Limassol Walking Tour
Welcome to Lemesos, the second largest city in Cyprus, a city with a long tradition and history. There is no other city in Cyprus with such a diverse history and culture. Associated with the Crusades in Medieval times, its past reveals a civilisation uninterrupted for more than 5.000 years.
Welcome to the city of Festivals! The Wine Festival, the Carnival, the Summer Events (including a series of music, dance and theatre events at the Medieval Castle, the Folk Music and Dance Festival and the Great Ballet), the Beer Festival and many more.
See the best of Lemesos in a Walking Tour organized by the Municipality of Lemesos in collaboration with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Tourist Guides Association. The tour aims at giving you the opportunity to get to know the historical center of Lemesos by walking through its narrow streets which visually "narrate" its long history. Monuments of the past, traditional workshops, unique architectural features, the bustling life of the old market and traditional shops all reflect the city's atmosphere, the main element of this tour. By walking, one gets the feel both of the place and its everyday life.
Feedback in history
Lemesos's 16 km long coastal strip developed in recent years as a popular tourist resort, gives the visitor the impression of a 21st century city.
Archaeological evidence shows settlement at what is now Lemesos for the past 5.000 years although it was always overshadowed by the ancient City Kingdoms Kourion on the west and Amathus on the east. As they were abandoned in the Byzantine period (7th - 10th cent. A.D.) Lemesos developed into a larger settlement with the name Neapolis (New Town).
The city was also know as Nemesos, a name that indicates the geographical location of this city "in between" Kourion and Amathus. In Medieval times the name changed to Lemesos.
One of the most important events in medieval Lemesos was the arrival of King Richard the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade, on his way to Jerusalem. Tradition says that King Richard married Berrengaria of Navarra in Lemesos at St. George's Church, situated in the area where the Medieval Castle of Lemesos was later built.During this early Medieval period Lemesos became an important port. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, the Ottoman Turks occupied Lemesos when they took over the island in 1571 and kept it for over 300 years. During the British period (1878 - 1960), Lemesos developed into the second largest city of Cyprus. The tragic events of the Turkish invasion of 1974, which resulted in the oprooting of 200.000 people from the northern part of Cyprus meant a large number of refugees suddenly finding hospitality in Lemesos. This resulted in the rapid expansion of the city. A town of 65.000 inhabitants grew into a city of 136.000, an important business and tourist resort and a center for international offshore companies. Its new port is now one of the busiest commercial and cruise ports in the eastern Mediterranean.
Highlights of the Tour
Do join us ...
For a stroll in Neapolis, Nemesos, Limassol ... Lemesos
It is very important to acquaint people with the most important feature of Lemesos - its opening to the rest of the world - the sea front - known as Molos or the embankment, a meeting point of the local people (Lemesiani or Limassolians). This area was turned in an open -air Sculpture Park with works of art created by Cypriot, Greek and international artists.
The nearby old port is now only a shelter for fishing boats. There are plans to develop it into the most important point of reference in Lemesos. It will become an extension of The Molos with cafeterias, shops and restaurants joining the seafront to the nearby historic core of the city.
The feature that dominates the historic center of the city is the Castle. Situated in the heart of old Lemesos, it is a reminder of the presence of the Crusaders on the island. Built in the 13th century it is now a museum of the Byzantine and Medieval history of Cyprus.
In the surrounding area there are interesting stone - built warehouses, many of which have become restaurants and exhibition halls. Some of the buildings of the 1930s were used a carob storage houses and mills. Traditional blacksmiths' workshops add to the atmosphere of the area, which was the trading center of the city.
The Great Mosque or Kepir Mosque is a sign of the coexistence of the tow communities of Lemesos (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots). Built in Ottoman times, on the ruins of a previous Byzantine and a later Gothic church, it is an example of the different historic phases Cyprus went through.
The Cathedral of Agia Napa stands proudly in the heart of the residential and shopping area of Lemesos. A building aof the 19th century with traditional Byzantine architectural elements.
The surrounding area is a blend of old and new, showing recent developments close to the buildings of the late Ottoman Period with balconies and arched entrances with decorated walls, featuring a post baroque influence.
