Paralimni (Greek: Παραλίμνι) is a town within the Famagusta District of Cyprus, situated slightly inland from the island's east coast. Since the Turkish invasion in 1974, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the north. Many of the people who work in the tourist sector of Protaras and Ayia Napa live in Paralimni, which is now the temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District and the biggest municipality of the district under the control of the internationally recognised government of Cyprus.
Protaras in summer
|• Mayor||Theodoros Pyrillis|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
The word Paralimni means "by the lake". Historically, the town was built on the shores of a shallow lake, which filled with water only in the winter. At the beginning of the 20th century, the whole lakebed was reclaimed for agricultural purposes. Paralimni has not always been where it is now, and was built originally on a hill situated between Deryneia and its present location. In the 15th century, it was moved inland to avoid detection by pirates. It is said that the first people to settle in Paralimni arrived just after the capture of the nearby town of Famagusta by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. The first settlement was called Saint Demetrius, and this place still bears his name today.
In 1986, after a referendum, it was declared a municipality with the name "Paralimni". In May 1986, the first elections were held for the office of mayor and municipal council; Nikos Vlittis was elected the first mayor, and served from 1986 to 2006. In December 2006, Vlittis lost the election to Andreas Evaggelou, who served as mayor until 2011. The town is also a stronghold for the centre-right Democratic Rally party. Architecturally, Paralimni has been nondescript, as very little (if anything) remains of the original village. Outside of the town centre, the houses are little more than small rectangular blocks, but this is compensated for by their attractive gardens, especially when the trees are in bloom. The younger generations who earn higher salaries than before are spending larger amounts of money in building modern and picturesque houses.
At the heart of Paralimni lies a shopping centre and a small entertainment scene, including modern cafes and bars. Because Paralimni has rapidly grown in size, Cyprus' biggest food retailers such as Carrefour have built or rented branches there. There are also many local supermarkets. The countryside surrounding Paralimni has rich red soil and is famous for growing Cyprus potatoes, as well as its picturesque windmills, which are used to draw water from underground aquifers to irrigate the surrounding land. Many of these windmills are now derelict, having been replaced by electric or diesel-powered pumps. Before the rise of tourism, the rich agricultural land surrounding Paralimni was the source of its wealth, and is still of great importance today.
|Climate data for Paralimni|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.3
|Average low °C (°F)||8.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||70.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||8.2||5.6||4.7||3.5||1.2||0.3||0.1||0.1||0.6||2.5||4.9||7.3||38.9|
|Source: Meteorological Service (Cyprus)|
Paralimni's lake is home to the harmless Cyprus grass snake, which was thought to be extinct since the 1960s until a man nicknamed "Snake George" rediscovered the species in the early 1990s. As a result, the lake was designated a Site of Community Interest (SCI).
- Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus
- "Meteorological Service - Climatological and Meteorological Reports".
- Böhme, Wolfgang; Wiedl, Hansjoerg, 1994. Status and zoogeography of the herpetofauna of Cyprus, with taxonomic and natural history notes on selected species (genera Rana, Coluber, Natrix, Vipera)}}. Zoology in the Middle East 10:31-52
Media related to Paralimni at Wikimedia Commons