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When Limassol had a Hippodrome and was organizing horse races!

It is not widely known the operation of the only Hippodrome in Limassol, although its facilities used to be a reference point for Limassol during the British occupation. The British, coming to the island, carried to Cyprus elements of their culture, such as different sports they loved.  

One of the sports that British were particularly enjoying were the horse races, a fact that contributed to the inclusion of the horse racing in the lives of the Limassolians and the construction of a horse track in the city. The British were taking part in the races with their own horses and were actively participating in the sport. As for Limassolians, the horse races gained a more social and entertaining character for them.

The Hippodrome was constructed in 1880, in a large piece of land, along Garyllis River, at Polemidia road. At the site where the Hippodrome was created, there were also the appropriate infrastructure, such as the wooden stands, the racetrack and the horse stables. The Hippodrome stopped its operation in 1925 and its facilities were removed.

Limassolians used to dress in beautiful costumes to see the horse races. They used to gather at the Hippodrome and watch the races with great enthusiasm, while organizing glorious events along them.

From the races and the operation of the Hippodrome, there are no clear pictures. Nevertheless, a gravure of 1879 entitled “Introduction of British Sports in Cyprus”, published in the English magazine “The Graphic”, resembles the first races and the introduction of the specific sport into the Cypriot culture.

Information: Limassolinhistory, “Limassol Points of Reference”, Adamos Kombou, 2016

* NOTE: The articles of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the articles, once it has been confirmed.

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