The historical centre of Limassol, which the locals call the Old Town, is a true architectural paradise. There you can find the Limassol Castle, churches, market and a library as well as shops and restaurants sprinkled all over. It is a true lively centre of a city with an age-old history.
The Old Town has been built around two thousand years ago by the Romans. And it has been through a lot of events since then. The town was ruled by the Romans, Franks, Turks, and British. Limassol has been through major descents – during the Ottoman rule – and ascents – as the one when the British came. It was when the British arrived that Limassol started growing and acquiring the appearance we can see today.
Nowadays, the town is a popular tourist destination and when coming here a visit to the historical centre of Limassol is a must. Walking through the narrow streets of the Old Town, you can fully appreciate the spirit and the history of Limassol. It is rather easy to get here as it is right in the heart of Limassol. However, it is better to start from the side of the old port as there you can take a look at the Cypriot version of the Walk of Fame. As a matter of fact, anyone who wishes to see their name on a star here can do that by applying at the Town Hall.
In general, the historical centre of Limassol becomes more and more exquisite in its appearance every year. The Town Hall must of course be given credit for this as obviously they put in a lot of effort to restore the Old Town’s appearance and reconstruct dilapidated buildings.
Close to the old port, on Richardou & Berengarias Street, there is a 14th century Medieval Castle. It was rebuilt by the Turks in 1590. As the legend says Richard the Lionheart and Princess Berengaria got married in the castle’s chapel in 1191. Today the castle is a museum of Medieval period.
Further down the street from the castl, there is a street in a shape of a zigzag and the name of the street is the same, Zik Zak. Before the Turkish occupation of 1974 Zik Zak Street used to be populated by the Turkish Cypriots, who later on fled to the Northern part. Kebir Mosque is situated here as well. According to the archaeological data, the mosque has been built on the foundation of a Christian church.
Then, you can visit Agia Napa Church on Agiou Andreou Street, which was built at the end of 19th – begging of the 20th centuries on the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church. There is also the Limassol diocese office on this street. The Old Town amazes with the number of churches, from small chapels to massive cathedrals.
The Cultural Side
The next point of interest in the Old Town is the Limassol Public Library. It is not only an architectural gem of the Old Town, but it also has a reach collection of 60,000 volumes. Moreover, there is an archive of old Cypriot newspapers and magazines dating back to the end of the 19th century. In addition, the library has a large children’s section for the little readers.
Here in the Old Town you can also enjoy contemporary art. A lot of old buildings in this part of the town become works of graffiti art. Moreover, there are walls designated for graffiti. For 11 years now Limassol hosts the Street Life Festival. During this time walls of old buildings become canvases for the creations of the graffiti artists.
Another remarkable construction in the Old Town which is in fact a listed building is the Limassol Central Market. It was built in 1917 and in 1947 it acquired the appearance we can see today. Here you can purchase an array of local produce goods and enjoy a cup of traditional Cyprus coffee.
The historical centre of Limassol is a remarkable place for the cultural program. Every time you visit it is certain you will discover something new for yourself, be it a newly reconstructed old building or a charming little church which you haven’t noticed before.
Read History of Limassol