithos to Ayios Ilarionas, he had to pass through Paliosophos. There, he would probably sit at the village’s spring to rest after his long and uphill path, would drink the cool water of the spring and continue his travel to Ayios Ilarionas, rested. It may also be that at the village’s spring, under the shady plane trees and the coolness of the waterfall, wise Georgios Lapithis would talk to the villagers about morals, as well as practical rules of political, social and family upbringing.

Morphology of the terrain – Vegetation

The morphology of the terrain in almost the entirety of the village’s area is uneven with narrow and deep valleys and crevices, the sides of which are steep. Springs run through many of these valleys, originating from Pentadaktylos. The terrain has a great variety of strata. The altitude increases from the village to the south and in the Gomatistra area, southern borders of the village, reaching 731 metres.

The wild olive and carob trees, , pine trees, cypress trees, and the plant “spalathkies” comprised, among other plants, the dense wild vegetation that covered the surrounding hills and reached the borders of the dense pine forest of Pentadaktylos, at the south of the village.

The arable land of the village was restricted, and before the Turkish invasion, the inhabitants cultivated lemons, olives, almonds and carob. There were also many berry

bushes, which indicated the breeding of silkworms in the past and recent years.

Farming was also restricted due to the morphology of the terrain.

General information

The inhabitants of the village were quiet, progressive, and hard-working. Most of them were obliged to travel to Karavas, Kyrenia or even Nicosia on a daily basis for work, and would return in the evening. This commuting was exhausting as there was no regular communication from Karavas to the village and thus, they had to walk. For this reason, many of the inhabitants abandoned the village and moved to Nicosia, Karavas or Kyrenia. This gradual abandonment of the village did not allow it to increase in population. Thus, the population of the village from 1910 until the Turkish invasion was around 150 inhabitants only. Rosa, the mother of Iacovos Patatsos, hero of the 1955-59 EOKA struggle was from our village. His father was from Karavas. During the last years before the Turkish invasion, none of the inhabitants abandoned the village. On the contrary, many Cypriots from Nicosia and foreigners bought old houses in the village and renovated them to use as holiday homes or bought land and built houses.

Due to the active inhabitants of the village, there were many amenities such as electricity, telecommunications, asphalt roads and water supply in the village from quite early.

The village’s church was dedicated to Saint Paraskevi, whose name day is on July 26. A hoard of believers arrived from surrounding villages on this day, to attend the liturgy and honour the memory of the Saint. The impressive iconostasis of the church bore the date 1857 or 1851, which means that the church had been built around that time. The church’s priest was Papa-Aristotelis from Karavas, who performed the liturgy in rotation at the churches of Fterycha and Elia.

The village had its own primary school, which was also attended by most children from Motides. The teachers that taught at the village came mainly from the Kyrenia district and with great zeal transferred their knowledge to the young children of the primary school. We thank them all. Allow me to especially mention my teachers Savvas Xanthos (deceased) and Eftyhios Yioutanis from Karavas. They used to come to Paliosophos from Karavas either by bicycle or on foot to teach us our first lessons and enlighten us. The exhaustion of traveling did not weaken them them. On the contrary, it armed them with patience, courage, and a strong work ethic, and with the interest they showed in us they managed to give us the foundations for our further education. I hope Savvas Xanthos shall eternally remain in our memory. To Mr. Yioutanis I wish every success in his wishes and endeavours. After graduating from the village’s primary school most children studied at the Lapithos Greek Gymnasium.

The village’s spring and waterfall were its most important sights. They were at the east of the village, on the road leading to the village of  Fterycha. There, on a bend in the road, some 500 metres from the village, on the right, you could see a panoramic view. There was a narrow and quite high crevice. On the right and left were sharp rocks. At the foot of one rock there was a spring with cool water. This water was used by the village inhabitants in earlier years as their water supply. Over the spring, from a height of about 15 metres, the water of a small brook originating in Pentadaktylos formed a small but unique waterfall. On the right and left of the water there were Mersin, laurel and other plants, whose roots hung in the air, becoming entangled amongst themselves, forming a net, which held the earth carried by the water and thus formed a hovering mass over which the waterfall water ran and then splashed into a small pond near the spring water. The site and spectacle were magical. Next to this was a river that was dry in the summer. This river originated from the mountain and in the winter, poured into the sea between Zephyros and Saint Antria. The small square of the spring was covered by tall plane trees that reached over the whole area with their dense foliage.

