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Larnaca

History

Larnaca, a town with an easy-going pace, has strong links to the past. In the heart of modern Larnaca one finds remains of the ancient city-kingdom of Kition, reminiscent of its glorious days. The Mycenaean Greeks fortified the town with cyclopean walls in the 12th century while the Phoenicians founded a powerful kingdom here in the 9th century.

Kition is the birthplace of the philosopher Zeno, founder of the Stoic School, and it is here that Saint Lazarus came to live after his resurrection. In the 18th century it became a commercial centre and tlie seat of the European consulates. Tlie delightful Palm Trees Promenade, its fort, and its old quarters give Larnaka its unique character. The nearby salt lake is a favourite stop-over spot for thousands of migrant birds in winter, whilst on its edge in a tranquil setting stands a popular Muslim pilgrimage place.

The whole district of Larnaca has something special to offer the visitor, including Choirokoitia, the oldest Neolithic settlement on the island, Slavrovouni Monastery, Agios Lazaros Church and the famous Church of Angeloktisti.
Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca.Kition became his second home after his resurrection by Christ, and he lived here for another 30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark. In the 9th century a magnificent church was erected over his tomb by Emperor Leo VI.
The church, one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus, was faithfully restored in the 17th century, and the iconostasis is an excellent example of baroque woodcarving. Visitors can see the tomb of Saint Lazarus under the sanctuary and the ecclesiastical museum behind the church. Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken
in procession through the streets of Larnaca.
The Pierides Museum is the oldest privately owned museum in Cyprus, set up by Dimitrios Pierides (1811 -1895). It houses ancient, medieval, Byzantine and more recent objects belonging to the Pierides family. A display case of modern Greek and Cypriot sculptures can be seen in the courtyard.

Touring

Agios Lazaros Church
Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca. Kition became his second home after his resurrection by Christ, and he lived here for another 30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark.
In the 9th century a magnificent church was erected over his tomb by Emperor Leo VI. The church, one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus, was faithfully restored in the 17th century, and the iconostasis is an excellent example of baroque woodcarving. Visitors can see the tomb of Saint Lazarus under the sanctuary and an ecclesiastical museum behind the church.
Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaca.
Visitors can see the tomb of the Saint Lazarus under the sanctuary and the ecclesiastical musuem behind the church. Tel. (04) 652489

Choirokoitia
About 20 miles (32km) from Larnaca on the Lefkosia-Lemesos road archaeological excavations have revealed one of the oldest Neolithic sites on Cyprus, dating to 7,000 BC. Choirokoitia (also known as Khirokitia) was home to primitive farmers who cultivated wheat and barley. Visitors can explore the settlement’s defensive wall, circular houses and tombs. The site is close to the dry Maroni riverbed atop a hill that was once covered in dense vegetation. It was first excavated in 1934, but excavations by French archaeologists are continuing. Four of the beehive-shaped houses made of mud and stone have been reconstructed to show how these early farmers lived. Most of the archaeological finds from Choirokoitia are displayed in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.
Opening time:
Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5

Stavrovouni Monastery
Perched on top of a solitary mountain, 25 miles (40km) from Larnaca and six miles (10km) off the Lefkosia-Lemesos Road, is the oldest monastery in Cyprus, founded in the 4th century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. The monastery contains an important relic, a fragment of the Holy Cross. It is however only accessible to men; women are not allowed to enter.
Opening time: Daily except between the hours of 12pm and 1pm (men only)

Angeloktisti Church
Kiti village, 11km west of Larnaka Angeloktisti means "built by the angels".
This 11th century Byzantine church was built on a destroyed early Christian basilica, the apse of which survives together with one of the finest pieces of Byzantine art, a 6th century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child between two archangels, which rivals the Ravenna Mosaics.

Hala Sultan Tekke

Larnaca Salt Lake.
Built in 1816 over the tomb of Umm Haram, allegedly a relative of the Prophet Mohammed, who died on this spot in 649 during the first Arab raids. The mosque is an important place of Moslem pilgrimage ranking immediately after the shrines of Mecca, Medina and Al Aqsha in Jerusalem.

Kition
Approximately 500 m. northeast of the Archaeological Museum. One of the most important of the ancient city-kingdoms, with architectural remains dating back to the 13th century BC. In about 1200 BC, it was rebuilt by the Mycenaean Greeks, and excavations have revealed cyclopean walls made of giant blocks of stone and a complex of five temples.

Phinikoudes
The Phinikoudes promenade, famed for its palm trees, suitably named due to the fact that Phinikia, translated into English, means palm tree. The beach is suitable for all ages and a favourite with the tourists. In the evening the Phinikoudes seafront offers the best night out in Larnaca, with countless choices of pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs, which have events mostly during the Summer and bring world famous DJs to ensure a great night out

Kamares Aqueduct

Kamares area on the Larnaca - Limassol road.
A beautiful 18th century aqueduct which was in use until 1930.

- Larnaca District Archaeological Museum
Plateia Kalogreon
Tel: (24s) 63 01 69
Interesting collection of finds from the Larnaca area dating from
the Neolithic Age to the Roman period

- The Pierides Foundation Museum
Zinonos Kitieos 4 Tel: (24) 65 24 95
The oldest privately owned museum in Cyprus, set up by Dimitrios Pierides (1811 -1895). It houses ancient, medieval, Byzantine and more recent objects belonging to the Pierides family. A display case of modern Greek and Cypriot sculptures can be seen in the courtyard

- Larnaca Fort - Local Medieval Museum
Larnaca seafront.
Built in 1625, it was used as a prison in the first years of British rule. It houses the District Mediaeval Museum. The fort is also used as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre during the summer.

- Larnaca Municipal Cultural Center
Plateia Evropis - Seafront promenade, Tel: (24) 65 88 48
Five old Larnaca Customs warehouses, built in the colonial style (1881), have recently been renovated and turned into the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre. It houses the Municipal Gallery and the only Palaeontology Museum in Cyprus, where the ancient fossilised remains of pygmy elephants and hippopotami that once lived on the island can be seen. The Centre also has facilities for occasional exhibitions.

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