Limassol is the second largest city of Cyprus and is situated between two ancient city-kingdoms, Amathous to the east and Kourion to the west, two of the most interesting archaeological sites of the island. Limassol is the most important port of Cyprus, center of wine production and a popular resort. There are numerous hotels, apartment buildings, restaurants and taverns along the kilometer-long beach promenade.
The inhabitants of Limassol are known for their love of life. So don't be surprised at the many bars, discos and entertainment venues. The wine festival in September and the funniest carnival parades are held here for a reason.
In the modern city with a partly very questionable architectural style there are hardly any promising buildings to see except for a castle, however the atmosphere in Limassol is particularly lively and cheerful.
The castle is located in the center of the city and after previous renovations by the Venetians, it has recently been restored to its former glory. Besides the assembly hall, there are still some cells, corridors and a chapel to visit. Today, the castle is partly used as a museum, with exhibits ranging from pottery to silver from the Crusades. Those who climb the spiral staircase to the roof are rewarded with a beautiful view over the city.
One of the oldest city kingdoms of Cyprus is Amathous, about 11 km east of Lemesos/Limassol where, according to legend, Theseus left the pregnant Ariadne in the care of the local women. Some archaeological finds are from tombs, from the Acropolis, the Lower City, and from five late Christian basilicas dating from the Archaic to the Roman and Christian periods. One of two limestone vessels found in Amathous is now on display at the Louve. Amathous is part of the Cultural Route of Aphrodite.
In the village of Episkopi, the Archaeological Museum of Kourion is located in a traditional country house with a unique view of the bay of Agios Ermogenis. Exhibits form the finds from the surrounding archaeological sites of Kourion and include red-polished pottery from the Early Bronze Age, clay vessels and jewelry from the Mycenaean period, and a large number of votive statuettes from the nearby sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.
The 13th century castle is located near the old harbor, built on the site of an older Byzantine fortress. Based on the archaeological evidence, we know that the fort must have been much larger in its original form. The Venetians fortified the castle walls to protect the city against pirate raids. According to tradition, it was here that the English King Richard the Lionheart, the leader of the Third Crusade, married the Princess Berengaria of Navarre in 1191 and crowned her Queen of England. In 1570 the Ottomans conquered the fort and used it as a military base and dungeon. Today it houses the Museum of the Cypriot Middle Ages with exhibits such as exquisite plates of Byzantine production, a coin collection and liturgical utensils.
This mill was built in 1900, when carob was one of the main export items of Cyprus. It was used for the production of various products such as photographic films, medical products, confectionery and chocolate. The technical equipment of the mill has been completely preserved and is exhibited in a new building. The premises of the mill show the original restored grinding mill.
Sixteen sculptures by Cypriot and foreign sculptors, created during the annual art symposiums between 1999 and 2001, are exhibited along the earthen wall on the coastal road.
In the Municipal Gallery you can admire works of art by important older and contemporary Cypriot artists such as Adamandios Diamandis, Christoforos Savvas and Tilemachos Kanthos.
The exhibition in the faithfully renovated building houses over 500 exhibits of Cypriot decorative arts, displayed in 6 rooms. Noteworthy are the urban and rural costumes, pieces of furniture, wood carvings and jewelry.
The village of Anogyra houses a small Pasteli Museum, which shows the steps in the production of pasteli, a traditional Cypriot sweet made from carob, and an Olive Oil Museum (the first of its kind in Cyprus), whicha presents the stages of the cultivation of the olive tree to the production, storage and use of the oil.
14 km west of Limassol, on the road to Pafos is the castle of Kolossi. Its predecessor building was originally erected in the 13th century. The part that has been preserved until today dates back to the 15th century. After the fall of Acre in 1291, the castle was occupied by the Order of St. John and later taken over by the Knights Templar. During their stay in Cyprus, the Knights of the Order pressed and exported a sweet wine called "Vin de Commanderie", which is still one of the most famous wines in the world, having kept the same name for eight centuries. The remains of the sugar cane mill is located opposite the castle.
In Erimi, in the Wine Museum, you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of wine production in Cyprus. In the different sections the production steps of the wine production as well as the use of the wine are explained.
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