LIMASSOL Historical Traces

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  • 7/30/2019 LIMASSOL Historical Traces




  • 7/30/2019 LIMASSOL Historical Traces


    Historical Traces in LimassolContents:

    1. Ancient History

    2. Medieval Times3. Venetian Rule

    4. Under the Ottoman Empire

    5. British Colonial Administration

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    1. Ancient History Limassol was built between the ancient towns of Amathus

    and Kurion.

    Graves found date back to 2000 BC and others back to the

    8th and 4th centuries BC.

    Amathus: human activity is evident from the earliest IronAge, circa 1100 BC.

    According to a version of the Ariadne legend noted by

    Plutarch, Theseus abandoned Ariadne at Amathousa, where

    she died giving birth to her child and was buried in a sacred


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    Amathus Archaeological


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    Above: Temple of Apollo in


    Top Right: 5th century BC

    sarcophagus found in


    Bottom Right: Fish

    terracotta, 5th century BC,

    found in Amathus

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    Kurion: ancient town outside Limassol. Passed through

    different phases from a Hellenistic, Roman, and Christian

    periods. The town of Kurion has a very large Agora (market place)

    and an early Christian Basilica.

    The most spectacular site at Kourion is the Greco-Roman

    theatre, or forum, which sits 2000 spectators. Gladiator

    games were held there.

    The whole town has beautiful floor mosaics.

    Three kilometers from the town of Kurion is the sanctuary of

    Apollo Hylates which has stunning Cypro-Corinthian

    columns. Also in the town of Kurion are: public baths, the

    Nymphaeum, the Necropolis, the Fountain House, the House

    of the Gladiators and the House of Achilles.

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    Kurion :


    Amphitheatre, the

    Mosaics (up), the

    Temple of Apollo

    (bottom left) and

    the Basilica

    (bottom right)

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    2. Medieval Times (A) During the Third Crusade the king of England, Richard the

    Lionheart was travelling to the Holy Land in 1191.

    His fiance Berengaria and his sister Joan, 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,invited the queens ashore, with the intention of holding

    them to ransom, but they wisely refused. So he refused

    them fresh water and they had to put out to sea again or

    yield to capture. When Richard arrived in Limassol and met Isaac

    Comnenus, he asked him to contribute to the crusade for

    the liberation of Holy Land.Isaac refused to give any help.

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    Richard then chased him and finally arrested him;the entire island was therefore taken over by the

    Anglo-Normans, bringing the long Byzantine

    dominion of Cyprus to an end.

    Richard celebrated his marriage with Berengaria in1191 who had received the crown as queen of

    England in Cyprus. The marriage took place in the

    Limassol Medieval Castle.

    Richard destroyed Amathus and the inhabitantswere transferred to Limassol.

    2. Medieval Times (B)

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    In AD 1192, Cyprus was sold for the sum of

    100,000 bezants to theTemplars, rich monks andsoldiers whose aim was the protection of the Holy

    Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Castle at Colossi,

    Limassol, served as their Grand Commandery.

    The Templars sold Cyprus to Guy de Lusignan,and the Frankish (Lusignan) Period started.

    Latin merchants settled in Limassol and Limassol

    during the 13th century enjoyed financial welfare

    and prosperity.The Limassol harbour was a centre of

    transportation and commerce, and contributed to

    financial and cultural development.

    2. Medieval Times (C)

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    Colossi Castle (up) and

    Limassol Castle (Right)

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    Lusignan Period ended when Queen Catherine Cornaro

    ceded Cyprus to Venice in 1489 and Venetian Period


    The Venetians strengthened the Castle of Limassol.

    3. Venetian Rule

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    Limassol was conquered in 1570 by the Ottomanswithout any resistance.

    The houses had small doorways in order to

    prevent the Ottomans from entering their houses

    while riding a horse. Church: important role in education during the

    Ottoman occupation. 3 schools operated in


    1. The Greek School (established in 1819)

    2. The first public School (established in 1841)

    3. The Girls School (established in 1861).

    4. Under the Ottoman Empire

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    The Grand

    Mosque or Kepir

    Mosque in


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    5. British Collonial Administration Ottomans sold Cyprus to the British in 1878.

    The first British Governor of Limassol improved the

    condition of Limassol:

    Roads were cleaned and fixed.

    Animals removed from the centre.

    Trees were planted.

    Docks were constructed.

    Lanterns for the lighting of the central areas of Limassol

    were installed in 1880, replaced in 1912 by electricity.

    Built a post office, a telegraph office and a hospital.

    In 1880 the first printing press.

    End of 19th century the first hotels.

    Schools, theatres, clubs, art galleries, music halls, sport


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    Limassol old town with

    British colonial