Limassol

Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus and the most southern of Europe. Its population is about 100,952 residents within the municipality borders and about 180 thousand in the surrounding rural areas. Limassol is well known for its rich night life as well as the largest port in the Middle East. It has met an increase since 1974 when the other important port in Cyprus Ammochostos was lost during the Turkish occupation.

Limassol is considered to be a new town, even though there is evidence that it was inhabited during antiquity. It is located at the most southern part of Cyprus, built amphitheatrically over the Acrotiri Bay, between two ancient cities of Amathounda to the east and Curium to the west. The development of the town also has to do with the British Military Bases to the west, so the town is extended to the east with sandy beaches along the beach area.

History

The town of Limassol began to be mentioned in history during the early byzantine era with the name Neapolis. During the byzantine years it was the main base of the Episcope and is mentioned with the names Theodosias and Nea Polis and thrived between the two important cities of Amathounda and Curium. Amathounda existed from the medieval years and is known even today by the name Palea Polis. During the medieval period Limassol hosted the wedding of King Richard the Lionheart and Vereggaria which was later crowned as Queen of England in Limassol as well. Later on during the period of the Crusades, the Knights founded their headquarters west of Limassol, known today as the Medieval Castle of Colossi. This was the beginning of the wine production on the island, in particular Commantaria which is the oldest wine name in the world.

Richard the Lionheart occupied Cyprus in 1191 and had landed in Limassol with this troops. In 1291 the town was given to the Naites and Ioannites Knights by the Frank King Henry the II. Soon the Ioannites took over Rhodes and transferred their base their while the Naites were destroyed by the Pope’s decision. In 1426 the town was taken over by the Sarakineans while it was also hit by other invaders.

Along with the monuments which are saved, is the medieval fort which was built during the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century. Even though tradition mentions that Richard the Lionheart had married Berengaria there, this is wrong as the fort had not been built in 1191 when Richard was still in Cyprus. On the contrary, sources mention that the wedding of the British King occurred at a small church of Agiou Georgiou which does not exist anymore.

Sites

Today Limassol extends outside its municipality borders and its oldest part has been kept as a Historical centre which begins from the roads next to the Old Port and extends to the east side of the beach. The core of this historical centre is the Limassol Castle, and is a well-known point for everyone as it is also the place where Richard the Lionheart had gotten married. Today the castle hosts the Medieval Museum of Cyprus, which has exhibitions from all over the island. The area around the Castle is paved with many restaurants bars as well as exhibition sites, making it a centre of cultural as well as night life of Limassol. To the east of the castle is the Cathedral of Agia Napa which was built during the 19th century.  

Limassol has its own Archaeological Museum, an excellent Theatrical Museum and a Museum of Traditional Art. Also there is a public park which has a small zoo and a large amphitheatre. In this park, the celebrations for the Wine festival take place every September. The festival is an attraction for many tourists and locals from all towns. In one of the most beautiful and well known buildings is the Municipality Library which has been turned into a library for the Technological University of Cyprus.

There are also other archaeological areas such as the Medieval Castle of Colossi, Curium, Iero of Apollona Ilati, the ancient city of Amathounda as well as the historical monasteries such as the Monastery of Agiou Georgiou Alamanou. A complex of water habitats is located at the Acrotiri Aliki of Limassol which is protected by the British Bases as a special protection zone.

Economy

Limassol can be considered as the industrial centre of all of Cyprus, with about 350 industrial units which construct furniture, shoes, metal items, electrical devices and plastic. The development of tourism in Limassol took a different route after Ammochostos and Kerynia, the main tourist areas were taken over by the Turks. With a vast amount of beaches and luxury hotels Limassol became an important tourist resort. At the same time, Limassol developed into the most important port in Cyprus after the occupation of the Ammochostos Port in 1974.

Limassol has two ports known as Palio and Neo Limani. The new port of Limassol handles the largest number of passengers and merchandise. It has a depth of 11 metres and a length of 1300 metres, allowing it to accommodate up to 11 ships at the same time. Through these ports, Cyprus exports grapes, wine, carobs and imports cereal, cars, machines, medicine an iron. Today Limassol has become the largest centre of shipping management in Europe with more than 60 shipping company offices in town. Cyprus has the tenth largest shipping group in the world. Projects for the new Marina have been completed and it has been in operation since June 2014. The Marina can accommodate up to one thousand ships.

