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HISTORY

The village of Mari lies 39 kilometres south-west of the city of Larnaca. It is built at an average altitude of 80 meters. East of the settlement flows the river Vasilikos.

The village existed under this name since Medieval times. It is found marked in old maps under the name Marin. De Masse Latri mentions it as a feud that was granted to noblemen by the King.

There are several interpretations for the name of the village. One version reports that it was the ancient village of Marion. This is rejected for the reason that the village Marion is in the vicinity of Polis Chrysochous. In the region of Mari, at the Mesovouni venue, there was an ancient settlement of the Iron Age. In 1881 a necropolis was found in the region the findings of which were sent to the British Museum. In 1893 another necropolis -of the Bronze Age -was discovered.
Near to the village lies the Neolithic settlement of "Tenta" while other archaeological sites exist in the area (Kalavasos, Khirokitia, Maroni).
Apart from the prehistoric settlements, traces of a Historical-era town were found in the area whilst in 1979 a tomb of the Archaic Cypriot times was found. Consequently the region was inhabited during Prehistoric and Historic times.
Another interpretation of the village's name reports that it took it from "Agia Marina". Indeed, the old church of the village was dedicated to St. Marina.
A third opinion considers that the village took its name from a certain Marini in the years of Frank domination.
The most exact viewpoint assumes that the village was inhabited before the Frank domination era and that during the period of the Byzantine Empire it was named Agia Marina. During the Frank domination period it was converted by the Franks to "Marin" and later on -translated to the Greek language -"Mari".
The Turkish-Cypriot inhabitants of the village called it "Tatli Su", which means "sweet water". After the Turkish conquest of Cyprus the village was made Turkish. It remained Turkish until the 19th century and later on, because of the mines of the region that offered employment, it was inhabited by Greeks and became mixed.
According to the Chronicle of Leontios Machairas, St Helen disembarked in Cyprus in the village's area. Due to this fact the river of the region was named Vasilopotamos (Royal River).

The village has undergone constant changes of its population. In 1881 the inhabitants of the village were 248, which increased to 270 in 1891 and to 298 in 1901. In 1911 the inhabitants increased to 367 and in 1921 to 436. We also had a new increase in 1931 with the inhabitants coming up to 444. In 1946 the population increased to 580 (542 Turkish-Cypriots and 38 Greek-Cypriots). In 1960 the inhabitants run up to 923. In 1973 964 Turkish-Cypriots inhabited the village. After the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, the Turkish-Cypriot inhabitants of the village were coerced by their leadership to abandon their village and to transfer, along with all the other Turkish-Cypriots of the non-occupied areas, for settlement in the occupied areas. Then reek-Cypriot refugees from the north occupied part of the island settled in Mari. These regions are: Kalograia of Keryneia, Agios Epiktitos, Klepini, Koutsoventis, Kalopsida, Pege, Exo Metochi, Galene, Kontea, Agia Triada, Famagusta, Argaki, Peristerona of Famagusta, Angastina, Prastio of Famagusta, Gypsou, Akanthou, Kapouti, Lysi, Milia, Davlos, Makrasyka, Stylloi, Zodia, and Acheritou. In 1976 the inhabitants of the community numbered 651, decreasing to 478 in 1982. In the 2001 census the inhabitants numbered 175.

 
 

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CONTACT US

COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF MARI
7736, Mari
Tel. 24333030
Fax 24333315
Ε-Mail: info@mari.org.cy
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