Cyprus Major Cities

By | December 20, 2021


Limassol, in Greek Lemesos, city ​​on the south coast of Cyprus, in the metropolitan area (2017) 184 600 residents.

Main port of the island (1974, after the partition of Cyprus, opening of the new port); Technical University (founded in 2004); Trade and financial center, shipping companies, important industrial location with light, canning, building materials industries and wineries; Tourism.


The castle dates back to Byzantine times (the large Gothic hall was built in the 14th century, later alterations by the Johanniter) and is now a museum of medieval Cypriot art; The archaeological museum is located in a new building from 1972 ff. and 1975, mainly with finds from Amathus and Kurion.

To the west of Limassol are the Johanniterburg Kolossi (founded as a Templar castle) (only the donjon from 1454 has been preserved) and the remains of the ancient city of Kurion.


Limassol arose during the time of the Crusaders and developed into the successor settlement of the ancient Amathus, about 8 km to the east, which was still settled in Christian times, but was already in decline and was destroyed by the Crusaders in the 12th century.


Larnaka, port city on the southeast coast of Cyprus, in the metropolitan area (2017) 86 600 residents (1974: 19 800 residents).

After the partition of Cyprus (1974), Larnaka grew considerably due to the influx of refugees (construction of new settlements in the outskirts) and, as the important port city of Famagusta was occupied by the Turks, experienced an increased economic boom. Tourism and trade form the economic basis; there is also an oil refinery, food industry, tanneries, salt mining (in a salt lake). Since 1974 Larnaka has developed into the second most important export port on the island after Limassol (expansion after 1974) and a transport hub with an international airport.


Saint Lazarus was built as a three-aisled multi-domed church in the 10th century, tower in Venetian style, inside high iconostasis; Turkish fort (1625), palm promenade; Turkish aqueduct in front of the city (1745; restored); on the salt lake of Larnaka is the mosque Hala Sultan Tekke (1816) with the burial chapel of Um Haram (Muhammad’s foster mother). Near the city of Larnaka is the village of Kiti (derived from ancient Kition) with the Panhagia Angeloktistos, a cross-domed church from the 11th century, which in its (older) apse has an early Byzantine mosaic of Hodegetria (6th / 7th centuries).


Larnaka, in ancient times called Kition in Greek , Citium in Latin, was first called in Phoenician (like Carthage) Kart-Hadascht (“New Town”). The place developed into an important Mycenaean trading center in the late Bronze Age and arrived in the 14th / 13th centuries. Century BC Too high flowering (rich finds in the graves of this time); in the 11th century BC Chr. Destroyed. In the 9th / 8th Century BC It was a main base of the Phoenician settlement (starting from Tire), later temporarily seat of a kingdom. 449 BC The city was besieged in vain by the Athenian general Kimon. Since the 4th century BC It was Hellenized in BC and was home to the philosopher Zeno the Younger; insignificant in late Roman and Byzantine times; under the Ottomans (1570–1878) new prosperity (construction of the present port by the Turks). Larnaka, which then lost its importance again and became a small town, grew considerably after the partition of Cyprus (1974) and experienced another economic boom.


Paphos, district capital on the southwest coast of Cyprus, in the metropolitan area (2017) 65 100 residents.

Commercial and fishing port; was developed after 1974 (occupation of the northern part of the island by the armed forces of Turkey) to the most important Greek Cypriot tourist center in the southwest of the island; private university (founded in 2007); ethnographic, byzantine and archaeological museum; international Airport.


Remains of the city wall (320 BC) remain from the ancient city. Structures preserved. In the west by the sea there is a Roman villa area, the uncovering of which, in addition to many individual finds (in the archaeological museum), revealed excellently preserved floor mosaics (today the museum area); The Theseus, Dionysus, Orpheus and Aion houses (3rd – 4th century AD) are named after the main themes of the mosaics. Excavations also in the amphitheater at the agora, on the acropolis (on it a lighthouse), in the Asklepieion and others. Temples, restored the Odeon (with 11 of the former 25 rows of seats used again today). The fortress Saranta Kolones was built soon after 1192, destroyed by earthquakes in 1222 (ruins preserved). A Franconian donjon (around 1300, restored by the Turks in 1592). In today’s old town center there is an excavation area with the rest of the “Paulus Column” and the seven-aisled early Christian chrysopolitical basilica from the 4th century, which was reduced to a five-aisled basilica in the 6th century and on the ruins of which a Franconian three-aisled Gothic church was built in the 13th century. A small cross-domed church (around 1500) rises above the choir area. Further north are the catacombs and outside the city wall the necropolis of Nea-Paphos (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD) with the so-called royal tombs in the far northwest. The tombs are sunk into the rocky ground; many have a peristyle courtyard with Doric columns, from which the actual burial chambers with their loculi (graves) extend.

About 18 km southeast of Paphos, near the present-day village of Kuklia, lie the ruins of Palaia Paphos (“Old Paphos”) on the limestone hills above the sea. Settled place; a famous sanctuary of Aphrodite (temple prostitution) stood here; around 1200 BC A spacious complex was fenced in, using blocks of 5 m × 2.20 m. After earthquakes, the Romans rebuilt the large complex in the 1st century AD. The city of Palaia Paphos came in the 8th – 4th centuries. Century BC To prosperity; 6 m high city wall; Via Palaipaphos small museum in the originally Franconian castle (renewed by the Turks) with sugar factory. – The Paphos ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Paphos is located on the site of Nea Paphos (“New Paphos”), around 320 BC. Founded in the Hellenistic period (important base of the Ptolemies) and under the Romans (from 58 BC), it was a flourishing trading and administrative city (capital of Cyprus until the 4th century AD) high-altitude settlement area (Ktima) abandoned and in modern times when Kato Paphos (“Upper Paphos”) was settled again.

Paphos, Cyprus