001 – The Letymbou (Cyprus) Project

The Letymbou project is the result of a chance encounter between the Mayor of Letymbou and the Canadian Institute in Egypt . The former invited the latter to visit the village where human bones and marble slabs we appearing near local churches dating from early Byzantine time. Dr. Hirsch wrote a preliminary report (blueprint) and contacted the Cyprus Ministry of Antiquities. The four step blueprint was a suggestion of the actions that should be taken to preserve the past and develop tourism in the village.

The blueprint contributed to the attribution of a 1.5+ million Euros grant (Rural Economic Development) from the European Union in 2019.

The village was known during the period of Frankish domination (L. De Mas Latrie - L’ile de chypre sous le règne des princes de la Maison de Lusignan, Paris, 1855).

In the village, there are three remaining churches: the church of the Virgin Mary of ‘Fotolambousis,’ the church of Saint Theodore, and the church of Saint Kerykos and Ioulita. Gunnis (Rupert Gunnis, Historic Cyprus: a Guide to its Towns and Villages, Monasteries and Castles, 1936) mentions four other chapels around the village. Other sources indicate that Letymbou was known in the whole region for its churches. The significant number of churches in the area might mean that Letymbou was much more prominent during the medieval years.

There are 14 churches in the village. Their geo-location was performed by Dr. Antoine Hirsch in 2019