Although Limassol, the second largest city in Cyprus, is considered to be the industrial centre of Cyprus, it still abounds with cultural and historical artefacts of great significance.
The Castle of Limassol, is the only remaining medieval structure in Limassol. Although originally a Byzantine castle, it has undergone various reconstructions and re-enforcements over the years – most notably by the Knights Templar. Richard The Lionheart married Berengaria here in 1191.
14km west of the centre of Limassol, on the road to Episkopi is Kolossi Castle. This is the most important medieval castle in Cyprus. Built as a base for the last Byzantine governor of Cyprus, the area was passed to the order of St John of Jerusalem by Richard I, who set up a feudal system split into 3 ‘Commanderies’. Kolossi Castle was constructed in the 13th century on the richest of these 3 estates and controlled some 30 villages. It was re-built in its present form in the 15th century.
A few kilometres further west towards Paphos are the ancient ruins of Courion (Kourion). Considered by many as second only to Pompei, it is one of the most important ancient Roman sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2003 the whole site was upgraded and includes walkways and areas to protect the well preserved mosaics. It consists of three main areas – ‘The Ancient City’, the ‘Stadium’ and the ‘Temple of Apollo’, all perched in a spectacular position with panoramic views out to sea. The amphitheatre is a ‘must see’ and during the summer season is used extensively for events, with a Shakespeare season in June being one of the highlights.
The Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri are perfectly located to make the most of this area west of Limassol.