Chrysochou lies nestled between Goudi and Polis, on the North West Coast of Cyprus. From the B7, where you will most likely have seen it, it is notable for the well preserved mosque that dominates its skyline. But Chrysochou has other points of interest, and a few surprises should your curiosity entice you to explore, including a fully restored water mill!
View From The B7
Chrysochou first came onto the Paphos Life Radar when we blogged about the Green Points appearing around the Paphos Region. If you use the one near Polis, you will drive through or past Chrysochou to get there.
For this blog, we are entering the village from the Goudi Road.
Chrysochou or Hirsofu (for Turkish Cypriots) is a village in the Chrysochou valley of Paphos district, located four kilometers south of Polis. According to Goodwin, Chrysokhou was named after its first settler, a goldsmith. Chryso means “gold” in Greek. The name of the village could also be interpreted as “golden land,” (khrysoskhous). Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Altıncık in 1958, meaning “little gold.”
As may be seen from the chart above, Chrysochou was a Turkish Cypriot village from the Ottoman period. Throughout the British period the village’s population fluctuated constantly, but did not really increase.
No one was displaced from this village either during the emergency years of 1950s, or during the intercommunal fighting of 1963-64. However, the village received many displaced persons from nearby villages such as Loukrounou/Olukönü(318), Lapithiou/Bozalan(316) and Polis(332). Richard Patrick recorded 35 displaced Turkish Cypriots still residing in Chrysochou/Altıncık village in 1971. He also put the total population at 367.
Following the division of the island in 1974, all the villagers of Chrysochou/Altıncık and the displaced persons living in that village fled to the north. This movement took place in two phases. In the first phase, almost 140 of the villagers fled secretly over the mountains to the Turkish-controlled north in late 1974 and early 1975. In the second phase, the remaining 222 villagers were evacuated to the northern part of the divide under UNFICYP escort on 12 August 1975. They were mainly resettled in Katokopia/Zümrütköy(048) and Nikitas/Güneşköy(075) in the Morphou/Güzelyurt area. Some of them were also resettled in Masari/Şahinler(068) village and Famagusta(140) town. The number of the original Chrysochou/Altıncık Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was around 320-30 (308 in 1960 census).
After the departure of the Turkish Cypriots, the village was used for the settlement of some displaced Greek Cypriots from the island’s north. The 2001 census put the total population of the village at 52.
Well, there was definitely no gold on display. I was however impressed with how clean the place was.
A Few Ruins
Most of Chrysochou is still inhabited. This building had obviously seen better days though. It is interesting to see that beneath the external plaster, the walls are lined with mud. We saw similar building techniques in the abandoned village of Souskiou.