The whole picture was complemented by the happy chirping of birds playing in the foliage of the plane trees. Truly, how could anyone forget this beauty?

The water of the spring and the waterfall was transferred to a reservoir in the village by a concrete channel and from there to the orchards to water mainly the lemon trees.

Today the village’s inhabitants live mainly in Nicosia and Limassol. We live with the hope of returning to our small, beautiful village, drenched in shades of green, olive, pine, carob and cypress tree green. Our village that is full of fresh air, tranquility, light and life!

Today our village is not called Paliosophos. The Turks, in an effort to eradicate all Greek names in the occupied areas of Cyprus, renamed it to Malatya and later to Sofular.

We wish and hope that we will soon return to our occupied village, Paliosophos.

Nikos K. Christodoulou – Kokotas

The village of Ftericha is located on the hillside of Pentadactylos, 3 kilometres away from the beach of coast of Karavas. More specifically, it’s built at the periphery of a hill full of pine trees. The hill was known as “the mount of Kouseini”. It is not surprising that the hill has a Turkish name since during the Turkish rule, the neighbouring village “Elia” was a tsifliki (estate) under the Turkish occupation.

Ftericha is a village whose colour palette most consists of the silver colours of olives and the green colours of lemon trees, locusts and cypresses. Each year, in January the blooming almond trees gave a festive, dreamlike touch to the scenery which attracted many tourists from Cyprus and abroad. There were about 30 houses in the village and a church dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul. The church was built in the 1930’s and so was the school of the village. The church’s celebration was held on the 29th of June each year and pilgrims from the neighbouring villages visited the church to pray to the two Apostles. For many years, the priest of the church was Papa-Aristotelis. He was also the priest of the Church of Saint Nicolas in Elia and the Church of Saint Paraskevi in Paliosofos. During the religious celebrations of Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter etc, the citizens of all the three villages, around 300, gathered at the church where the liturgy was performed.

Next to the church was the single-classroom-school of Ftericha. The teachers who taught at the school (in chronological order) were: Kipros Proestos, Kostas Tsirtsipis, Georgios Georgiades, Kostas Papadimitriou, Gregory Orphanides, Lakis Tsaggarides, Nikos Dramiotis, Ionannis Menelaou and Stelios Panagides. Due to the small number of students, the school was forced to shut down and students had to attend the schools of Karavas.

A few years before the Turkish Invasion, several foreigners and people from Nicosia built lodges in the village of Ftericha. The manor of the Englishman Lee Rodger was the one that stood out. There, the Turkish troops gathered all the villagers and foreigners who resorted to the village during the first day of the Turkish Invasion on July 20, 1974.

During the summer of 1974, there were only 20 families in the village. Most inhabitants were senior citizens since their children had got married and had moved to other parts of the island. Even though the village had electricity, telephone cabling and cemented roads, the transport system was a major disadvantage of the village because it was not developed, and people had to walk great distances.

During the Turkish revolt (1963), the Turks took over the area just above the village Ftericha and raised their flag on the hill, called “Kourtella’’. A group of men from the village of Ftericha took part in the Mission on Pentactylos in 1964 in order to force the Turks to a retreat.

Today the residents of Ftericha are scattered in various communities in the government-controlled parts of Cyprus. Some of the elderly have died to the misery of being a refugee without being able to see their homes and their village again. The rest of us live with the pain of missing loved ones (four residents are missing persons) and the nostalgia of our small but beautiful village, which remains an open wound in us.

Today the village is called Ilkaz. The Turks changed the village’s name after the Invasion.

We wait and hope that the day of our return will come, as injustice cannot last forever. And know that it will be a day when the almond trees will be in full bloom.

Christakis Psomas