The hideout was built on the instructions of Afxentiou himself in the summer of 1956, following Dhigeni's orders that hideouts be built in houses in addition to those already existing in the mountain areas. This, as to ensure greater safety for the freedom fighters on implementation of the general plan "Sortie to Victory", which would result in more intensive searches by the British.
There were in fact two hideouts. One was inside a traditional oven and the other under a stone-built staircase adjacent to the oven.The hideout communicated with Afxentiou's room on the upper floor of the house via a movable ladder, through a hole in the floor, which was covered by beams.
Afxentiou's room was directly behind Palaichori Police Station, where British soldiers were also situated, and he was able to follow their every move.
The hideout's effectiveness was proved when, on 7 January 1957, he made use of it during a curfew imposed by the British soldiers as they scoured the village for him.
He remained in the hideout with his fighters 48 hours and the British were unable to establish his whereabouts despite intensive searches.
The oven hideout was torn down on Afxentiou's orders, but not the one under the stairs, which he intended to use again. He ever did so, however, as immortality caught him first.
The little house where Afxentiou used to stay together with the other heros.
This little room is in the house of Mr. Andrea Karaoli. It is not more than 50 metres from the Church of Pantanassa.
My second picture shows a fretwork, something that I have seen in several houses.
I mean houses which had people who spent time in the camp as prisoners. They used to create these themselves to keep busy I believe.
The two photos show the monument of the soldiers who were killed.
It is found infront of the church of Pantanassa in the centre of the village.
In the course of the EOKA struggle Palaichori gave up the lives of several of its children:
Kyriakos Matsis, Michalakis Karaolis, and Nicos Georgiou.They signed with their demand for freedom for Cyprus and Union with Greece.
The reason I visit this village is to see the hideout of Grigoris Afxentiou, but I had no idea that it was really a very interesting and beautiful village.
The hideout and museum next to Chrisopantanassa church.
His room was directly behind the police station of the village where British soldiers were also situated, and from there he was able to follow their every move.
I am impressed with the 2 hideouts, one of which was under a staircase, and the other was under an oven. He stayed in there 48 hours and the British were unable to establish his whereabouts despite intensive searches.
One of the four churches of the village is Panayia Chrysopantanassa built the 16th century, and it is indeed very impressive.
It is centrally located...pity that I found it closed this time.
(I plan to return to this village again soon to do some more exploring as it is truly very interesting.I consider it a hidden gem).
Mr. Karaoli used to be a carpenter and one of the rooms in the museum has Mr. Karaoli's workshop just as it was those days.