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Events

"Peace" Square - Historic elements of the area

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Indicative depiction of Limassol during French rule.

  • With regard to the study only assumptions may be made.
  • The archaeological research has not yet substantiated the structure of the city in ancient times.
  • It appears, however, that the area adjoined or was very close to the boundaries of an exclusively fortified settlement during the Middle Ages, and until the city was destroyed.
  • The medieval fortifications appear to be defined by the Garillis River.
  • From the mid-14th century onwards the town was described as being in poor condition.
  • There was, however, remarkable commercial and harbour activity.
  • In 1570, Limassol was occupied by the Ottomans.
  • It became substantially detached from Europe and its culture.
  • Limassol was described by travellers as an oriental settlement.
  • In the main, Orthodox Christians settled there, mostly merchants, farmers, various economic-commercial agents for Venetians, French and Ottoman merchants, some Jews, retailers, dragomans and others.
  • Important changes did not take place during the following years.
  • Later, between the late 18th and mid 19th century, the city appears in the bibliography, with again a limited number of Greek and Ottoman inhabitants. The city extended to form a long strip along the beach, extending mostly to the east.

Jane Franklin, 1832:

  • “...In Limassol, Greeks live in the lower (mainly easterly) neighbourhood and Turks in the upper (mainly westerly) neighbourhood.
  • In the upper neighbourhood there is a beautiful mosque with a tall minaret by a river (dry at this season), and an ancient Venetian bridge with two pointed arches.
  • The tributary is bordered with gardens and its banks decorated with oleanders...”

The harbour is the main anchorage for the prime export of the celebrated white and red wines of Cyprus,
together with other products (locust beans, cheese, silks and others), mainly to Egypt, Syria and the Black Sea.

LIMASSOL IN 1850 2

The cityscape is dominated by minarets, the big and small fortress, like Konaki, later known as the old police station, as well as some presentable buildings of consuls and notables. Population at that time was around 2000-3000 inhabitants.

THE STUDY AREA IN THE SAME PERIOD 2
 
LIMASSOL IN 1883 – EARLY ENGLISH RULE

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  • In 1878 English rule received a Limassol with very promising potential.
  • Christians and Muslims, with a few exceptions of national or religious fanaticism, coexisted on good terms, even though the majority does not appear to have lived in adjacent areas.
  • The population in the early years of British Rule further increased as a result of emerging perspectives.
  • In 1891 the population of Limassol reached 7.388 people.
  • Growth of the urban middle class: new professions; young people begin to be educated.
  • Industrialisation begins and there is a rise in the labour force.
THE STUDY AREA IN 1883

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  • The wider area around Jedid Mosque, north of the River Garilli and south of the mixed neighbourhood of Agios Antonios, appears to be under-populated.
  • Trees and orchard are recorded in the existing fields.
  • The road along the river does not yet exist.
  • Beyond the bridge, near the Mosque, there is no road connecting the two regions.

People circulate along the river bed, although destructive floods preceded, in the past and in 1880.

Gravures of the region after the 1894 flood

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After the flood, a new river bed was constructed which crossed over the parish of Tsiflikoudia estate starting from the area of Polemidia.

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Photograph of the area from the early 20th century.
The minaret of Jedid Mosque and the church-tower of Agios Antonios are visible. 
The mixed neighbourhood of Agios Antonis is also shown.

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  • During the interwar era, the city’s population grows faster than before.
  • Internal immigration begins to appear more profound.
  • Besides trade, economic and harbour activity, industrialisation is intensified.
  • West of the area industries are installed, constituting a base for the later established joint Industrial Zone.
  • The area attracts people from both communities, due to its proximity to the city centre, the harbour and industries, as well as the orchards in the west. 
  • Mainly occupied by working class people.
  • Relationships between the two communities appear to be peaceful; they had nothing to split.
  • The only mixed neighbourhood of Limassol was that of Agios Antonios, which no longer exists.

The area around the city in the mid 30’s

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The study area is presented without new road developments.
The road along the river bed uniting the area of the customs-office with the western entrance and the district has not yet been built.

Detail from a 1946 map

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The area appears to be densely populated.
On the west there are industries.
The road has not yet been constructed.
After the Second World War, the city’s development accelerated further and Limassol expanded considerably.
At the same time, considerable socio-economic changes have been observed.
After the War, further worldwide technological progress has taken place.
In Limassol, the end of the war marked a new wave of unemployment, with a consequent large increase in urbanisation. 
In 1946, the city’s population within the municipal borders reached 22.800 inhabitants.

Map of the area during the period of intercommunal unrest

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Operations for the road construction along the bed of River Garilli to join the harbour to the west city roads began in 1951.
Along the river, a sloping bridge was created at the width of the road.
To the west new districts have been created. Growth in the region has become more dense.

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The old mixed neighbourhood of Agios Antonios has been expropriated in 1954, for the development of the Limassol Harbour. The buildings do not exist today.

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Jedid Mosque and Agios Antonios Church are the sole significant symbols of the earlier peaceful coexisting relationship.

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The temple of Agios Antonios was built in 1870 over an older church from which  icons have been transferred. 
On 1896 some repairs took place after the destructive flood of 1894. 
Every year, on the name-day of Agios Antonios, all the people of Limassol used to gather at the small church and the courtyard, 
for a small festival enjoyed by Christians and Muslims.
Later additions on the church followed until it reached its present form.

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Jedid Mosque paradoxically seems to be in contact with the river-bed of Garillis. The older mosque (Geni Mosque) and its minaret, 
which appears to have been built in 1825, was destroyed due to flood damage in 1894 and later rebuilt.

 
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