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Population - Development

At the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, Kritou Terra was one of the largest villages of the Pafos District, whereas nowadays our community in threatened by decay. In particular, in 1881, Kritou Terra was the third largest in population village of Pafos after the villages of Pegeia and Droushia and it numbered 555 residents. From 1881 until 1911, Kritou Terra followed an upward populating course which resulted in the village having 624 residents in 1911, at the same time continuing to be the one of the largest villages of Pafos as far as population was concerned, and more specifically the fourth largest after Pegeia, Geroskipou and Poli Chrysochous. What is worth mentioning is that a Community Council record document mentions that “in 1911 the population had risen to 700 residents and later on the village numbered 900 residents including the Turkish-Cypriots".

Year Population Year Population
1881       555 1946      648
1891       548 1960      518
1901       617 1973      342
1911       696 1976      316
1921       624 1982      245
1931       526 2001      91

As shown in the above table, in 1946 the population of the village increased to 648 residents, whereas in 1960 it decreased to 518. Out of the 646 residents in 1946, 550 were Greeks and 98 Turks, whereas in 1960, after the riots between the two communities and after orders from Ankara for the creation of Turkish-Cypriot enclaves, as the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia and Aristeidou explain, the Turkish-Cypriots abandoned Kritou Terra and therefore the mixed village became entirely Greek.  

What is noteworthy, as Arkadiou remarks, is that the “dialect used by the locals is the one of Homer, and as far as we know, Kritou Terra is the only community which preserves Homer’s dialect throughout Hellenism”. 

A constant decrease of the population is observed since the end of the 1960s and mainly after 1974. This decrease is on the one hand connected to the aforementioned abandonment of the village by the Turkish-Cypriots in 1963 and on the other hand to the abandonment of the Lake Mine, at which several residents of the village were employed. Nowadays, the number of permanent residents does not exceed 70, whereas the residents’ age average is 65 years. However, Kritou Terra faces the future with optimism due to the prospects for future growth. 

In particular, the Community Council is promoting a series of reshaping projects concerning the historical landmarks of the community, such as the “Kefalovryso”, the church of Agia Aekaterini and other chapels. At the same time, the Community Council has planned both the reshaping and the managing of the distinctive casino, as well as the creation of greenery parks. It must also be noted that these are only some of the future plans of the Community Council which are promoted aiming at the development of the community. More: Projects

A particular liveliness is given to our village by the Environmental Studies Centre (ESC), which attracts pupils and teachers, as well as university students and academics both from Cyprus and from abroad. 

The visits of all the aforementioned will increase and generally the village is expected to become an attraction site for more visitors, both with the completion of the above projects, as well as with the completion of the Cyprus Nature Park which will host reptiles and amphibians of Cyprus.

Kritou Terra Community Council 
www. hellenica.de/Griechenland/Zypern/GR/KritouTerra.html
Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia 
Dr Christou G. Aristeidou
Savvas Arkadiou

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