Larnaca Tourist Attractions
Larnaca (pop. 22,000), is a quiet little town which has developed in recent years into a rising port with a modern marina, an airport and beautiful beaches on the southeast coast of the island. It occupies the site of the Mycenaean town of Kition, traditionally believed to have been founded by Noah's grandson, and later the birthplace of the Greek philosopher Zeno.
St Lazarus Church
In the old town of Larnaca is St Lazarus's Church, with the relics of the Saint.Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca. After his resurrection by Christ, he lived here for another 30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark.His relics are located in this church, created in his honor.The church was built in the ninth century by Emperor Leo VI and was faithfully restored in the 17th century, and the iconostasi is an excellent example of Baroque woodcarving.Its white painted belfry is highly distinctive and escaped the Turkish ban on such structures.It has four domes over the nave and the roof is supported on four sets of double columns. The pulpit is uniquely placed in one of these columns and is lavishly decorated in gilt. In another column there is a silver icon from 1659, with a picture of St Lazarus. There are also good paintings of the Virgin and Child and St George and the Dragon. The iconostasis or screen between the altar and the main church is a good example of wood carving in the Baroque style.Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter, the icon of St Lazarus is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaca.
Pierides Foundation Museum
The Pierides Foundation Museum houses a remarkable private exhibition of Cypriot antiquities, originally collected by Demetrios Pierides (1811-1895), a Cypriot scholar and archeologist, and further enriched by members of his family.The museum was founded in 1839 in a pleasant 18th century house. It has 2,500 exhibits, which range from the Neolithic to the medieval periods.The collection is separated into four rooms. The first contains Neolithic pottery and various representations of goddesses, along with bowls used in rituals. The bowls are decorated with depictions of birds. Room Two contains more pottery with pictures of birds and fish, as well as figurines used in religious rites. Room Three includes jugs from the site at Marion, alabaster vases and a mask on the wall. Room Four has pottery from the medieval period and a collection of glass, as well as some jewelry.In the hall is an inscription from a grave found in Kition and three shields depicting lions and a sculpture of a flamingo. There area also some early maps of Cyprus on the walls.
Palm Tree Promenade
This promenade got its name from the palm trees that line either side of the street. It runs parallel to the beach in the old town of Larnaca. The tourist beach provides full amenities and facilities.Outdoor cafes, English-style pubs and restaurants line the street and tourists have a choice of sitting at the restaurants and watching the waves or bathing in the warm Larnaca waters.Halfway along the seafront is the statue of the Classical Greek naval officer Kimon, who died here in a great battle with the Persians.Next to the promenade is also a large marina with berths for several hundred yachts. The marina is closed to the public, but visitors can stroll along the adjacent jetty or swim from the breakwater.
Larnaca Fort - Larnaca Medieval Museum
The Larnaca Medieval Museum is housed in the Larnaca Fort, near the sea front.The fort dates from 1625 and was build by the Turks to defend the city. It was used more often as a prison, especially when the island was under British control. Climbing up the walls offers good views of the sea. The fort is on the seashore and visitors can walk around the sea wall with the water up to their ankles.The fort has archeological exhibits from the site of Kition. It is also used as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Center during the summer.Beyond the fort, to the west, stretches a long road of shops and cafes, behind a narrow gravel beach.
Larnaca District Archeological Museum
The Larnaca District Archeological Museum houses a collection of finds from the area dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period.The first room displays sculptures, mainly female torsos and terra-cotta figures. The next room houses the pottery collection from Kition and Livhadia, a village just east of Larnaca, with Mycenean vases and a variety of ornaments in bronze, clay and glass. There are also some Neolithic artifacts from Khorokoitiia and some glass from the Roman era.In the garden are numerous torsos of statues.
Next to the Larnaca Fort is the mosque of Djami Kebir, built in the 16th century. It is now known as the grand mosque of Larnaca and is still used by the Muslims in the city. Close by is another mosque, built when this was the Turkish area of Larnaca and a part of the building is now the youth hostel.
St Phaneromeni Church
The Church of Ayia Phaneromeni is built next to two tombs cut out of a rock dating from 80 B.C. The church is supposed to have mystical powers to cure illnesses if the afflicted walk around it three times and leave behind a piece of their clothing.At the far end of the road are the Public Gardens.
Yachts going to or leaving Cyprus can clear customs and immigration formalities within the Larnaca Marina.
Larnaca Municipal Library
Larnaca Municipal Gardens
The gardens also house the Larnaca Municipal Museum of Natural History.
Entrance fee: FREE
Municipal Museum of Natural History
The Municipal Museum of Natural History is a small museum located in the Larnaca Municipal Gardens. Exhibits include birds, animals and insects of Cyprus.
Map of Larnaca Attractions