Emba

Emba or Empa ( _gr. Έμπα) is one of the biggest villages in Paphos. It is spread over a wide area it not only borders Paphos but also the villages Chloraka, Kissonerga, Tala, Tremithousa and Mesogi. It has a population of 4,500 people.

The village already existed by the Byzantine era and it is known from the Frankish period with the same name. The Cypriot historian Leontios Machairas, (15th century) in his Chronicle, par. 129, mentions a visit of the king of Cyprus, Peter I (1359 - 1369), quoting "...and the king went hunting and reached Emba towards Paphos...".

Louis de Mas Latrie includes the village amongst those that belonged, during the period of Frankish rule, to the family of the king of Cyprus, and moreover, as one of the king's villages that cultivated sugarcane. Since 1468 the village, along with many others, fell under the region of Chrysochous, under the regional law officer (bailIiage).

The appellation of the village is purely Greek, belonging to the Cypriot dialect. Emba, in the Cypriot dialect means 'enter'. It is possible that the name of the village was given because it is built at the entrance of Paphos, that is the edges of the city, through which the travellers from the north, northwest and west came in. Another version mentions that the name was given to the village because it is situated near the coast from where people departed from or arrived to Cyprus by sea, during the Byzantine era or even later during the period of Frankish rule. It is relevantly mentioned that King Peter I had departed for Europe from the area in 1362. The village is noted as "Enba" in medieval maps.

In the Community you can find the ancient church of Panayia Chryseleoussis. Built in the 12th Century in Byzantine Rhythm, it literally embellishes the village square. [http://www.embacommunity.com/content/view/20/37/lang,en/] Almost all the walls in the interior of the church are covered with murals. Certain of them are priceless for their religious and historical value, such as that of Pantokratoros and that of Saint George that yare next to the pulpit and which date from around the 13th century. Also to be appreciated is the fretworked gold plated iconostasis from the 16th of century which is adorned with ancient pictures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint John Precursor. In the church is also found a Gospel from the 16th century, which was printed in Venice. Thousands of tourists visit the church each year to admire its architecture and the wonders it contains.

There are also a number of chapels in Emba such as the Byzantine chapel decicated to Saint George (in the vicinity of Petridia),the cave chapel of Saint Limbros (also at Petridia), and the new chapel dedicated to Saint Haralambos. At Pedridia in former times there was also the church of Saint Akakios built on land which was a dependancy of the Monastery of Stavros at the village of Omodos. The other chapels of Emba now in ruins are the following: the Chapel of Saint Eleftherios, the Chapel of All Saints (Ayioi Pantes), the Chapel of Timios Prodromos, the Chapel of Saint Sofronios, the Chapel of Saint Mercurios, the Chapel of the Five Saints (Ayioi Pente:Efstratios,Afxentios,Evgenios,Mardarios,Orestis), the Chapel of Saint Paraskevi and the Cave of Saint Kournoutas at Pertidia.

Recently a new church was constructed near the old one; it was dedicated to the apostle Andreas (St. Andrew) and on his name day, 30th November, a religious festival is held on the church grounds. Apart from this very new church there are also many small chapels scattered around the rest of the village.

Emba has a few shops and tavernas dotted along the narrow winding road that runs through the village.In the evening the local men can be seen sitting outside their local and often spilling out onto the narrow roads on their wooden chairs.

Outstanding personalities of the village of Emba include the following:The Bishop of Irinoupolis (situated then in the Middle East) was born at the village of Emba (date unknown) and died in 1791.Father Christodoulos(1816), a great priest of the village.


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