When you approach Kouklia from the West, you turn off the main road and are directed to the village centre passing an intimidating fortress-like building elevated on a hill to the left. The directions take you away from the building which I was curious to investigate but as the village centre is where I also needed to be I, on this occasion, followed directions. The building turned out to be the walls of the manner house I later discovered.
Kouklia itself is a small village and the main square is full of coffee shops and tavernas which seemed to be very quiet and sleepy when I arrived at midday. The square comes alive in the evenings, particularly in the summer when the Pharos Music Festival is taking place, bringing many visitors to the area. In June the square is closed to traffic just for the evenings and the tables and chairs spill out into the road giving, I would imagine, a real relaxed party air for the guests and a safe area for children to play. At the weekends traditional dancing takes place to add to the entertainment. All the tavernas work together to make it as sociable as possible. All this I was told second-hand, I haven’t experienced it myself but it sounds a great idea and of benefit to all one would think? Of course there always has to be dissenters and someone has objected to the restricted access in the evenings and wants it lifted. As the square covers such a small area I can’t imagine that it is not possible to find alternative ways of access and surely a compromise could be reached? We have to wait the verdict from the authorities. Business will suffer and consequently people’s livelihoods.
The reason I eventually heard about Kouklia was not in fact because of its historical importance. I read a review of an art centre that had just opened on the square. Kouklia Arts is formed of two parts, the studio area where paintings are created and sold; this takes place in a lovingly restored old building that once was a coffee shop and local stores; the second part is a traditional house also restored just down the street. The house in now a shop selling every imaginable kind of gift and handicraft from candles to lace, made by local craftsmen, they even sell some of my beloved traditional baskets.This has been the long held dream of Angela Winstanley an artist herself, she paints, inspired by the surroundings, as she says she is “living the dream”. Here is a link to her site http://www.artworkskouklia.com/ Amongst it all Angela has taken on board some of my books, Androula’s Kitchen to display for sale, if you are in the area why not go along and have a browse, there are plenty of relaxing places to eat and spend a few hours watching the world go by.
If you are looking for historical culture the museum and temple site as mentioned in part one of this post 2014/06/30/the-arts-of-kouklia/ will certainly satisfy. In my usual fashion I bought the guide book at the end of my visit and read on my return to England that there are still remaining ancient tunnels used in the fortifications of the town. Now that I would like to see and another visit is called for.