Attractions Larnaca

Located in the eastern part of the island of Cyprus, this city is almost the oldest local settlement.

Located in the eastern part of the island of Cyprus, this city is almost the oldest local settlement. Some of the artifacts discovered by archaeologists date back to the 4th century BC. e. and indicate that the Phoenician tribes inhabited the local lands even when the island was part of mainland Syria.

Larnaca arose on the site of another ancient city - Kition (referred to in the text of the Gospel as Kittima), the ruins of which are located in the central part of the modern city and are one of its main attractions. The foundation of Kition took place presumably in 1200 BC. e. Noah's great-grandson Kittim. After a long period of wars for territory, the Phoenicians came to power in the city. The ruins of the temple of the goddess of love Astarte belong to the period of their reign. During excavations, a huge number of sarcophagi were found here, thanks to which Larnaca got its current name (translated from the Greek "larnaces" - sarcophagus). At the moment, all structures and objects discovered during excavations can be seen in specially equipped open areas, as well as in the “Archaeological Museum” of Larnaca.

An important architectural and religious landmark of the city is the Byzantine Church of St. Lazarus, located in its central part. It was built in the 9th century in honor of the righteous man revered in Christianity and the first local bishop, who was miraculously resurrected by Jesus Christ. Due to the frequent change of the ruling authorities of the city, the church was rebuilt more than once. And during the capture of the Turks, part of the dome and the bell tower were completely demolished. It was possible to finally restore the original appearance of the temple only in the 19th century. Despite all the troubles that prevailed in this place, scrolls with sacred scriptures, ancient carved wooden icons and liturgical utensils of ancient times have been preserved here. Interestingly, during the reconstruction, a marble sarcophagus was discovered under the altar, in which the remains of Saint Lazarus, previously considered completely removed to Constantinople, were buried.

The legend about the appearance of another interesting place 16 km from Larnaca - a complex of salt lakes is also connected with the name of Saint Lazarus. Tradition says that one day, while walking around the neighborhood, Lazarus stopped at a beautiful vineyard. Wanting to satisfy his hunger, he asked the hostess for a bunch of berries from a basket nearby. She refused him, referring to the fact that the basket was not berries at all, but just salt. Lazarus accepted her answer with the words: "Well, since salt, so be it." And since then, on the site of the vineyards, a lake with salty waters has formed. More precisely, 4 lakes appeared at once - Aliki, Soros, Spiro and Orfani. They are currently a national nature reserve and occupy a total area of more than two square kilometers.

In Larnaca itself, in addition to many monuments of religious architecture, you can also visit historical sites. An interesting object of the Middle Ages is the 14th century defensive fort-fortress, built on the bank of the city harbor, which is also called “Larnaca Castle”. Now a historical museum functions within its walls.

And in one and a half kilometers from the city coast, at the ideal depth for diving, there is the sunken ferry "Zenobia". Making its first voyage to the shores of Syria, the ship sank to the bottom along with all the cargo on June 7, 1980. All passengers and crew of the ship survived. A positive outcome of the incident is that fans of underwater tourism while diving can now enjoy the sudden beautiful reef.

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