Home of Agios Lazaros
seafront is vaguely reminiscent of the Continental promeande,
with its line of mature palms and its languid air of sleepy
charm. Cafes and tavernas line the area near the sea, making
this a popular spot with visitors and Cypriots alike during
the long summer. Nearby is the Marina, frequented by yachtsmen
from all over the world.
All the western end of the promenade is the town's 17th
century fort, which now houses the Larnaka mediaeval Museum.
As the home of the island's main international airport,
Larnaka offers many visitors their first taste of Cyprus. One
of the first sights is the beautiful Salt Lake, home in the
cooler months to colonies of graceful flamingos and other
migratory birds. Beside the Lake, in a tranquil setting
crowned by lush palms, is the Hala Sultan Tekesi, built to the
memory of Prophet Mohammed's aunt.
Larnaka's links with Christianity go back to the very
beginning, for the town's first bishop was none other than
Agios Lazaros, who chose to live his 'second life' there after
Jesus had raised him from the dead.
A church built in his anme exists on the spot where his
remains were said to be found.
Larnaka's District Archaelogiacal Museum and the Pierides
Foundation Museum exhibit particularly interesting antiquities.
The town's marble bust of Zenon, after the philosopher who
founded the famous Stoic School, bears testimony to another
famous son. Also of interest is the ancient city- kingdom of
kition established by Mycenean Greeks in the 13th century B.C.,
the Church of Agia Faneromeni, built over a rock cave dating
from the 8th century B.C. and the 18th century aqueduct on the
outskirts of town.
Stavrovouni, one of the oldest and most dramatically sited
monasteries in Cyprus, founded by Saint Helena, is within
reach of Larnaka. Pearched atop a mountain it has stunning
views in all directions. In accordance with the strict
monastic tradition observed with this particular order, women
are not allowed inside Stavrovouni Monastery.
Again within striking distance of Larnaka, is the Church of
Panagia Angeloktisti which houses the 6th century lifesize
Byzantine mosaic of the Virgin Mary- one of the finest in the
world from this period.
A visit to the village of Lefkara,
famed for the lace-like embroidery known as 'Lefkaritika' that
was said to captivate Leonardo da Vinci, is also a treat.
Further south, is the remarkable site of Choirokoitia,
included in the Unesco World Heritage List, where excavations
have yielded one of the most important Neolithic settlements
found anywhere in the world.