|Limassol is the second largest town of the Southern Greek – Cypriot part located in the southern coast of the island with a total population more than 100.000.|
The town of Limassol is situated between the ancient towns of Amathus and Curium (Kourion). The English King Richard the Lionheart destroyed Amathus in 1191. Limassol was probably built after Amathus had been ruined. However, the town of Lemesos (Limassol) was inhabited since the very old times. Graves that were found there date back to 2.000 B.C. and others date back to the 8th and 4th century B.C
The history of Limassol is largely known by the events of 1191 A.D. year in which the Third Crusade took place and put an end to the Byzantine dominion of Cyprus. The king of England, Richard the Lionheart, was travelling to the Holy Land in 1191. His fiancιe Berengaria and his sister loanna, (Queen of Sicily), were also travelling on a different ship. Because of a storm, the ship with the queens arrived in Limassol. Isaac Comnenus, the Byzantine governor of Cyprus, was heartless and cruel, and hated the Latins very much. He treated the queens with no respect letting them without water and food. These facts forced King Richard to capture Cyprus. It is said that he married Berengaria in the Medieval Castle of Limassol.
King Richard destroyed Amathus so the inhabitants were transferred to Limassol. Cyprus was then sold to the Templars, the French dynasty of the house of Lusignan and the Venetians respectively. In 1570 Limassol was taken by the Ottomans until 1878 when Cyprus joined the British Colony. Since 1960 and the declaration of the Republic of Cyprus, Limassol remains one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean.
Places to visit:
Amathus Archeological Site is located 11km east of Limassol. Various attractions at the Amathus site include, the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite and the Tombs dating back to the early Iron Age period of Graeco-Phoenician.
The other ancient city of Limassol, Curium, is located on the west coast of Limassol in the village of Episkopi. It hosts a considerable amount of impressive musical and theatrical events in its magnificent Greco-Roman amphitheatre that was originally built in the second century B.C. The site overlooks the beautiful Mediterranean sea complimenting surrounding monuments which mostly date from the Roman period.
There are two Medieval Castles in the district of Limassol worth visting. The first one is the Medieval Castle of Limassol, It was built by the Byzantines around 1000 AD. The Castle was used as a prison between 1790 and 1940 and it now serves as a medieval museum. The other one is the Kolossi Medieval castle located in the village of Kolossi, 14km west of Limassol. It was used as a crusader stronghold, possibly built in 1210 by the Frankish military. The present castle was built in 1454 by the Hospitallers.
Limassol has the longest coastline of all the cities in Cyprus. Ladies’ Mile, Governor’s beach, Kourion Beach are some of the beaches worth visiting.
Finally, the city landmarks include the Limassol Zoo, the Limassol District Archaeological Museum and the Folk Art Museum.