Culture and history info
The medieval castle is one of the ten castles of Cyprus. It was built by the Byzantines around 1000 AD. Around the same period, a chapel was also built there. Richard the Lionheart is supposed to have married his fiancée Princess Berengaria of Navarre on this site after her ship was grounded nearby in 1191 as she accompanied him to the Third Crusade, on his way to Holy Land. The Castle was used as a prison between 1790 and 1940 and it now serves as a medieval museum. The collection that the museum provides covers the era of 400 – 1870 AD. A visitor can see numerous exhibits: cannons, wood carvings of the 17th and 18th century, paintings and tombstones, statues, suits of armour, coins, terracotta, metalware and pottery, glass and marble articrafts.
Curium, was an ancient city on the southwestern coast of Cyprus, the surrounding Kouris River Valley being occupied from at least the Ceramic Neolithic period (4500-3800 BCE) to the present. The acropolis of Kourion, located 1.3 km southwest of Episkopi and 13 km west of Limassol, is located atop a limestone promontory nearly one hundred meters in height along the coast of Episkopi Bay.
The Archaeological Museum provides a very interesting collection of antiquities found in the district of Limassol, dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period. Some of the archaeological discoveries are: Stone axes of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic period, potteries and objects of the ancient cities of Curium and Amathus, as well as Roman terracottas, gold jewellery, coins, sculptures, columns, vases, earrings, rings, necklaces, marble statues etc.
The Folk Art Museum is beautifully preserved old house which provides a very interesting collection of Cypriot Folk Art of the last two centuries. Objects in the collection include: national costumes, tapestry, embroidery, wooden chests, waistcoats, men’s jackets, necklaces, a variety of light clothes, town costumes, country tools etc. The museum was established in 1985. More than 500 exhibits are housed in its six rooms. The museum was awarded the Europa Nostra prize in 1989. Here, the visitor can study Cypriot culture through the hand-made exhibits.
Public Garden is situated on the coastal road. It provides a great variety of vegetation: eucalyptus trees, pine trees and cypresses. In this beautiful environment the citizens of Limassol and many visitors can walk around and enjoy themselves. Inside the garden, there is a small zoo. There, the visitor can see deer, moufflons, ostriches, pheasants, tigers, lions, monkeys, vultures, pelicans and other animals and different kinds of birds. Not far from the zoo there is the small natural history museum and the garden theatre that is reconstructed to host famous international groups.
Limassol is famous in Cyprus for its festivals, like the Carnival and Wine Festival. The Limassol Carnival festival lasts for ten (10) days, with jolly and amusing masquerading. This custom is very old, going back to pagan rituals. With the passage of time it has acquired a different, purely entertaining character, with a large, popular following. The festival starts with the entrance parade of the King Carnival, followed by a fancy-dress competition for children. During the Carnival parade in the main streets, large crowds from all over the island gather to watch the floats with the serenade and other masqueraded groups. Many fancy-dress balls and parties take place at many hotels every night.
During the first quarter of September, the great Wine Festival of Cyprus takes place in the Limassol Municipal Garden, every evening between 8.00 hrs – 23.00 hrs. During the festival the visitor has the chance to taste some of the best Cyprus wines, which are offered free of charge. On some evenings, various groups from Cyprus and abroad perform folk dancing and there are also choirs and others.
Other festivals are Yermasogeia Flower Festival (May), Festival of the Flood (June), Shakespearean nights and Festival of Ancient Greek Drama.
Furthermore, the city of Limassol introduced the first Beer festival in July 2003. This is a three-day dance festival by the sea in the heart of the city centre. Visitors can enjoy a variety of Cypriot beers and imported beers, such as KEO, Heineken, Amstel and Becks. The entrance to the festival is free of charge and beers are sold at low prices, complemented by a mix of international music. (Source Wikipedia.org)