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History

Agios Constantinos, a beautiful village of the Lemesos District, 
is built on the south slope of mount “Papoutsa” and on an altitude of 767 metres, something which makes the view simply breathtaking.

It is a village which is embraced by wild vegetation, a scenery dominated by shrubs such as ladanum and spiny broom, as well as by some pine trees. Also distinguished are the vineyards which produce grapes mainly used for the production of the fine local traditional red wine of “commandaria”.

Historical Background   

The historical course of the village of Agios Constantinos is of great interest. So, let’s get to know the village’s history better through data based on the “Historical Retrospect from past until present”*, by Dean Savvas Moullotos, as well as on the “Brief historical retrospect” by Panikos D. Christophides.

The wider region of Agios Constantinos, as the remains of housings reveal, appears to have been inhabited since the very old years. These first housings were built north of the present village and in particular at the locations “Tsinties, Larmarka and Kleionerata. The residents of these housings dealt with cultivations of vineyards and the extraction of copper. In fact, there are remains of copper in fiery furnaces at the location “Fountana” or “Fontana”, whereas an aqueduct of the Roman period was discovered at the location “Miliari”. The clay pipes of the aqueduct started from the springs at “Vrisatzi” and ended at the location “Miliari”. 

Agios Constantinos experiences great prosperity during the byzantine years. In particular, the prosperous period lasted from the time of Constantinos the Great until the occupation of Cyprus, firstly by Richard the Lionheart and afterwards by Guy de Lusignan.

It must be mentioned that during the period of the Arabic raids, meaning the time between the early byzantine and the main byzantine period, the residents of the first housings moved closer to the present position of the village to be safer. Panikos D. Christophides explains that “the invasions of the Arabs contributed to a denser inhabitation of the area at the location where the village is built today, meaning the location “Miliaris” where there were caves for the people to hide in and save themselves, the location “Viklas” and at the housing of “Latzeri” on the foothill of the location “aetofolia (eagles’ nest)”.

In the years to follow, from 1191 until 1313, the village was a fief which was administered by the Knight Templar. Later on, Pope Clement IV, after a request was submitted by the residents, ordered the suspension of authority from the Knights, whereas 47 villages were turned over to the Knights Hospitaller. According to the administrative segregation of the Knights Hospitaller, Agios Constantinos was one of the villages that belonged to the Great Command.

Also noteworthy are references to Agios Constantinos included both in formal reports during the first years of the Venetian occupation and in a French text of 1573 written by Stefan Lousignan. In particular, in both cases the village is mentioned as one of the biggest villages of Cyprus. Archimandrite Kyprianos adds, as Dean Savvas Moullotos preserves, that in the Lousignan period the village was one “of the biggest and most highly populated villages of Cyprus”.

After 1571, when the Turks occupied the island, the village belonged to the district of Lemesos. The consequences of the Turkish occupation included slaughter, plunder and destructions around the entire island. Our village also suffered severe damages which caused the shrinking of the community at its current position, whereas the number of residents decreased significantly as it is mentioned below. Even today, one can find indications of the destruction, and in particular ruins of several houses located in the area from which the conquerors went through.   

During the British occupation, the village began to “experience prosperity” and at the same time the number of residents increased. At this time some important projects were completed, which included the construction of several irrigation works, among them being the building of 10 water tanks. Additionally, new houses were built at the village’s present location. Generally, a rise in the standard of living is observed during this period.  

The contribution of the village to the liberating fight of EOKA against the British colonization as well as to the rest of the fights of Cyprus was important. Panikos D. Christophides distinctively writes: “The people of Agios Constantinos actively participated in the fights of their country”. 

Population - Professions

Year Population
1881 80
1891 116
1901 113
1911 113
1921 150
1931 155
1946 208
1960 250
1973 272
1982 225
1992 191
2001 164

 The populating course of Agios Constantinos presents particular interest. During the Venetian occupation, Agios Constantinos was one of the biggest villages of Cyprus with approximately 1000 households. In the “Chronological History of the Island of Cyprus”, Archimandrite Kyprianos refers to Agios Constantinos as one of the “populous” villages. In 1571, when the Turks occupied the island, they plundered several parts of the island including Agios Constantinos. Dean Savvas Moullotou distinctively writes: “according to the evidence we have found, the village almost became extinct during this dark period and it started to shrink at a location above the present village since out of the 1000 households of 1580, the population decreased to a minimum of 50 residents in 1825”. From 1881 until 1973, as the table above shows, the number of residents constantly increased. However, as of 1973, the population has been decreasing gradually.     

Naming
According to tradition, the name of the village, Agios Constantinos, appears to have existed ever since the Byzantine years. Actually, apart from the naming Agios Constantinos, the village is also referred in older sources, as Dean Savvas Moullotou preserves, as “Haios Constantinos and San Constantinos”.

Churches
At the village of Agios Constantinos, apart from the imposing new church of Agios Constantinos, stands as older 18th century church also dedicated to Agios Constantinos. Moreover, there is the chapel of Panagia Eleousa, as well as the ruins of the chapel of Agios Georgios. In the past, there were more churches in the village, which are unfortunately not preserved today. These churches were dedicated to Apostle Lukas, to Agia Eirini, to Agios Nikolaos and to Archangel Michael.  

Sources:
Giorgos Karouzis, Reading Through Cyprus, Lemesos, City and District, Lefkosia 2001
Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, vol.1 
Dean Savvas Moullotos, Holy Church of Saints Constantinos and Eleni, published by the Holy Bishopric of Lemesos, May 2008

Agios Constantinos Community Council 
Panikos D. Christophides, “Agios Constantinos of Lemesos, A Brief historical retrospect”

 
 
 January 2018

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CONTACT US
 
COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF AGIOS KONSTANTINOS
Megalou Constantinou 27
4561, Lemesos
Tel: 25542410, 99630508, 99586532
Fax: 25542210
E-mail: info@agioskonstantinos.org
 
 
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