Larnaca – Oldest City of Cyprus
I was standing on the old boat, which I had rented, amidst the ocean’s deep waves while I glanced at the birds flying above me, sailors passing by and winds just rushing toward me, and I was magically transported straight to heaven!
I couldn’t really get my eyes off the awesome view that was before me, that of the Promenade from the Marina. The beautiful city of Larnaca stood on the shore with all its mighty beauty!
Larnaca is often acknowledged as the oldest city in the land of Cyprus and once was known as Kittion. I was told by an old man, living near the dock, how according to legends the first settlement was made here by Noah’s grandson Kittim and the place has now existed for more than 6,000 years! Amazing, isn’t it?
While I explored the city looking for history, which pulled me towards itself, I realized that the city was established by the Mycenaean Greeks all the way back in the thirteenth century BC and the remains that were extracted years later can be found lying today in the temples and around the Cyclopean walls. It is the pride of the city.
There was a time when Citium was the heart of Cyprus, this changed when Larnaca was established. Many long fiery battles were fought here by the Greeks, and even today, while glancing at some major destination or monument or statue, you will find yourself admiring the heroic tales of the brave men. These tales are enthusiastically passed on to the next generations by the folks around here, which keeps alive the charm of this place. No wonder the city has held its pride over its culture and heritage and refuses to let go of it, something not many contemporary cities have been able to do.
The small town regained its strength during the time of the Ottoman Empire when it became the centre for all the diplomacy and trading activities. Then came the British army in 1878 and established the Queen’s empire till 1960. Later even the Turks were attracted towards this serene piece of land on earth.
Today as I walked the streets of Larnaca I was amazed by the ingenuity of the residents and the very cosy atmosphere that is hard to find in a city like London. With a population of just sixty five thousand this place is gaining fast popularity amongst tourists as well. I would strongly suggest you to take a dive in its beauty and prepare to be taken away into another era altogether! And, while you are there, do not forget to sink into the beauty of monuments like the Church of Lazarus, Hala Sultan Tekke, The Kamares, Fort of Larnaca and the nearby Larnaca Salt Lake.