Today, we decided to continue our journey through Cyprus villages and we visited Silikou village. This village has something really interesting– the Commandaria museum, even though it’s not the only famous attraction of the village. But, let’s take it all step by step.
How to find Silikou village?
If you’re going to Silikou from Limassol, you should keep the main road to Troodos. On the way to Trimiklini, just before the factory “Katerina Sweets”, you will see the signs for “Follow the barrels,” which should lead you to one of the wineries in Monagri village. When you turn to Monagri from the main road, you will see the signs to Silikou. In just 10 minutes, you will find yourselves in the place of destination.
Commandaria Museum in Cyprus
The history of this museum is not too long: it was opened on June 31, 2014 in the house of the grandmother of Cyprus President — Nicos Anastasiades, which he presented it to the village. The museum was founded by the artist Alexey Golovanov, who is collecting the “mosaic” crumbs of the history and traditions of the production of one of the oldest dessert wines in the world. Commandaria, is the hallmark of Cyprus.
We will not retell about the excursion, which we had around the museum. It’s better to come and get acquainted with the museum on your own. Let’s tell about the only reasonably interesting fact: all prisoners before dinner was supposed to serve wine.
There is a picture in the museum, which depicts a prisoner who drags himself to a large wineskin, and followed by a guard.
In the museum, you will be able to taste and buy Commandaria, produced according to ancient recipes in the regional wineries. It is here that is located the region of 14 villages, having a formal right to make Commandaria, with protected designation of origin. Traditionally, Cypriot dessert wine produced from two indigenous varieties of grapes – Xynisteri and Mavro. But let us leave the narration of the story about the features of the production, to the specialist … Believe me, you will learn many interesting things.
After the museum tour, Alex took us to another interesting tour around the village itself. Once, Silikou knew the golden era and was densely populated, which it’s not surprising, because according to the documentary sources, this is the place where the last representative of Lusignan, who ruled the island in the XII-XV centuries, died. In the old days, when the village belonged to the kings, the unique plantation of olives was planted here, the age of some of them is more than 500 years. Alex told us, that scientists came to the village and took DNA test from the olive trees and this test confirmed the age of the trees.
Today, not more than 40 people live in Silikou. The village is almost empty and you will only be able to admire the local sights. But to have a snack in a traditional tavern or stay overnight in one of the village houses, you have to go to another place.
An interesting fact is that Silikou still preserve mosque, in which coming Imam still held service. Previously, a lot of Turkish Cypriots lived here (before the invasion of 1974), but after the tragic division of the island, they were forced to leave the village. Who knows, maybe in the future they will be able to return to their homes.
Another attraction of the village, is a small museum of olive oil. Alex recounted how they used to make olive oil in the country. Olive season in Cyprus is in November – December, when it’s already cool enough in the mountain villages, so the houses light up the fireplace. First, olives processed with the press and then they were moved under another press for the first pomace oil, or as it is called, cold-pressed oil.
So, this is the end of our journey, after learning a lot of new and interesting facts such as: the production of Commandaria, the history of the village, the production of olive oil. If you want to taste the real Commandaria, Silikou is the right place!