The fate of Cyprus’s largest port city

Once nothing more than a sleepy fishing village, it was a raging storm that changed the fate of Cyprus’s largest port city. Richard the Lionheart took refuge in Limassol’s harbour in 1191, and went on to conquer the entire island.

Exploring the old town’s streets is like peeling back the layers of its embattled history. Beneath Kepir Mosque are the ruins of medieval and byzantine churches, whilst 150 metres away, imposing Limassol Castle sits atop a 5th century Christian basilica. Romans, Franks, Turks and the British ruled here, and what a legacy they’ve left. There are balconied neoclassical townhouses, Ottoman cemeteries, ornate Greek orthodox churches and minarets as tall as the neighbourhood’s swaying palms.