PHOTOS: The First Municipal Market, a center of life and commerce for more than a century!

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Economy (Commerce, Industry, Tourism)
Social Life

During the first years of British rule, just as the city had begun to develop, the need arose for the construction of a Municipal Market, one which could accommodate the many vendors that were scattered or wandering around Limassol.

The First Municipal Market of Limassol, which became known as the ‘Pantopoleio,’ was established in 1918 and housed in an imposing building with 2 arched entrances on its eastern and southern sides. This building still stands today in the heart of Saripolou Square. Products made their way to the center of the city from the surrounding villages, loaded onto donkeys or carts, and, later, in trucks. As big supermarkets had not yet made their appearance, this is where the city residents purchased all their daily supplies.

As a result, the Pantopoleio evolved into a meeting place for city residents (much like ancient marketplaces). Little coffee shops were set up in the nearby streets, and became a refuge for residents seeking a rest and a chat. Thus, the city center became the beating heart of Limassol for decades.

swipe gallery

The Market continued to grow and expand gradually until 1947, but it started to decline towards the end of the 20th century, due to the general abandonment of the historical center. The expansion of Limassol both eastward and westward, and even towards the north, as well as the introduction of modern department stores, meant that peoples’ lifestyles began to change, and the old Market was no longer as popular as it once was.

The restoration of the building was an important step in its preservation. There are visible differences at the entrance, before and after the restoration.

The Market opened again after the remodelling of Saripolou Square, around 2010, but it could never go back to being the folk market of 1918. Eventually, the revival of the space was achieved a whole century after its initial operation, with the creation of the Limassol Agora.


Source of information: Tasos Andreou, "Limassol – Memory Flashback", 2009
Historical photos: Pattichion Municipal Museum - Historical Archive - Limassol Study Center

* 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.