Larnaca Greek Mysteries
During the 9th and 10th centuries BC, Larnaca, then known as the ancient city of Kition, was a settlement colonized by the Phoenicians. They constructed a magnificent temple of Aphrodite in 850 BC and later beautified the city with their charming settlements and architectural structures.
Unfortunately, the once majestic Greek architecture’s minimal remains made the ancient city of Kition immensely popular. However, one can still explore Greek heritage and mythology at the archaeological sites offered by Larnaca.
Here are some of the top attractions to revel in the Greek heritage of Larnaca:
One of the most profoundly important sites in Larnaca’s Greek heritage, the Stavrovouni Monastery, rests atop a breathtaking mountain peak. It is home to the most poignantly devout brotherhood of monks who keep their vows and allegiance to Mount Athos, located in Greece.
Saint Helen founded this scenic monastery in 330 A.D., the mother of St. Constantine the Great. Saint Helen was known for her extensive travels, and after a trip to the Holy Land of Jerusalem, she brought along a piece of the Holy Cross. The monastery takes its name from the Holy Cross, which has been encased in a gigantic silver cross.
Women are not allowed to enter the monastery; however, one of the monks often comes down to interact with them. Men are allowed to visit the monastery at all hours and expect the hours between 12 and 1 pm. If you’re visiting the Stavrovouni Monastery, you cannot miss the picturesque Monastery of Agia Varvara, dedicated to Saint Barbara, which lies at the bottom of the mountain. It is home to some of the most talented monks in Cyprus, who happen to be legendary painters famous for their work all across the island.
Read more about Stavrovouni Monastery on Wikipedia
The Ancient city of Kition
Buried underneath Larnaca’s present-day city, the archaeological site of Kition was once the ancient kingdom of Cyprus’ most powerful empire. The archaeological remnants of the kingdom in Larnaca consist of two critical cites, Kathari and Pampoula.
Excavators reveal that these sites are of great significance in Greek mythology and history, as the earliest settlers were the Phoenicians and the Mycenaean Greeks, who inhabited these lands around 3000 years ago. Back in the Mycenaean age, the city of Larnaca was known as Kittim. Exploring these ancient runs allows you to explore the Phoenician settlement’s lifestyle and rituals, the Mycenaean civilization, and even some ruins dating back to the Bronze Age.
The Pampoula site is probably a fascinating quarter, especially the two harbors that provide insight into the earliest Greek settlements’ commercial and military arrangements. You can still see the ramps that were used for towing the ships some 3000 years ago!
Find out more about ancient city of Kition
Church of Lazarus
Greek Orthodox traditions reveal tales of Lazarus’s arrival, the man who is said to have resurrected Jesus and later became the consecrated bishop of Kition. The Agios Lazarus Church is one of the finest specimens of Greek architecture, and it houses the tomb of Lazarus. The Church was first constructed in the 9th century, and later, it was renovated in the 17th century. Its inscriptions allow you to learn a great deal about Greek, Latin, and French civilizations.
Explore the Kyriazis Medical Museum
Last but certainly not least on our list of free things to do in Larnaca, the Kyriazis Medical Museum is the perfect spot for you if you adore bizarre and out of the ordinary!
This small museum is a treasure trove of the medical history of Larnaca, and it will take you on a quirky adventure that offers incredible insight into the healthcare practices dating back to hundreds of years. The entry is absolutely free, but the museum is only open on Wednesday and Saturday, from 9am to 12pm.
Read more about Kyriazis Medical Museum