Larnaca,.. Town Of Philosopher Zenon

 

 


 

On the edge of Larnaka Bay the palm-lined seafront of Larnaka town bustles with cafes, tavernas, shops and bars. Historic charm is lent to the scene by its fortress castle, now used as the town's summer cultural centre. Larnaka is an excellent base from which to get to know the central and eastern section of Cyprus, and its proximity to the International Airport and a number of luxury hotels that have been developed along its beautiful sandy beaches make this a popular holiday choice. Larnaka was originally known as Kition, or Khittim, and legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah's grandson Khittim. But the name Larnaka probably comes from the Greek word "Larnax", which means sarcophagus many of which have been unearthed in this area.

The town's heyday was as an ancient city kingdom established by the Mycenean Greeks in the 13th century BC, when it enjoyed the dual position of rich sea port and major centre of the copper trade. Remains of that period excavated in recent years can be seen in its Cyclopean walls and a complex of Mycenean temples at the ancient Kition site.

Birthplace of the stoic philosopher Zeno, Larnaka was also the second home of St. Lazarus, who arrived there after his resurrection and later became its first Bishop. The Church of St Lazarus standing in the centre of the town is well worth a visit The tomb of St Lazarus, who is still the patron saint of Larnaka, is under the sanctuary.

The town was not to regain its standing until the 17th century, when it became the consular and commercial centre of Cyprus, and i's port once again flourished with trade It was here that the British landed in 1878 to begin their rule of the island.

Much smaller than Nicosia or Limassol, Larnaka has a population of 62.000 and has managed to retain a relaxed, leisurely atmosphere. Its main shopping area is Zenon Kitieos Street, a typically busy road of small shops, with a wonderfully colourful fruit and vegetable market at the far end.

Larnaka is known for its annual celebration of the Feast of Kataklysmos Greek Orthodox Whitsun - which is an important holiday The occasion is marked by enthusiastic water sports, feasting, singing and dancing.

 

    

LARNACA DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Interesting collection of finds from the Larnaca area, dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period.

 

Kalogera Square

Tel: 357 - 24 - 630169


AYIOS LAZAROS CHURCH
The magnificent church was built by Emperor Leo Vl, in the 9th century. Restoration was carried out in the 17th century, keeping faithfully to the original plan, and the church can be called one of the tinest examples of Byzantine architecture. The tomb of Lazaros, who after he was raised from the dead in Bethany by Christ, came to Cyprus and lived here for another thirty years and was consecrated as the Bishop of Kition by St. Barnabas and St. Mark, can be seen under the sanctuary. The iconostasi which separates the altar from the main church, is an excellent example of baroque wood carving. Near the church are some tombstones of Europeans who lived in Larnaca, in the 17th-18th century. Eight days before Easter, the icon of Saint Lazaros is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaca .


Ayios Lazaros Square


KAMARES
The 18th century aqueduct.


PIERIDES MUSEUM
Remarkable private collection of Cypriot antiquities, originally gathered together by Demetrios Pierides (1811-I895), and further enriched by members of the family.


HALA SULTAN TEKESI

3km west of Larnaka on the road to Kiti, passing Larnaka Airport. Built in 1816 over the tomb of Umm Haram, allegedly a relative of 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.


LEFKARA VILLAGE

40KM from Larnaca. A picturesque village, famous for its local lace known as 'Lefkaritika' and for its silverware. According to the tradition, Leonardo Da Vinci visited the village and bought an altar cloth, which he donated to the Milan Cathedral. The beautiful House of Patsalos houses the Lace and Silverware Museum of Lefkara. The church of Archangelos Michael in Kato Lefkara is of the single aisled domed type has wall paintings of the late 12th century. At Pano Lefkara there is a church of the Holy Cross with a beautiful 18th century iconostasis and a unique 13th century silver cross.

 

Plateia Vasileos Pavlou
CY-6023 Larnaka, tel: 357 - 24 - 654322