In the 19th century, in the village of Pachna in the Limassol district, a boy and a girl were brought up together. His name was Aetos (Eagle) and her name was Ifigenia. Their parents agreed to marry them when they became of age. But the two of them felt like brother and sister and did not want to get married.
So Aetos left the village and went far away to Ayios Theodoros in the Larnaca district where he found work at a watermill. With him he took his friend’s handkerchief with her name embroidered on it, given to her by her father on her 18th birthday. Aetos finally bought the watermill from its elderly owner.
Back in Pachna, Ifigenia’s father could not bear the insult and swore to kill Aetos who had refused the marriage. He hired two Turkish Cypriots to find him and kill him.
Many years later, the two hired men found Aetos. They hid near the watermill and waited for the right time to attack. That same night came a terrible storm and the two hired men knocked at the door of Aetos pretending to seek shelter. Aetos looked after them, gave them dry clothes and food and asked them to spend the night by his fire.
The next morning the two men, touched by Aetos’s kindness told him the truth and asked him for the handkerchief to take back to Ifigenia’s father as proof that they killed him. Aetos survived and from then on changed his name to Hatzi Aetos or Hatzatou. He prospered because, due to his kindness, everyone used his watermill.
Ruins of the Hatzatou Venetian watermill still remain just outside Ayios Theodoros village, on the way to the beach.
The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and Active Citizens Fund.