Limassol is also the capital of the wine production area in Cyprus which is located at the side of the Troodos Mountain and is the main area of important wine producing companies. The wines and cognacs which are produced in these areas, the most well-known being Comandaria are of excellent quality and have won many prizes at international exhibitions.

Cultural Functions

Known for its rich and large cultural tradition, Limassol and the surrounding area is the centre of various function as well as activities which aim to show the culture and the civilization. It should be noted that the ancient Curium Threater is used during the summer months as a cultural centre of Limassol , accommodating theatrical and musical functions. Two of the most famous and oldest festivals of Cyprus are organised in Limassol : the carnival and the wine festival. Limassol also has two large theatres, the Patiichio Theatre and the Rialto Theatre which both accommodate musicals, ballets from Cyprus as well as from abroad.

Education

As the second largest town in population, Limassol has a large number of government as well as private schools. An important fact in the history of education is the Technological University of Cyprus. The TEPAC was built in December 2003 and accepted its first students in 2007-2008. It is a university which is autonomous and is at the same standard of education as the University of Cyprus.

 

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Attractions in Limassol and places to see (map)

Displaying 43 attractions in Limassol.

Cyprus attractions - Limassol district

Green Valley waterfalls was used from the ancient times, as shepherds used to water their herds of goats and flocks of sheep at this pool.During recent centuries, before the main water system was installed in Cyprus, the local village women came here to wash their clothes. Also they collected water in pails which they carryied on their shoulders in order to bring water to their home. In 1995, at the start of the EOKA campaign for independence,...
Kolossi castle was initially constructed in the 13th century and it was then rebuilt in its present form during mid-15th century. This well admired 15th century castle is situated in Kolossi village, 14km west of Limassol in the south of Cyprus.During the 13th century, the castle served as the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar and after the fall of Acre in 1291 the castle served as the headquarters of the knights of the Order of St. John...
Kourion was an ancient city to the southwest shores of Cyprus , located on the west coast of Limassol in the small town of Episkopi .It is one of the most famous ancient attractions here in Cypru and it  is situated 18km west of Limassol.  Kourion is renowned for its importance, as historical sources suggest it was a major ancient city Kingdom of Cyprus.Herodotos and Stravonas both mention that it was a colony of the Argion, one of the...
The man-made lake of Kouris is the largest man-made lake in Cyprus and it is filled by the Kouris dam which is also the largest in Cyprus. The lake has an area of 3.6 square kilometres and is located 15 kilometres from Limassol near the village Ipsonas.The construction of the dam began in 1984 and was completed in 1989. The construction took four years and cost 29 million pounds. It is made of dirt and it has a height of 115 meters with a...
The Limassol Archaeological museum was founded in 1948 and was originally housed in the Limassol Castle. In 1964, during the conflicts, the museum stayed closed because it was given to the Cypriot national guard. During 1972 the construction of the new modern museum started and in March 1975 the new exhibition was organised under very difficult conditions due to the Turkish invasion of the island.This Archaeological museum in Limassol houses...
Limassol castle dates back to the Medieval Period and is located at the centre of the historical Limassol very close to the Limassol harbour. The castle was built during the Ottoman rule in the island but archaeological evidence suggest that before its current form there were earlier architectural faces, older and larger.In addition, archaeological studies and investigations on the interior space of the castle revealed that it was built over an...
Limassol marina is a landmark for Cyprus and it has changed Limassol’s image, The Limassol marina has already been named as one of the most attractive and outstanding projects in Europe.The impressive project extends to 40.000 square metres which includes 74 villas and 162 apartments. With 650 positions for luxury yachts ranging from 8 to 115 metres, it is the first marina in Cyprus with the ability to dock super yachts. It combines luxury...
Limassol salt lake (also known as the Akrotiri salt lake) is the largest lake on the island of Cyprus and is located in Akrotiri peninsula. Akrotiri salt lake measures 10.65 km² with its lowest point at 2.7 meters below sea level and the deepest point of the lake is about one meter.The salt lake is usually dry in the summer and is considered as a unique area of Cyprus. 70 percent of the bird population including both resident and migratory...
Limassol zoo is located on the coastal road of Limassol, and is the biggest zoo in Cyprus. It accommodates a diverse selection of animals, an average of 300 including birds. The residents of the zoo include lions, tigers, bears, panthers, zebras, monkeys, ostriches, peacocks, vultures, emu, falcons and macaws etc.Limassol zoo also features a natural history museum and an educational centre which frequently screens films on wildlife and nature....

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