Empa is one of the largest villages in Paphos, Cyprus. It is spread over a wide area and borders with Paphos and the villages of Chlorakas, Kissonerga, Tala, Tremithousa and Mesogi.
The village already existed by the Byzantine era and it is known from the Frankish period with the same name. The 15th century Cypriot historian Leontios Machairas in his Chronicle, par. 129, mentions a visit of the King of Cyprus, Peter I (1359–1369), quoting “…and the king went hunting and reached Emba towards Paphos…”.
Louis de Mas Latrie includes the village both amongst those that belonged to the family of the king of Cyprus during the period of Frankish rule, and as one of the king’s villages that cultivated sugarcane. During 1468 the village had fallen under the region of Chrysochous, under the regional law officer (bailliage).
Panagia Chryseleousa Church
the Church of Panagia Chryseleousa is actually a combination of two churches and is a stone-built structure with three aisles and two domes.
The eastern section was first built as a cruciform church with a dome in the 12th century, possibly on the ruins of an earlier Christian basilica. An extension was made to the west with a domed building of the cross-in-square type later on in the 13th century.
The church retains its rare wall paintings of the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th centuries, with one of the most interesting depicting the miracle of fishing. Other ecclesiastical treasures include 15th and 16th century portable icons. Among them is a noteworthy icon of Jesus Christ holding a Gospel with his left hand, and a fine icon painted on two panels with six of the Apostles on each panel.
There are also a number of chapels in Emba such as the Byzantine chapel dedicated to Saint George (in the vicinity of Petridia),the cave chapel of Saint Limbros (also at Petridia), and the new chapel dedicated to Saint Charalambos. At Petridia in former times there was also the church of Saint Akakios built on land which was a dependency of the Monastery of Stavros at the village of Omodos. The other chapels of Emba now in ruins are the following: the Chapel of Saint Eleftherios, the Chapel of All Saints (Ayioi Pantes), the Chapel of Timios Prodromos, the Chapel of Saint Sofronios, the Chapel of Saint Mercurios, the Chapel of the Five Saints (Ayioi Pente): Efstratios, Afxentios, Evgenios, Mardarios, Orestis), the Chapel of Saint Paraskevi, and the Cave of Saint Kournoutas at Petridia.
Recently a new church was constructed near the old one; it was dedicated to the apostle Andreas (St. Andrew) and on his name day, 30 November, a religious festival is held on the church grounds.
Emba has a few shops and tavernas dotted along the narrow winding road that runs through the village. In the evening the local men can be seen sitting outside their local coffee shops and often spilling out onto the narrow roads on their wooden chairs.
Courtesy of the CTO