Limassol: How a fortress - city created an enviable seafront promenade!

* NOTE: All the tributes of All About Limassol (as the Official Guide of Limassol) aim to ONLY highlight the special advantages of this wonderful city, so that everyone can be aware of the unique Experiences it offers. Under no circumstances do they have any promotional or nominal value, nor do they serve the interests of Companies, Municipalities, Organizations or Individuals.

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Limassol’s most characteristic location today is without a doubt its seafront: an area that features a park, walking paths, exercise areas, playgrounds and – of course – kilometres of beaches that welcome tens of thousands of swimmers throughout the entire year. This wasn’t always the way it was for Limassol however. In fact, at the beginning of the 20th Century, it resembled a fortress from the sea, and the idea of a seafront promenade did not even register as an idea in peoples’ minds.

During Ottoman rule, Limassol was a small town, built around a makeshift little harbor. A row of buildings (houses, warehouses and offices) with their back walls lined up against the sea created a boundary between the sea and the lives of every day citizens. These types of restrictions (such as the small windows and the covered balconies of the houses) were the norm during that time and it wasn’t until British rule that things began to change.

From 1879 onwards, Limassol’s British governor ordered the demolition of all the houses built with their walls to the sea saying: “I don’t want Limassol to look like an ugly, Turkish city.” As of 1908, the city’s mayors (starting with Christodoulos Sozos) begin to plan and implement the transformation of the seafront. In fact, the seafront area was electrically lit for the first time. 

Limassol's seafront, the way it looked towards the end of the 19th century. It took 100 years until the last wall touching the sea was demolished.

Photos: Limassol's Historical Archive
Information: Mimis Sophocleous, Scientific Director of Limassol's Historical Archive

* 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.

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