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Limassol

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View of Limassol from the top of the medieval castle museum

Limassol (population 107,000) is the English name for Lemesos (Greek: Λεμεσός, Turkish: Leymosun), the second-largest city of Cyprus. The city is situated on Akrotiri Bay, on the southside of the island.

Limassol was built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion so during Byzantine rule it was known as Neapolis (new town). The ruins of Kourion are extensive and include well-preserved mosaics. Limassol's tourist strip now runs east along the coast as far as Amathus, whose ruins are less well-preserved than Kourion. To the west of the city is the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area of the United Kingdom.

The medieval castle of Limassol now contains a museum. It is one of the nine castles of Cyprus (the others are at Kolossi, Larnaca and Paphos now in the Republic of Cyprus, and Famagusta, Kantara, Buffavento, St. Hilarion and Kyrenia now the unrecognised state of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). Richard the Lionheart is supposed to have married his fiance Princess Berengaria of Navarre on this site after her ship was grounded nearby in 1191 as she accompanied him to the Third Crusade.

Limassol became the major sea port of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974 (before that it was Famagusta which is now in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). It is the base for many of the island's wine companies, serving the wine-growing regions on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains (of which the most famous is Commandaria).

Limassol traditionally had a mixed population of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The majority of Turkish Cypriots moved to the north in 1974. During the 1990's several Cypriot Roma (people) (considered Turkish Cypriots according to the constitution) relocated from North Cyprus to the Turkish quarter of Limassol.

External link

de:Limassol el:Λεμεσός nl:Limassol sv:Limassol

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