Heritage

A brief history of Arodez/Arodhes in Paphos/Baf, Cyprus By Ismail Veli

By Ismail Veli

Arodhes/Arodez was a double village called upper and Lower (asagi.Kado/Yukari/Pano) the upper part being Christian, the lower the Moslem area.

The medieval name of the village was called Rhodes from the fact that the area was the property of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem whose headquarters were until 1522 the island of Arodes_church imageRhodes. Therefore people would refer to the area and Knights as ”I Rhodeyi/ the Rhodian’s”. The Christian sector had a Church by the name of St Kelandion and a stone sarcophagus named St Agapiticos. The companion to this is the sarcophagus of St Misiticos. The village legend was that those who wished to win the love of a person came secretly at night and chipped off a fragment of the sarcophagus of St Agapiticos. The fragment would be ground to a powder and sprinkled into the loved ones drink which would immediately have the effect of loving the person who sprinkled the powder in their drink. Strangely should a person desire to quarrel with another then they would use the same process but from a fragment of the sarcophagus of St Misiticos, strangely this sarcophagus is much more worn which is then explained by the fact that many young people wished to change their lovers therefore they use this sarcophagus much more frequently.

The Moslem sector was inhabited soon after the 1570s but the village remained small. in 1643 it only had about 150 inhabitants of which only a very small Arodez scenes 2 smlnumber were Moslems. The 1831 census showed that the Muslims were in the majority with 54 Muslim males and 47 Christians. The census also lists a total of 43 households and 1126 donums of agricultural plus 25 donums of berry trees owned by Muslim families. Christian households were registered as numbering 29 with 598 donums of land for agriculture and 23 donums of berry trees plus 22 donums of vineyards. Only 4 sheep pens existed in the twin villages For some reason which I’m not sure about by 1878 there was a drastic shift and the village population which showed 449 were Christians and 102 Muslims. At the turn of the 1900s a mosque was built for the Muslim worshippers.

Like many villages in Cyprus the population of Pano Arodes has decreased in the past 30 years as the population has aged and younger residents move to towns for employment. Kato/Asagi Arodes on the other hand  was abandoned by its Turkish inhabitants and moved to the north of the island just after the 1974 conflict.

In 1995 an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale destroyed about 20 houses.

Sources :

Rupert Gunnis Historic Cyprus.
Cyprus 1542 Leonida Attar
Ottoman census 1831
British census 1878

4 replies »

  1. Thank you for the piece very informative as my father is from Arodes. The British take over of Cyprus may explain the decline of the Turkish Cypriots in 1878, just a thought.

  2. Thank you Ozgul. I’m glad you enjoyed the small article. I have to admit I’m a bit mystified as to what happened between 1831 and 1881, unfortunately I was unable to find anything on the subject. If I do I will share it

  3. My mother is from Arodes and my Father from nearby Tera. My Father has tried to trace back our family tree and my ancestor settled in Tera in about the 1820s and his Father was a Sergeant in the Ottoman army, probably a Janissary. Do you know of any where in Cyprus that would hold records dating back to this period? I will be in Cyprus in August.

  4. Akin if you visit the ”Milli Arşiv ve Araştırma Dairesi” in Girne/Kyrenia and ask for the
    ”1879 Osmanli nufus rekorları”, you should be able to find your family from the turn of 1800 to 1879. For an example of the information available just visit my website http://www.familiesofluricina.moonfruit.com and check for the ”Ottoman pages 1 and 2”. The only drawback if you find anything is that they will be in the Ottoman script, therefore you will need to have them translated. Good luck and please let Cyprusscene know how you get on.