The Municipal Market adds colour to the walking tour. The atmosphere of the market, the abundance of fruit and vegetables, the traditional villages is fascinating and survives despite of the competition created by the modern super markets. The building is a restored late 19th century building. The coffee shops in the Market Square are an indication of the hustle and bustle created by the commercial activity centered on the market.
The last historic phase of Lemesos is represented by British colonial architecture. A group of buildings such as the old Court of Justice, the Post Office, the Town hall and other government offices were built when Lemesos District developed and grew into the biggest administrative area of Cyprus stretching up to the mountains of Troodos. All these historic buildings are included in the list of protected buildings.
The place not to be missed is of course the traditional shopping center of Agiou Andreou street - now a pedestrian walk - where one can enjoy shopping safely.
Who can join the Walking Tour?
The walk is for all visitors staying in Lemesos or elsewhere in Cyprus.
It is organized every Monday at 10:00 hours.
Starting / ending point:
Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO)
142 Agiou Andreou street
tel. 25 362 756
There is no need to reserve a place. The Walking Tour begins exactly five minutes after the designated time and lasts about two and a half hours, including a half-hour break for refreshments. Visitors are met by a licensed CTO - qualified Guide, wearing the badges of a licensed guide and of wearing the badges of the Municipality ofLemesos.
Please wear comfortable walking shoes. A hat is also recommended during summer moths, an umbrella in winter.
The Municipality of Lemesos welcomes any comments and suggestions. A questionnaire is available a the CTO INFORMATION office and participants are requested to fill it in and wither return it at the end of the tour or post it to:
The Municipality of Lemesos
P.O.Box 50089, 3600 Lemesos,Tel. 25 884 300
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation
P.O.Box 24535, 1390 Lefkosia, Tel. 22 69 11 00
The Cyprus Tourist Guides Association
P.O.Box 24942, 1355 Lefkosia, Tel. 22 765 755
Main Cultural Events in Limassol
February or March - carnival
The most important festival of the Municipality of Lemesos, which has been associated with Lemesos and its people for many decades. It attracts the participation of a great number of Limassolians in fancy-dress pedestrian groups, on floats etc.
After Easter - Kataklysmos
This important festival of Pentecost 50 days after Easter, has Christianised earlier spring rites of Aphrodite. The festival is associated with the sea and the main attractions are the water games, contests of improvised poetry, folk dancing and folk music.
July - Beer festival
A festival under the auspices of the Lemesos Municipality with the participation of Cypriot breweries and imported beer companies.
September - Wine Festival
A festival organized jointly by the Lemesos Municipality and the Lemesos wineries. It is based on the ancient festival dedicated to God Dionysus, god of the wine. Wine is offered free to all the visitors who are also given the chance to taste a great variety of local dishes at low prices and at the same time get acquainted with Cypriot folk dance and music. It is something not to be missed.
on Museums, shich are not included in the walk:
Lemesos District Archaeological Museum
5 Vironos street, near the Public Gardents
tel. 25 305 157
A collection of archaeological finds from the area of Lemesos. The museum shelters many objects related to Aphrodite and is linked with Aphrodite's Cultural Route which includes Archaeological sites, museums, nature sites and nature trails covering all the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
For more information on how to follow the footsteps of the Great Cypriot Goddess pleas contact Cyprus Tourism Organisation Information offices.
The Municipal Folk Art Museum
Agiou Andreou street
Tel. 25 362 303
It has been awarded the Europa Nostra prize for the restoration of a mansion in the traditional urban architectural style (International Association for the protection and the enhancement of Europe's Architectural and Natural Heritage). It houses a representative and in same aspects, unique collection of Cyprus Folk Art of the 19th and early 20th century in its restored premises.
Lemesos Municipal Art Gallery
103, 28 Octovriou street
tel. 25 586 212
The Art Gallery houses a representative collection of works of art (paintings, sculpture, ceramics, installations) of well-known contemporary Cypriot artists, including the masters of Cypriot art like Adamantions Diamantis, Christophoros Savva, Telemachos Kanthos and many others.