maps of LIMASSOL (Lemessos)
  The town of Limassol is situated between the ancient towns of Amathus and Curium (Kourion). The English King Richard the Lionheart destroyed Amathus in 1191. Limassol was probably built after Amathus had been ruined. However, the town of Limassol has been inhabited since very ancient times. Graves found there date back to 2.000 BC and others date back to the 8th and 4th century BC. These few remains show that a small colonisation must have existed which did not manage to develop and flourish. Ancient writers mention nothing about the foundation of the town.
According to the Synod which took place in 451, the local bishop as well as the bishops of Amathus and Arsinoe were involved in the foundation of the city, which would be known by the names of Theodosiana and Neapolis. Bishop Leontios of Neapolis was an important church writer in the 7th century. The records of the 7th Synod (787) refer to it as the bishop’s see. The town was known as Lemesos in the 10th century. Constantine Porfyrogennitos refers to the town by this name.[citation needed]
The history of Limassol is largely known by the events of 1191 AD. that put an end to the Byzantine dominion of Cyprus. The king of England, Richard the Lionheart, was travelling to the Holy Land in 1191. His fiancée Berengaria and his sister Joan (Queen of Sicily), were also travelling on a different ship. Because of a storm, the ship with the queens arrived in Limassol. Isaac Comnenus, the Byzantine governor of Cyprus, was heartless and cruel, and loathed the Latins. He invited the queens ashore, with the intention of holding them to ransom, but they wisely refused. So he refused them fresh water and they had to put out to sea again or yield to capture. When Richard arrived in Limassol and met Isaac Comnenus, he asked him to contribute to the crusade for the liberation of the Holy Land. While at the beginning Isaac had accepted, he later on refused to give any help.
Richard then chased him and beat him. Cyprus was therefore taken over by the Anglo-Normans. Richard celebrated his marriage with Berengaria who had received the crown as queen of England in Cyprus. So, the Byzantine dominion in Cyprus came to an end. Richard destroyed Amathus and the inhabitants were transferred to Limassol.
A year later, in 1192 AD. Cyprus was sold to the Templars, rich monks and soldiers whose aim was the protection of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The knights enforced high taxes, in order to get back the money that had been given for the purchase of Cyprus. This led to the revolt of the Cypriots. They demanded that they should get rid of the bond of the promise. Richard accepted their request and a new purchaser was found: Guy de Lusignan, a Roman Catholic from Poitou. Cyprus was therefore handed over to the French dynasty of the house of Lusignan, thus establishing the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus.
For a period of about three centuries 1192-1489, Limassol enjoyed remarkable prosperity. Cyprus was characterised by its great number of Latin bishops. This lasted until the occupation of Cyprus by the Ottomans in 1570 AD. Latin battalions which established monasteries were settled down there.
The settling down of merchants in Cyprus and particularly in Limassol in the 13th century led to the financial welfare of its inhabitants. Its harbour as a centre of transportation and commerce, contributed greatly to the financial and cultural development.

map of limassol area regionMap of Limassol Area:


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Limassol map center of townMap of Limassol Centre:

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