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Events

LIMASSOL: THE OLD TOWN CENTRE

ROUTE 3 - COLONIAL RESIDENCES

 

The dwellings of Eirenes street set solidly in stone against the narrow street, display austere facades with usually few ornaments save for their balconies.  The somewhat severe fronts of the houses, however, serve to shield their inner life, set around large closed courtyards and fruit orchards. 

The houses are usually built on a tryptich plan, with a central hallway opening onto rooms to the left and right, and with a longer porticoed wing, the hayati, extending to the back courtyard.

Some of the more ornate houses, such as the Coudounari residence at no. 75, bear stylistic references to the architecture of Alexandria, possibly attesting to the links of the family with that city.

Note also the “English Rosettes” carved on the balcony supports, a decorative feature of the Colonial period.  Opposite, at no. 118, is one of the only two buildings in the street surviving from the Ottoman period, and quite distinguishable by its comparatively “humble” doorway.

Eirenes street ends northwards at a small public garden overlooked by the colonial water tower, which marks the end of the colonial extent of the town.

From here and to the left, extends Navarinou street, developed during the post WWII period, lined with workshops, as well as some independent villas.  These are stepped back from the street and set in lush Mediterranean gardens with decorative plants.  Navarinou street extends west to the river and ends at the colonial bridge known as the “bridge of four lanterns”, a stone arched construction with a cast iron balustrade and cast-iron lamp posts on its four corners. Just before the bridge, the road to the left is Eleftherias street.  This used to be one of the main thoroughfares into Limassol from the wine-growing villages, characterized by a residential-commercial aspect, including khans, coffee-shops and warehouses. 

A significant landmark half-way down, is the triangular building known as “Marika’s Triangle”, named after an enterprising lady who amassed a large fortune.  
Another elegant building is the Loutios residence, on the corner of Eleftherias street and Cleopatras street demonstrates the wealthier times experienced by Limassolians between the two World Wars.

Note the beautiful carved wooden door at no. 14 surrounded by ornate stonework.  Further south were coppersmiths’ workshops; the fist silent movie theatre of Cyprus was set up in one of the adjoining warehouses.  The southern end of the street joins up to the traditional commercial area, leading back to the castle and back to the starting point of this stroll.

 

 

 

 
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