Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus and southern Europe. The population amounts to 100 952 residents within the municipal boundaries and 180,000 in the greater urban area.
Known between the cities of Cyprus for its rich nightlife and its cultural tradition, Limassol is also the largest port and one of the largest and most. It has experienced rapid growth, especially after 1974, when due to the Turkish invasion lost another important port in Cyprus, Famagusta.
Limassol is relatively new city, though in the area traces were found indicating that inhabited since ancient times. Located in the southern part of Cyprus, built amphitheatrically on Akrotiri Bay, between two ancient cities: Amathus to the east and Kourion to the west. The city’s development stemming from tisVretanikes Military Bases in the west, so the city is spreading eastward, with sandy beaches along the coast of the forehead.
The city of Limassol began mentioned in history during the early Byzantine era with the name Neapolis. During the Byzantine period was bishop and refers to Theodosia names (or Theodosianus) and New City (Neapolis), was not that flourished between two important ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion. Indeed, the Amathus found from the Middle Ages as today, called Old City. During the medieval period, Limassol hosted the wedding of Richard the Lionheart and Berengaria, later crowned queen of England in coronation also be done in Limassol. Later, during the Crusades, the Crusaders established their headquarters in the west of Limassol, known today as Kolossi Medieval Castle. This was also the beginning of wine production on the island, mainly sweet wine, Commandaria, which has the oldest wine name in the world.
In Limassol landed with his troops the King of England, Richard the Lionheart, who conquered Cyprus in 1191. In 1291 the town was given by the then Frankish King of Cyprus Henry II the Templars and Hospitallers. But soon the Knights conquered Rhodes and there transferred their headquarters, while the Order of Templars was dissolved by decision toupapa. In 1426 the city was captured and sacked by the Saracens while occasionally suffered other attacks by various invaders.
Among the monuments are preserved is the medieval fortress that was built in the 12th or early 13th century. Although tradition says that the fort was celebrated the wedding of Richard the Lionheart with Berengaria of Navarre, this is wrong because the fortress had not yet been built in 1191, when Richard was in Cyprus. Instead, the sources said that marriages of the English king had done in the small church of St. George, which no longer survives.
Today Limassol extend beyond municipal boundaries, the oldest part of has been preserved as the Historical Center, which starts from the streets near the Old Port and stretches east in length of the beach. The core of this historic center is Limassol Castle, landmark of the city, in the chapel which is said to married oRichardos the Lionheart. Today the castle houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum, which houses exhibits from across Cyprus. The area around the castle is pedestrianized, with many restaurants, bars and showrooms, thus becoming the center of cultural and night life of Limassol. East of the castle, stands the Cathedral of Agia Napa built in the late 19th century.
Limassol has its own Archaeological Museum, a remarkable Theatre Museum and a small Folk Art Museum. Moreover, there is a large public garden that has a small zoo and a large auditorium. In this garden takes place every September, the Wine Festival, an attraction for both citizens and tourists. Inside one of the most beautiful and famous buildings city houses the Public Library, which has now turned into one of the university libraries of the Technological University of Cyprus.
In the province of Limassol there are other archaeological sites such as the medieval Kolossi Castle, Kourion, the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, the ancient city of Amathus and historic monasteries as the Monastery of St. George Alamanou. Complex wetlands observed in the Cape region “Limassol Salt Lake,” it is characterized by the Ramsar Treaty, the European SPA and the recognition of the area from the British Bases as “Special Protection Zone” for the importance of wetlands and the biodiversity of the island.