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Pegeia of Yesterday

Pegeia Through History

The village and the wider area of Pegeia has a long tradition. Undoubtedly, full of history as it is located in one of the most ancient sites in Cyprus, the old Akamantida. Recent archaeological excavations have shown that the first Achaean, who arrived in Cyprus, landed in the Coral Bay area and south of the Lemba area. It is estimated that the west coast of the area was first inhabited during the Chalcolithic period around 4.000 BC. The first ships of the Achaeans settlers arrived in the Maa region and founded one of the first colonies in the old castle (Palaiokastro).

In the same area as a memory of this event it was founded the first museum in Cyprus of Mycenaean Colonization. Aptly can be said that this space is deeply an important part of Cypriot history as here the Hellenization of Cyprus began.

In addition, archaeological excavations brought to light many of the treasures hidden beneath the guard of the Pegeia land. A place of worship with hundreds of figurines which found by accident, somehow bridging the gap between the Bronze Age and its rich Roman and Byzantine period which succeeded the Hellenistic obvious effect on the Ptolemaic successors of Alexander. These rich archaeological remains found in the Tombs of Meletis in the woods of Pegeia.

The most important Byzantine site in Cyprus is in an amazing location of St. George of Pegeia, where ships from Constantinople stopped to refuel on their way to the Byzantine capital. Three early Christian basilicas with mosaic floors and other important archaeological remains have been brought to light until nowadays, while investigations continue. It seems that there was a small town, unknown which one, which had flourished during the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine years. The city was probably destroyed and abandoned during the Arab invasions (7th - 10th centuries)

Located across from the chapel of St. George is etched in the reddish background of the sunset, the silhouette of the island named Geronisos. This is the holy island of Apollo and was first inhabited during the Chalcolithic period.

Regarding the establishment of the village Pegeia this dates back to the Venetian ages. In prior years, the village was located in Zalatzia area. Later, some shepherds settled in a cave in the Vrisi ton Pegeiotisson.

The Vrisi ton Pegeiotisson is an attraction that is a benchmark of Pegeia. This Fountain was built in 1907, presumably to replace an older, from the builder Achilleas Constantinou. Then, its operation has been ambiguous because until 1956 it was the main source of drinking water of the community. The fountain was a source of life for the village and it was suffering from drought. So the settlement was formed and grew around the life-giving fountain. Every day, the young women gathered at the springs to collect water, but also to secretly meet their loved ones.
The well-known song of The Vrisi ton Pegeiotisson is the brainchild of a great love. This song saw the light of publicity through the columns of the newspaper << Paphos >> in 1938 by the then director of the Elementary school Stavros Stavrou from Chloraka. Later its music was written by the cantor Theodoulos Kallinikos. The song became known to the general public and it is sung until today.

The Fountain of Pegeia
Is with its arches,
Where all the young women
Drink and collect water

The Fountain of Pegeia
With its spring of water
Who has a pain in the heart
He can heal it by drinking from it

Pegeia is a good village
But it’s full of carob trees
Its girls are beautiful
And rosy-cheeked

Over there’s the church
And below here’s the fountain
Pegeia, my beautiful village
Who can bear to leave you?

The love of the residents for the Vrisi ton Pegeiotisson remained intact even when they began to purchase water from other, more distant sources. The irrigation project of Paphos solved the acute problem of drought since the large areas of the plain of Pegeia began to quench their thirst after the big water project in Paphos. However, the fountain is a monument to the present, flawless and untouched by the scars of years. Indeed, it made Pegeia famous everywhere and gave the place such status so that residents and visitors to identify themselves with the monument.

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