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Kapedes: a story of many centuries
Cyprus, the Chalcoesan land, developed its national and cultural identity during the Mycenaean Period, when the Achaeans settled on the island around 1200 B.C. Since then, the Greek language and Achaean way of life and culture have been incorporated on the island, where their presence in the Mediterranean was intense. The Cypriots did not cease having commercial contacts with and being influenced by their Eastern neighbours, however. In the centuries that followed, the effects of the conquerors were unable to alienate them from their tradition or modify the fundamental elements of their culture, despite the incorporation and reassimilation of elements into the Cypriot population.

The ancient copper mines of Tamassos, as well as the mine of copper, gold, and copper ferropyrite, are located in the northeast of the community, so the history of the village of Kapedes is also shrouded in time. This is also affirmed by Archimandrite Kyprianos (1788), who writes that the green soil in the land of the Capes is noble, presumably in reference to the rust of the metals. There was one of the oldest copper processing factories in Kapedes. Several ancient settlements once existed in the vicinity of the village, but they have since vanished. Such a settlement, located approximately 4 kilometres east of the village in the location “Helidonia,” was wiped out by the dreadful plague of the time. “Mesoutis” was the location of a second settlement to the village’s east, also located to the east of “Mesoutis.” “The Old Church” was another Roman-era settlement. This community received its name from an ancient church in the area.

The island enjoyed a lengthy period of calm and prosperity during the first centuries of Byzantine rule. In fact, the Orthodox Church of Cyprus gained considerable prestige in the fifth century, when the Emperor of Constantinople recognised it as independent and autocephalous. During the seventh century, Arab invasions violently ended this period of tranquilly. The Arabs targeted Cyprus because they believed it was crucial to their efforts to propagate the Mohammedan faith and expand the Islamic state in the Mediterranean.

Cypriots endured for many years as they were sandwiched between two rivals, the Byzantines and the Arabs. The two competitors were unable to thoroughly control the island, however. They implemented a regime of dual sovereignty with silence. In 965, when Nikephoros Phokas defeated the Arabs and freed the island from their attacks, the period of insecurity and peril came to an end. Due to the island’s Byzantine past, churches and sanctuaries with magnificent mosaics have been preserved. In Kapede’s sanctuaries, the influence of Byzantine church architecture and iconography is evident. Unfortunately, the island’s tranquilly did not last long, as crusades of Europeans to the Holy Land followed, and they did not hesitate to pillage it. In fact, Richard the Lionheart conquered Cyprus in 1191 and subsequently sold it to the Frankish nobleman Guy de Lusignan. This marked the end of Byzantine rule in Cyprus and the beginning of Frankish rule. Kapedes existed during the Turkish occupation, as well as during the Frankish and Venetian occupations that preceded it. Several monks from Kapedes arrived to Machairas during the Turkish occupation and transferred their property to the monastery by donning the cassock.