A step into the village life of yesterday….
A popular drive with holidaymakers staying in Paphos is drives is the one northwards through the Chrysochou Valley to the market town of Polis Chrysochous and fishing port of Latchi on the island’s north coast. This drive follows the course of the valley which is filled with citrus groves and during the winter months, the fragrance from the citrus blossom is wonderful! An added bonus is that there are roadside stalls along the way selling carrier bags of oranges, lemons and mandarins at unbelievably good prices.
If you are making the journey, do allow a extra time to explore the valley and to take the side turning that leads to the Evretou Dam, Stavros tis Psorkas and a handful of villages including Steni with its fascinating museum that really is worth a visit.
The Steni Museum of Village Life has long been the dream of the village Mayor, Elias Lambides, as his family is one of the oldest in the village and his father, uncle and grandfather were all Mayors before him. He has always loved the history of the village and as a young boy enjoyed listening to stories about the past and how people lived. The opportunity to create the museum came when the community centre was built with 95% government funding and 5% from the villagers themselves. On the ground floor is the Mayor’s office and a conference room that accommodates 120 people, whilst on the lower ground floor is the museum which opened in August 2008 and is an excellent insight into rural life in days gone by.
The museum covers the period 1800-1945. The exhibits are clearly displayed in different sections such as farming, kitchenware, bread making and cloth making and show how self-sufficient the villagers were – even weaving the cloth for their clothes on huge wooden looms (woofah). There are all types of different artefacts on display and they have been donated by residents of Steni and the surrounding villages. It is very much a ‘living’ museum because in the summer months, some of the old ladies can be seen working on the loom in the museum and are happy to let visitors ‘have a go’. Villagers from the surrounding areas regularly return to the museum with a family heirloom to be put on display or to stand awhile and gaze at the old farming tools that evoke so many memories of years gone by….
- The Steni Museum of Village Life is open every day of the week between 10.00- 4.00 p.m. Entrance is free but a donation is appreciated.