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Paralimni
Παραλίμνι
Coordinates: 35°02′N 33°59′E / 35.033°N 33.983°E / 35.033; 33.983
Country Cyprus
District Famagusta District
Government
 - Mayor Andreas Evaggelou
Population (2001 [1])
 - Total 11,091
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 5280
Website www.paralimni.org.cy
Concise presentation of Paralimni

Paralimni (Greek: Παραλίμνι) is a town situated in the South East of Cyprus, a little way inland, within the Famagusta District. Since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the North. Many of the people who work in the tourist industry of Protaras and Agia Napa live in Paralimni, which is the now temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District and the biggest municipality of the Greek Cypriot controlled area of the district. It has become what it seems a small capital city of the non-occupied Famagusta area.

Contents

History

The word Paralimni means "by the lake". Historically, Paralimni was built on the shores of a shallow lake, which filled with water only in the wintertime.

In the beginning of the 20th century, as a result of reclamation work, the whole of the lakebed was reclaimed for agricultural purposes. Paralimni has not always been where it is now. Originally it was built on a hill, which was situated between Deryneia and its present location.

However, in the 15th century, it was moved inland to avoid detection by the sea pirates. It is said that the first people to settle at Paralimni arrived just after the capture of the near town of Famagusta by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. The first settlement was called Saint Demetrius and this place still bears his name today.

In 1986, after a referendum, Paralimni was declared a municipality with the name "Paralimni". In May 1986 the first elections were held for the office of mayor and municipal council. Nikos Vlittis was elected the first mayor and served from 1986-2006. In December 2006, Nikos Vlittis lost the mayoralty to Andreas Evaggelou who will serve as a mayor until 2011.

Architecturally, Paralimni has been nondescript, little if anything remains of the original village. Outside of the town centre the houses are not very attractive, little more than squat rectangular blocks. This is more than compensated for by their very attractive gardens, especially when the trees are in blossom or fruit. However, it seems that the new and emerging generations who earn higher salaries than their parents and grandparents, spend larger amounts of money in building modern and picturesque houses.

Right at the heart of Paralimni, lies a moderate yet fulfilling shopping centre with many shops and a small entertainment scene including modern cafes and bars. Due to the fact that Paralimni has rapidly grown in size, the island's biggest food retailers have built or rented branches there including Carrefour, Orfanides. There are also many local supermarkets such as Kokkinos.

The countryside surrounding Paralimni has rich red soil and is famous for its picturesque windmills - used to draw water from underground aquifers to irrigate the surrounding land. Sadly, many of these are now derelict having been replaced by electric or diesel-powered pumps. Before the rise of tourism, the rich agricultural land surrounding Paralimni was the source of Paralimni's wealth, and is still of great importance.

Sports

Enosis Neon Paralimni FC, which plays in Cypriot First Division is the football team of the town. Michalis Konstantinou, the famous former football striker of Iraklis FC, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, was born in Paralimni. He also began his career from the team of the town. Also there is a Conference side in Paralimni called Anorthosis Paralimniou

Protaras

The main street in Protaras

Protaras (Greek: Πρωταράς), is a predominantly tourist resort. It comes under the administrative jurisdiction of Paralimni Municipality. In ancient times, where now Protaras seems to be located stood the old city-state of Leukolla. The city possessed a small safe harbour where the Athenian Demetrius Poliorketes in the year 306 B.C. sought refuge, lying in wait for Ptolemeos, one of the successors of Alexander the Great. In the ensuing battle Ptolemeos was defeated and fled to Egypt, leaving Cyprus for a while in the hands of Demetrius.

Protaras has lovely, sandy beaches with clear sky-blue waters and the most well known beach in the area is Fig Tree Bay. Protaras is also referred to as "the land of windmills" maintaining the nostalgic quality of the past.

On the back of the success of Ayia Napa (which is only a few km away), it has exploded into a resort of considerable size with tens of high capacity hotels, hotel apartments, villas, restaurants, pubs and all sorts of facilities a modern holiday resort ought to have. Being quieter than Ayia Napa and having less of a club scene, it has a reputation of catering more for family and Cypriot tourism.

Cape Greco is a 10 minute drive from the centre of Protaras, and is considered one of the most beautiful places on the island[citation needed].

In Cape Greco lives the reputed Ayia Napa Sea Monster which is meant to resemble a cross between a porpoise and dragon.

Ecology

Church of St. Barbara (Agia-Varvara) in Paralimni municipality on the road from Kapparis to Paralimni proper.

The seasonal Paralimni Lake is the home to the harmless Cyprus grass snake (natrix natrix cypriaca) which was thought extinct from the 1960s, until 'Snake George' (H. Wiedl) [2] re-discovered the species in the early 1990s.

As a result the lake was designated a Site of Community Interest (SCI). Despite this the Cyprus Government issued permission for over 300 home to be built on the site, resulting in the European Commission instigating court action against Cyprus.[3]

Other hazards faced by the snake are moto-cross and man killing them through ignorance and superstition.

See also

References

  1. ^ Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus
  2. ^ Template:Böhme, Wolfgang; Wiedl, Hansjoerg 1994. Status and zoogeography of the herpetofauna of Cyprus, with taxonomic and natural history notes on selected species (genera Rana, Coluber, Natrix, Vipera). Zoology in the Middle East 10:31-52
  3. ^ [1]

External links

Coordinates: 35°02′N 33°59′E / 35.033°N 33.983°E / 35.033; 33.983

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Paralimni, The traditional town of Paralimni is the largest town in the free Famagusta district, located approximately 40 minutes drive from Larnaca airport. Its town square has many good shops (including Marks & Spencer), restaurants, cafes, bars and three churches, the oldest of which houses a museum. Just beyond the square are beautiful gardens and fountains with an open air theatre. Retaining much of its old charm with local crafts, souvenir shops and picturesque narrow streets, it is not unusual to come across fishermen quietly mending their nets in the shade of the vine-covered courtyards. A regular bus service runs along the coast from Paralimni to Protaras and then on to Ayia Napa.

Sleep

If you are looking to get away from it all and relax with your family in privacy, than a holiday villa would be the ideal choice for you. By renting a private villa you will have your own kitchen, living/dining room, bedroom and in many cases your own private swimming pool. Renting a villa provides you, not only, with more space and privacy but is also a more economical option rather than staying at a small hotel room. A villa can usually accommodate a minimum of 4 people, and the rental price is charged per week making it more cost-effective than staying at a hotel.

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