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History

Kato (Lower) Platres is a village of the Limassol district, 42 kilometers northwest of the city of Limassol. The village is built in a panoramic spot in the heart of Troodos and is a circulatory junction that connects the village of Marathasa, Troodos, Limassol, and Pafos.

As far as transportation is concerned, Kato Platres are connected with the village of Phini in the north, Pano (Upper) Platres in the northeast, and the village of Mandria in the southwest.

The village is built at an average altitude of 920 meters and receives an average annual rainfall of about 810 millimeters. Vines of winemaking varieties as well as various fruit-trees (cherry, apple, pear, plum, and peach trees) are cultivated in the area. The greatest part of the village's land is uncultivated and wild natural vegetation grows in it. The Troodos state forest takes up part of its administrative range. Several inhabitants of the village are occupied in tourism, carpentry, apiculture, and quite a few work in hotels in Pano Platres.

The village has undergone great and constant fluctuations. In 1881 the inhabitants of the village run into 177, which increased to 212 in 1891 and to 225 in 1901. In 1911 the inhabitants increased to 241, in 1921 to 292, in 1931 to 341, and in 1946 to 396. The phenomenon of urban pull is also observed in Kato Platres from 1960 and onward. So, in 1960 the inhabitants decreased to 309. In 1976 the inhabitants run into 325, only to decrease -again -to 255 in 1982. In the last census of 2001 the inhabitants of Kato Platres numbered 210.

According to one viewpoint, the name of the village originates from the word "pratria" - "pratra" (female vendor) due to the fact that some female weaver lived there originally, weaving and selling her works. More weavers provided the name "pratries" - "pratres" (plural) hence today's Platra and Platres.
However the name in plural Platres was -and is -used because there are two Platres: the Pano (Upper) and the Kato (Lower).

In older times the village was known under the name Tornarides (Turners) because the inhabitants of the village turned and processed various items.

Kato Platres are not mentioned in any medieval source and it seems that it is a village earlier than the Medieval times. However, Kato Platres is by far older than Pano Platres. Kato Platres were originally a small settlement of farmers that were also occupied with the manufacturing pots (thus the name Tornarides, from "Tornos", the lather of the potter / turner).

The formation -originally -of the Council for Improvement of Kato Platres from 1989 until 1999, with its renaming to a Community Council and the passing of the Law about Communities N86(1)/1999, contributed to a great degree to the progress and growth of the community. Roads have been improved and covered with blacktop, the water network has expanded to a large extend, and several beautifying projects were made.

The past years a rapid housing development has been observed, extending to a radius of around three kilometers from the core of the village both toward Mandria as well as toward Phini and Pano Platres. That's because the inhabitants, both local as well as outlanders that build up in the village, found the area to be an ideal place in terms of natural beauty, panoramic view, cool climate, and a quiet environment where the chirrup of the nightingales make you sense an immense serenity and calmness; hence the great poet Giorgos Seferis mentions that "…the nightingale do not let you sleep in Platres" in his poem "Eleni".

 

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