Published on 03 Nov 2022
Fikardou, a small village in Cyprus, will safeguard and promote its traditions thanks to the digitalization of its heritage assets and to the cooperation with the Lebanese village of Anfeh
When you arrive in Fikardou, a village set in Cyprus’ Troodos Mountains, it’s like going back in time. Everything is as it was 300 years ago except for one detail: Fikardou is today almost abandoned; you can count its inhabitants on the fingers of a hand.
In order to protect this perfectly preserved settlement, the Department of Antiques declared the village an “Ancient monument” by law in 1978, setting the basis for the restoration of some of the houses.
Fikardou now has two traditional residences (which won the Europa Nostra award in 1986) that are open to the public and offer a glimpse into the past life of the village. Visitors may have the chance to see demonstrations on how carpets were woven or get into the canteen to discover how wine was produced. The only restaurant welcomes its guests with traditional Cypriote dishes, like the grilled Halloumi or the Moussaka, and local wine served in carafes made out of the pumpkins cultivated in the village, as the grand-grandfather of the restaurant owner had done.
But Fikardou is now taking a step further; thanks to the European H2020 project TExTOUR it will undergo a series of actions to allow tourists to enjoy its traditions even more. The Cyprus University of Technology, with the support of the UNESCO and EU ERA Chairs on Digital Cultural Heritage, will do complete digitization in 2D and 3D of the village, collect stories from the inhabitants and their successors, and will set up an e-museum so that more people, including those with physical disabilities, will be able to visit the village, whose narrow streets are not suitable for wheelchair or mass tourism.
Another milestone in the development of sustainable cultural tourism in Fikardou is a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on 19 October 2022 by the Municipality of Anfeh (Lebanon) and the Council of Fikardou, during the general assembly of TExTOUR. The Commissioner for the development of mountain villages and the Department of Antiquities were present at the signing. “The two sites share a strong interest in preserving their heritage assets. With this agreement they strengthen their cooperation and agree on a commitment that goes far beyond the project” says Marinos Ioannides, professor at the UTC and responsible for the Cypriote site.
These excellent premises give us hope for a bright future for cultural tourism in Fikardou.