Beyond the Neolithic site on the F112, at the top of a long hill, stands CHOIROKOITIA itself, a village that occupies a long ridge with splendid views. It is reputedly the site of two influential medieval battles. The first was between Richard the Lionheart and Isaac Komnemos the then ruler of Cyprus, in 1191 – it is said that the final capture of Komnenos took place at Choirokoitia. The other battle took place in 1426 during the latter part of Lusignan rule. King Janus of Cyprus lost to a Mamluk/Egyptian army (partly because he couldn’t give his troops the wine they wanted before battle), was captured, and spent ten months being humiliated before he was ransomed and returned to Cyprus. There’s not much left to see of this “Battle of Choirokoitia” – just a small church where Janus was captured, and the remains of a Knights Templar tower where the crucial lack of wine became apparent. They’re a few hundred metres up a dirt track west of the village, signposted respectively “Panayia tou Campou” (the church) and “Vasilicos Ekos” (the tower).

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