Limassol- a Metropolis of Cyprus

Author: admin at 6-08-2015, 13:50, Views: 9 577

 

It is difficult to say what the history of Cyprus would have been if an English ship hadn’t got stuck in the shallows of the island in the spring of 1191. It diverted from its course during a storm and the self-proclaimed emperor of Cyprus Isaac Comnenus ordered the survivors of the shipwreck to be thrown into prison. One of them, however, was Princess Berengaria of Navarre, fiancée of Richard the Lionheart, who was then on his way to Palestine leading the Third Crusade. When he found out about the fate of the princess, he ordered the fleet to take the reverse course to Cyprus. He defeated Isaac Comnenus in battle, released his fiancee and conquered the island. His wedding took place on the island in "St. George" church.

After that he sold the island to the Knights Templar in exchange for the huge at the time amount of 100 000 gold dinars. A bloody rebellion organized by local residents forced the Templars to turn to Richard asking him to cancel the deal. The King showed understanding and entrusted the island to his vassal Guy de Lusignan in 1192. Unfortunately there aren’t many of the medieval monuments of Limassol left, because the invaders destroyed the city to the ground four times (1373- 1584) .What the Arabs, the Ottomans and the Genoese failed to destroy, collapsed after a strong earthquake in 1584. The only monuments left are the ruins of the theater and the castle, which was originally used by the Knights Templar, then by Knights Hospitallers, today transformed into the Museum of the Middle Ages. Limassol is a tourist center in the Greek part of Cyprus, where the resort Yermasoyia is located. There are many hotels next to the Akrotiri Bay, but authentic local atmosphere can be felt in the streets full of cafes and restaurants. At the end of February a carnival is held in Limassol that lasts for ten days.

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