The municipal market of Athienou was built in the 1950s and is considered an excellent example of architecture. It is the work of the architect Neoptolemos Michaelides and it is a particularly innovative building for the standards of that period.
The building ‘harmoniously’ coexists with the history of Athienou and highlights the role that the municipality played before the tragic events of 1974 and its close link with the plain of Mesaoria.
This public building expresses the urban character of Athienou but in no way conflicts with the traditional architecture of Mesaoria. The years before the turkish invasion, the municipal market was operating as the central mall of the region since residents of nearby villages visited it for purchases and / or to trade their goods.
Today the market is vacant and its maintenance has been neglected. The skeleton of the building is of reinforced concrete and it is still in good condition. It can be described as a civil engineering achievement of that period.
The revival of the municipal market is of urgent need in order to save the innovative architecture, but mainly to emphasize the interest of the local population to protect and preserve the rich history of their hometown.
The project of the municipal market redevelopment and landscaping, but also the development of the Square of the Church of Saint Fokas, has already been approved as an urban project with a total budget of €2.400.000+ VAT
Responsible authority for this undertaking is the Department of Building and Housing, with 80% of the total cost to be covered by state funds.
The contribution of the Municipality is 20% of the total cost, which will be covered by available appropriations from the consolidated loan concluded by the Municipality with a governmental guarantee.
The Municipal Market will be transformed into a Multifunctional Cultural Center.
The west side will host the Municipal Cultural Association and serve the needs of the choir, dance, and theatre groups. It also provides for the establishment of offices for the meetings of the Municipal Cultural Association Committee, a stage for rehearsals, sitting spaces etc. The east side will host the Municipal Library with modernized facilities and equipment. In addition, there will be an open space for the catering needs of children, possibly during afternoon recreational programs.
The design, construction plans and the tender invitation documents were finalized by the Private Consulting agency of Mr. Socrates Stratis, and have been reviewed and approved by the Department of Building and Housing.
Unfortunately, due to the economic crisis and the government’s decision not to promote the development of infrastructure projects, the development project has been suspended.
Construction of the Main Road Network
According to the finalized Local Action Plan of Athienou 2012, the construction of the Industrial Zone, by the main road network Athienou – Avdellero – Larnaca, in the ‘‘Toumba’’ area is foreseen.
Since the existing Industrial Area is in full development, this project is being promoted.
Based on the existing state policy for the development of Industrial Zones, the construction of the main road network is funded by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
The responsible party for the construction of the road network is the Local Authority, which has prepared the construction plans and expenditure budgets as well as requested from the ministry to cover the costs related to the black topping of the main road and the internal road network.
The ministry has already expropriated the affected private land for the construction of the main road axis of the Industrial Zone. The project concerns the Industrial Zone of Athienou consisting of about 2 km of main road network and about 0.70 km of secondary road network.
According to the Master Plan prepared by the Department of Urban Planning and Housing, the main road network will consist of two main lanes and a third lane for right-hand movements where necessary, paved sidewalks, parking spaces, pedestrian walkways, pedestrian crossings, and bus stops. The secondary road network will be a two-lane road with sidewalks.
The Municipal Authorities of Athienou launched a tender and the construction plans were completed by a private architect. The cost for the construction plans was entirely covered by the Municipality of Athienou. The construction of the project was claimed from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
The Department of Public Works undertook the coordination and supervision of the earthworks of the road network up to the phase of the subbase, which were completed in March 2017. Actions are being taken by the new Municipal Council to promote the water supply of the area and the construction of curb – kennels in the main road network by the end 2017. Actions will be taken for funds to be approved in 2018 for the black topping of the main road network.
Central Churches’ Square
The redevelopment area of the Churches’ Square is in the center of the Municipality, where both churches of Virgin Mary (Panagia) are located, with the oldest dating back to the early 18th century and the new one at the beginning of the 1940s.
The area is also an important hub of the road network of the Municipality, where all its basic road arteries meet.
The main aim of the Municipality of Athienou and the Athienou Ecclesiastical Commission is that the Central Churches’ Square forms a point of reference and attraction for both locals and visitors.
The main goals of the project are:
- Supporting and upgrading the role of the Churches’ Square as a meeting point for social and religious events as well as other activities.
- The connection of the Churches’ Square with the other squares of the Municipality, the Coop Bank Square, the Kallinikio Municipal Hall and the churches of Saint Georgios and Saint Fokas.
- Upgrading the role of the Churches’ Square as a main crossing point for pedestrians and vehicles within the Municipality is based on the traffic management that will be implemented in the Municipality.
- The promotion of its churches as monuments and places of worship.
- The preservation and promotion of the remarkable traditional physiognomy and the very special identity of Athienou, stemming from its historical past as the most dynamic rural village of Mesaoria.
In a landscape, so absolute with its natural beauty, one meets the bustling Municipality of Athienou. The irregular shapes of the properties give a distinctive character to the countryside.
The area of the Churches’ square and the wider area of Athienou are of great interest, due to the chronological variety of its structures, buildings etc. Newer architectural projects such as the Municipal Market of Neoptolemos Mihailidis, Constantineio Municipal Park, Cooperation Bank Square, and the Kallinikio Municipal Hall of Athienou mark a development in the architectural landscape of Athienou.
The implementation of this project is considered necessary and is expected to give a new appearance both in the core area of the municipality where it is located and in the wider region.
The previously prepared redevelopment plans are considered inadequate because the Architects have not accepted the changes that the Department of Town Planning and Housing has requested for its modernization. The project was approved as a town planning project.
The Department of Urban Planning and Housing was given the task of preparing a new redevelopment plan as well as the promotion of its construction, which did not happen.
Since the redevelopment of the project was not promoted, the new Municipal Council had a meeting with the Minister of Interior, who gave instructions to the Department of Urban Planning and Housing to directly promote the design of the project with a private architectural office selected through Public Tender.
For the development of the new plan a public presentation will take place.
Revival of the Architectural Heritage
The traditional center of Athienou preserves the original characteristics of the Architectural Heritage of ‘‘Mesaoria’’.
The preservation and revival policy of the traditional center and more widely of the whole municipal area has always been a key objective of the Municipality of Athienou despite all the interventions, the latest additions and the wearing off over time.
Many buildings are characterized for their architectural, historical and social value, which are gradually being upgraded through a comprehensive and coordinated effort to maintain and correct the architectural integration of the newer buildings.
Municipal Sports Centre
The needs regarding the sports sector in Athienou are largely met by the Indoor Sports Hall.
The construction of a Municipal Sports Centre has been defined in the provisions of the Local Action Plan.
The Municipal Council in mid-2009 decided to promote the project and therefore promoted a process of securing the required land by means of expropriation. The New Municipal Council, re-examining the matter, decided to revoke the process of expropriation of private land for the construction of a new Municipal Sports Centre.
Under the circumstances and the substantial economic weakness of the Municipality to bear the enormous financial cost required, it has revised its priorities and is examining alternative solutions.