Limassol the city of Amathus
Limassol is on the southern coast and is the second largest city in Cyprus. Built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion, Limassol is considered to be a world class port side town and a maritime centre in the Mediterranean. To the west of the city is the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Limassol is located between Paphos and Nicosia and is connected to all major cities by a modern network of freeways.
Historically, Limassol is built around the medieval castle and the old port. The town of Limassol has been inhabited since 2000 BC, this is established by graves found that date back to the 4th century BC. The foundation of the city is said to have happened in 451 by the then bishop of Amathus and Arsinoe. After enduring the occupation of Richard the Lionheart and various sales of the island, the Ottomans took over the island in 1570 AD. The settlement of merchants in the 13th century contributed greatly to the cultural and financial development of the city. The British took over in 1878 and improvements were made in the infrastructure of the city with electricity being installed in 1912.
In 1963 skirmishes broke out between the Greek and Turkish communities. In July 1974 a coup was attempted against the Cypriot government which gave Turkey the pretext to invade the island on the 20th July. There was much bloodshed, which got worse after the second invasion on the 14th August 1974. The tragic results of this invasion resulted with thousands killed and over 180,000 displaced refugees. There were also 1619 missing in action. The dividing line that resulted saw 37% of the island under Turkish occupation. The Green line that still separates the country in two, also divided the city of Nicosia. In 1975 the Turkish Cypriot community declared the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus and in 1983 they proclaimed their independence and became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized worldwide by Turkey.
Limassol has a Subtropical Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and very mild winters. Its close proximity to the Troodos Mountains offers residents of the city a magnificent forest location for relaxation in the hot summer months. Limassol has become a very popular destination for tourists with five star hotels dotting the coast and offering superior accommodation to discerning travelers. Development of the tourist industry happened after 1974 when Famagusta and Kyrenia were occupied by the Turks. The Port of Limassol is a major sea port with a huge commercial and passenger flow of traffic. The town of Limassol has become the largest industrial centre in Cyprus and is considered to be an important trade centre with the largest ship management services in the Mediterranean. Limassol boasts more than 60 ship management companies due to the favourable Cyprus Shipping tax system.
The new marina which is located to the west of the Limassol castle opened to the public in 2014. This impressive new development has the capability of berthing ocean going yachts with a capacity of 1000 vessels. This has become the pride and joy of Limassol with its beautiful homes and international restaurants and cafes and has become a local place of interest.
Limassol is also known for its wineries, with some of the best wines on the island being produced in the wine growing regions of the Troodos Mountains. This includes the famous Commandaria which is one of the oldest wines in the world and is proudly an award winning wine of Cyprus.
After Cyprus became a member of the European Union, increasing foreign investment in the city of Limassol has led to large public projects which have improved the city and made Limassol a cosmopolitan destination. Limassol is also home to some of the large higher education facilities like the Cyprus University of Technology. Limassol attracts a wide range of tourists from nature lovers, to archeological students and off course the beautiful blue flag beaches which are available on the coast. Its superior hotels and the guarantee of sunshine make Limassol a very popular destination for travelers. In recent years, Limassol has become a very popular destination with Russians and it is estimated that 17% of the population is Russian speaking with 8% being Russian nationals.
Limassol is a beautiful cosmopolitan city which has a lot to offer. It has all modern amenities with corporate infrastructure for major companies dealing in maritime and industrial businesses. With its cultural centres, festivals and archeological sites, there is always something new to see in Limassol.