Lefkara village is first mentioned 1134 in the testament of Saint Neophytos, who was born in the nearby village of Kato Drys. In the neighborhood, you can also find Neolithic archaeological remains forming exceptional, inspirational energy ready to be shared with visitors, both from Cyprus and abroad.
The legend says that Leonardo Da Vinci visited Cyprus in 1481 and that he spotted extraordinary Lefkara village lace, which captivated him so much that he bought it, took it to Milan, and used it for the altar of Duomo Cathedral!
At the time of his visit, Cyprus was ruled by Katherine Cornaro, the wife of late King James II of Cyprus and also called the last Queen of Cyprus as she “delivered” Cyprus as a “present” to the Venetians!
Katherine was born in Venice at the noble family of the “Corner” who had vast business interests in Cyprus! I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, technology finds out that the portrait of Katherine just recently presented to the public by Levendis museum in Nicosia or some other one waiting to be discovered had a”touch” of Leonardo da Vinci.
During the Franco Venetian rule of Cyprus, Lefkara village, situated in the mountains some 50 km from the capital of Nicosia, has been used as a safe retreat, oasis, for women and children of the Venetians. They escaped Pirate raids of coastal towns of Famagusta, Morfou, Kyrenia, Limassol, etc…
Having not much to do at the retreat of Lefkara, women practiced an abstruse form of unique needlework coming deep down the soul, making each lace a masterpiece of its own. That kind of work requires a lot of patience and concentration, focus, and clear mind! It was the time when TV sets, mobile phones, and computers did not exist to distract people’s minds. Time when intuition was still sharp!
In the long hours of waiting for their husbands, women were making laces, each being original, authentic, archetypal. In Leonardo notebooks, there are references about Cyprus, where he probably spotted gorgeous unique lace in Pano Lefkara and bought it to be positioned at the altar of Cathedral Duomo di Milano.
The unconfirmed legend continues with a suggestion that the table cloth design at The Last Supper mural Da Vinci started to work on around 1495 is actually Lefkara lace.
What is confirmed is that some 30 years ago, the old Lefkara lace was replaced with the new one by the Pano Lefkara municipality and that it is in the cathedral Duomo of Milan now.
Cyprus is not only Sun and Sea but also an inconspicuous source of history with many stories yet awaiting to be brought to the light.
So use your stay in Cyprus to mingle with people and discover more about this beautiful place.
Philosophy of good news
Connect and Respect
first published in April 2018 and Republished 15/6/2020