Lakatamia Municipality

Lakatamia

HISTORY

Lakatamia is situated in the Southwest perimeter of Greater Nicosia, and its main characteristic is Pedieos River which runs 5 kilometers through the land of Lakatamia. Lakatamia has an attitute of 280 meters, and the land that was once used by farmers is now full of houses.

The hilly land west of the river with an attitude of 280m was for ages used by farmers. Today most of this area is built up and is the Archangelos-Anthoupolis parish of Lakatamia.

To the North, a fertile valley stretches along the west bank of the river. This area, which is surrounding the old Byzantine monastery of Archangelos has become residential.

The greatest part of Lakatamia extends east of the Pedieos river. In this area were situated the old rural settlements of Pano Lakatamia, Kato Lakatamia and Koulouratos. The old humble houses were built round the churches of Ayios Nicolaos, Ayia Paraskevi and Panayia Chrysokoulouriotissa.

Lakatamia, from an almost exclusively rural community until the first decades of the 20th century, became, after World War I a recipient of industrialization and urbanization. The small distance of Lakatamia from the capital city made the relatively big number of landless and poor small holders seek jobs in the town where there were opportunities for employment and higher wages.

Lakatamia evolved in its present condition after the tragic events of 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied 35% of the island’s territory. Lakatamia, being on the outer perimeter of Greater Nicosia and at a relatively safe distance from the confrontation line, received a big wave of refugees from all over the Turkish occupied areas. The refugees were housed in state refugee settlements or obtained accommodation under private self-housing schemes. This, in combination with the general trend of people from the villages close to the capital to move to areas in the suburbs of Nicosia, resulted into the population explosion that made Lakatamia to grow rapidly, turning it from a village of 5,000 citizens to a city of 40,000 citizens.

There are no convincing historical evidence with regard to the origin of the name “Lakatamia”. There are only a few speculations as from where Lakatamia’s name derives from.

The most probable origin of the name, is connected with the many “alakatia” (water wheels) that existed in Lakatamia and were used to draw the abundant underground water from the springs. It is believed that there were more than 80 wells (“alakatia”) in Lakatamia, and that’s why the area is called Lakatamia (“alakatia”-“Alakatamia”-“Lakatamia” The “alakati” is today the emblem of Lakatamia’s Municipality.

Another speculation, as from where Lakatamia took its name, is that the name was originally “Lakedemon” as the name of ancient Sparta and it was paraphrased through the years and ended up as Lakatamia.