A road for camels in Limassol's past, is the place for walks and coffee now!

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If someone, walking down this street back in 1878 (the year the photo was taken), was magically and suddenly transported in 2018, they wouldn’t only find it hard to believe the change, but they would even need some time to get over the shock. This is because the place where camels are resting in the picture, is replaced by a green park, with a walkway and sea view.

During the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the British rule on the island, the seaside street in Limassol, a most popular destination at the moment, used to be much different and the sea view or the idyllic walks were definitely not a priority. The buildings seen in the picture of John Thompson, with main entrance on the street and their backs at the sea, were partly residences and partly commercial buildings (the camels were the means of transportation for trade back then).

The building outside which the camels are standing, is a warehouse, while the floor seen right next to it, is the residence that hosted the first British Commissioner. The building was constructed by the businessman and trader, Gorgios Skyrianides (who had brought the plan for his mansion from Venice) and it was known in Limassol by the inscription on its main entrance, stating that the house was dedicated to the daughter Zoe, followed by the year 1863. The building originally has 2 floors, with a third one added later on (as seen in the sketch by Tasos Andreou).

Even though the mansion stood out for its impressive design, the warehouse was rather plain, with obvious architectural elements referring to the insecurity of the Ottoman Empire era on the island. Apart from the house of the British Commissioner, the building also hosted the Anglican priest Tylor and a doctor from Egypt, while Skyrianides family resided on the ground floor. The building was sold and eventually demolished in 1974.

Akti Olympion beach and the walkway is now found in the place of the former mansion.

Information and pictures: Tasos Andreou, 

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