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Where is Kato Drys located?

Kato Drys is located in the South-west of the city of Larnaca. It borders with the villages of Pano Lefkara (4 km), Kato Lefkara (4 km), and Vavla (6 km).
It stands in the middle of three cities. The distance from Nicosia is 50 kilometres while from Larnaca and Limassol it is only 36 kilometres. It also stands at a distance of 25 kilometres from Governor's Beach.
It is built at an average altitude of 520 meters above sea level.
The hilly terrain of the village with its narrow, deep valleys is fragmented by the "Agios Minas" river.

The origin of its name and a general history.

There are two interpretations regarding how the village got its name. The first one says that the village took its name from the many "Dryes" (plural, means "oaks") that existed in it.

A second interpretation reports that -many years ago -there were two villages, Pano Drys and Kato Drys (Upper and Lower Drys), a large oak-tree standing between the two villages.

The village existed under the same name during the Frank domination era and it is found marked as Catodi. Some researchers believe it is possible that the village is identical with the one reported by Georgios Voustronios as "the village Kakotrygitis", which -along with the villages of Vavla, Kornokipos, Lympia, and Arsos of Mesaoria -had been given by the King of Cyprus Jacob II to the nobleman Maurizio di Constanzo when he became the Admiral of Cyprus. It is also reported that the village was granted to another nobleman, Fabricio Gentile, father of Gabriel Gentile, who was a doctor of the King of Cyprus, Jacob II (1460-1473), the village soon after returning to the King's estate -according to De Mas Latri.

The village's population.

The village's population in 1881 was 345, reaching 536 in 1946. After 1946, the urban pull started affecting the village and its population constantly decreased as a result. Today the village's population is 130 permanent inhabitants. In recent years the emigrants started to recondition their houses or to build new ones. Many locals are buying old houses and are restoring them. Kato Drys is slowly beginning to come to life again.

Occupations of the inhabitants.

The inhabitants are occupied with stockbreeding and agriculture only to a limited degree.

In the past three years great tracts of land in the village have been planted with various wine-making varieties of vines, offering occupation to many of the village's inhabitants.

There are plans for a modern winery in the near future.

Furthermore, several inhabitants are also occupied with the reconditioning and construction of buildings.

The famous embroideries of Lefkara are also made here in Kato Drys. 

Significant Figures from Kato Drys.

A very significant figure of Kato Drys is Saint Neofytos, born in Kato Drys in 1134. The house in which he was born is extant until today.

According to tradition, between Kato Drys and Lefkara there was another settlement under the name Apliki, which was abandoned by the end of the 18th century because of frequent landslides.

The parents of Saint Neofytos -always according to tradition -came from this village, however moving to and inhabiting in Kato Drys where the Saint was born.

The Saint's country church is located on a hill of the village, where repairing now takes place after a donation by Sister Anna.

Another great figure from the village is the dear departed Argyros Stakis, known as Reo Stakis, who also was Kato Drys's great benefactor.

Argyros Stakis was born in Kato Drys. He always aided the community whenever he was asked to do so.

The greatest projects done by the dear departed Argyros Stakis were the transfer of water to the village's house and others.

The last project before he closed his eyes was the raising of the Community Buildings and the "Stakio" Health Centre in 2000.

The village's churches.

The Old Church of the village is dedicated to "Panagia I Eleousa" (16th century, "Virgin Mary the Almsgiving") and it was renovated by the Antiquities Department . Pieces of frescoes are found extant in it. The village's big church is dedicated to Saint Charalambos and was constructed in 1897. Saint Charalambos is the Community's Patron Saint. There are also three country churches in the village, one of Saint Neophytos -on a hill in the south of the village - that was constructed in 1923 after a donation by the community's inhabitants, one of Saint George, and one of John the Baptist.

7714, Kato Drys
Tel.: 24342833
Fax: 24342833, 24342199
Email: symvoulio.katodrys
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