Limassol

Limassol (Lemesos), the second largest city in Cyprus and the southernmost city in Europe, It is a major tourist destination and is famous among the cities of Cyprus for its rich nightlife and cultural traditions.

The city lies on Akrotiri Bay, on the southern coast, southwest of Nicosia, it is the island’s second largest city and is also its chief tourist centre.

Limassol’s rise from a humble market town between the ancient settlements of Amathus and Curium took place at the end of the Byzantine Empire, when Richard I the Lion-Heart landed there in 1191 and was married to Berengaria of Navarre in the chapel of a castle fortress, now a regional museum and one of only two surviving buildings of the period.

After the Genoese seizure of Famagusta in 1372, the port’s fortunes increased, but damage from numerous incursions between 1414 and 1426, the Turkish invasion of 1570, and a disastrous earthquake had reduced its population to 150 by 1815. Its resurgence dates from the end of the 19th century, when the island came under British administration.

Limassol’s harbour facilities, which were extended in the 1960s to improve its shallow-water location, were increased by a new port (operational in 1974) that was able to provide berthing spaces for large vessels. The Turkish intervention (1974) in northern Cyprus and the closing of the island’s main port at Famagusta made Limassol the chief port of the Republic of Cyprus. The port has also taken over much of the trade that once passed through Beirut in Lebanon.

The Troodos Mountains lie inland from the plain. Limassol city is linked by roads with Moni, Akrotíri, and Episkopi. Nearby attractions include Kolossi Castle, which was built in the early 13th century.

In addition to the recognized popularity as a tourism destination, Limassol is also an administrative and business centre, a port, a resort, the centre of the wine industry and home to many archeological sites.

The vivacious city centre, seems to offer a journey through time where the University with its bustling young students aiming for a brighter future is just a few streets away from the old market and ancient castle which link us to the past.

Gracefully blending old with new continues, as across the seafront one can appreciate the cosmopolitan side of Limassol with its contemporary business structures and modern apartment buildings while only several kilometers away one can find charming areas with cobblestone streets, quaint buildings with overhanging terraces under which there are a profusion of small shops, restaurants and cafes.

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