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Geroskipou Village in Paphos

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Geroskipou village in Paphos

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Geroskipou Village Paphos
Geroskipou Square in Paphos Geroskipou Church in Paphos Geroskipou church plans 5 domed church in Geroskipou Paphos Geroskipou Geroskipou square fountain Geroskipou beach
Geroskipou Square Geroskipou church Church plans Geroskipou church Geroskipou Square Geroskipou fountain Geroskipou beach
Geroskipou basket shop Geroskipou Bread and Cake maker Cypriot Delight Savvas Pottery in Geroskipou Geroskipou Potter at work Geroskipou local beach Rikkos Geroskipou municipality beach
Basketware shop Geroskipou Baker Delight Makers Savvas Pottery Geroskipou Pottery Rikkos Beach Geroskipou beach
7 stGeorge church Geroskipou Geroskipou Sculpture Park Geroskipou beach Geroskipou Folk Museum 7 stGeorge Tavern Costas Tavern in Koloni village Geroskipou Geroskipou Culture Museum
7 Saint Georges church Geroskipou Park Geroskipou beach Folk Museum 7 st George Tavern Costa Tavern Geroskipou Museum

Geroskipou in Paphos
Geroskipou is a coastal town in Paphos, Cyprus, a few minutes car ride east of Paphos. Its current population is approximately 7,000 and it is the second largest municipality in the Paphos District. Yeroskipou, with its remarkable five-domed Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi, and its Folk Art Museum, is a popular tourist destination. It is known especially for the production of Turkish Delight or "lokum" (locally loukoumia or lukum). The town is the only place in the world which has protected geographical indication (PGI) for the popular dessert.

5 domed church Geroskipou  Agia Paraskevi Church:  The 5 domed church built in the form of a basilica with five cupolas placed in the shape of a cross, is one of the most important churches in Cyprus.

Folk Museum Geroskipou  Folk Art Museum:  Situated in Geroskipou, the 19 century traditional house of both architectural and historical importance, called The House of Hadjismith. It is stone built with rooms accessible through two paved courtyards and a covered terrace. On the upper floor there is a long room ('makrynari') and a verandah reached by an outside staircase. The two-storey museum building forms the nucleus of a larger complex which once comprised the mansion of Andreas Zimboulakis' family. This house was connected with the name of the British commodore and later admiral Sir Sidney Smith (1764-1840), famous for his success against Bonaparte at the siege of Acre in May 1799. Soon afterwards, Smith landed at Paphos and stayed at the house of Andreas Zimboulakis, an immigrant from the Ionian islands who had settled in Geroskipou, also spelt Yeroskipou. Their house was considered a mansion in those times and from 1800 to 1864 it served as the residence of the British Consular agents at Paphos. Smith appointed him British Consular agent at Paphos principally responsible for the provisioning of the British men-of-war that were patrolling the eastern Mediterranean. Since Sir Sidney Smith visited the house frequently, it came to be known as 'Smith's house' and, in honour of the British admiral, Zimboulakis' son, who succeeded his father as Consular agent in 1826, was named Smith Zimboulakis. Because of its architectural and historical importance, the 'House of Hadjismith' is one of the first buildings of Folk Architecture to have been declared 'Ancient Monument' by law. The Department of Antiquities acquired half of the house in 1947/48 and the other half in 1974. After systematic restoration the building was converted into a Folk Art Museum, which has been open to the public since 1978. A new room with a covered verandah in front was constructed to form the main entrance to the Museum. The spacious courtyard on this side has been laid out as a garden, which includes a water-raising wheel ('alakati') and an olive press. The collection of the Museum has been considerably enriched with embroideries, costumes, agricultural implements, a hand-turned cotton de-seeder, a weaving loom, silk, manufacture, rope-making and mule trappings. A smaller room opening onto the back yard houses the apparatus for processing hemp and flax and for the manufacture of rope. The machinery for the reeling of the silk, called anapinistiri has been installed in an outhouse in the yard of the Museum. In the spring months visitors have the opportunity to watch the silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves in a shadowy place and at a later stage the newly spun cocoons on branches of thyme.

History of Geroskipou

According to local tradition, and as is implied in the etymology of the town's name, Yeroskipou was the site, in Greek mythology, of goddess Aphrodite's sacred gardens. Hence its name "yeros" (holy) and "kipou" ( garden)  meaning
"holy garden".  Ancient pilgrims from Nea Paphos passed through Yeroskipou before reaching the temple of Aphrodite at Kouklia.

The Classical writer Strabo mentions Yeroskipou, calling the settlement Hieroskepis. Many other travellers have written that in the coastal plain of Yeroskipou there were centuries old olives and carob trees.

In the 11th century, the five-domed Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi was built in the middle of present-day settlement. It is also mentioned that at Moulia, a coastal locality of the town, the miraculous icon of Panagia of Khrysorogiatissa was found by the monk Ignatios, who carried it to Rogia mountain from where the monastery took its name.

In 1811 Sir Sidney visited Yeroskipou and met Andreas Zimboulakis, appointing him as a vice-consul of Britain. Zimboulaki, who was born in Kefalonia, settled in Yeroskipou and his duties as vice-consul were to protect the interests of Britain. The house of Zimboulaki where many personalities were hosted, was bought in 1947 by the Department of Antiquities, to be converted into Folk Art Museum.

In 1821, the village had 30 adult male Turkish Cypriots and 76 adult male Greek Cypriots. By 1911, the village had a population of 602, with 477 Greek and 125 Turkish Cypriots. In the next decades, the Greek Cypriot population grew rapidly while the Turkish Cypriot population declined: in 1931, there were 751 Greek Cypriots and 105 Turkish Cypriots. In 1960, the village had a population of 1722, with 1552 Greek and 170 Turkish Cypriots.

A British firm set up a factory for silk production in 1925. Hundreds of workers both from Yeroskipou and the surrounding villages were employed in it. However, the factory closed in 1952. It is also mentioned that at Yeroskipou there was also a linen-processing factory.


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