Larnaca


KITION, was a principal Phoenician city in Cyprus, located close to modern Larnaca.

The earliest remains at Kitium are those of an Aegean colony of the Mycenaean Age (c. 1400-1100 BC). The biblical name Kittim, representing Kitium, was also used for the whole island. A Phoenician dedication to the god "Baal of Lebanon," found at Kitium, suggests that the city may have belonged to Tyre; and an official monument of the Assyrian king Sargon II indicates that Kitium was the administrative centre of Cyprus during the Assyrian protectorate (709 - 668 BC).
During the various Greek revolts from 499, to 353 BC, Kitium led the side loyal to Persia and it remained an important city even after Alexander the Great conquered Persia. Kitium suffered repeatedly from earthquakes, however, and in medieval times its harbour became silted and the population moved to Larnaca.
The modern town, on the bay between Capes Kiti and Pyla, overlays much of ancient Kitium,
Kitium was the birthplace of the Greek philosopher Zeno, the founder of Stoicism and its modern name recalls the many tombs under its soil.
The port dating from the Turkish occupation (1571-1878), was enlarged after the 1974 Turkish intervention in northern Cyprus closed the island's main port at Famagusta. Potatoes and cement are the main export.
Larnaca International Airport opened as a temporary facility in 1974 after the closing of the international airport at Nicosia. It has now been developed into a modern facility and is still being further improved..

According to tradition, Lazarus of Bethany settled in Larnaca after his resurrection and became its first bishop; the chief church bears his name. Artifacts from archaeological excavations in the area are displayed in the museum on the site of the ancient Kitium harbour and also in the Larnaca Fort built by the Turks in 1625.

Larnaca district covers an area of 436 sq mi (1,229 sq km) with the Troodos Mountains covering much of the western part of the district; the highest elevation is 4,606 ft (1,404m), on the border with Nicosia district. The northern tip of the district lies in the Mesaoria Plain and has patches of woodland in which eucalyptus, acacia, cypress, and lowland pine predominate. Crops include barley, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Industry produces milled flour, canned fruit and vegetables, beverages, wood and furniture, paper products, textiles, and margarine.
Larnaca is well placed at the center of a comprehensive road network. Highways give direct access to Nicosia to the North, Limassol (& Paphos) to the West and Ayia Napa to the East. There are numerous minor metalled roads including a newly finished road past the Airport to Kiti and on past Mazotos to Zygi.
Tourism is now very important to the area and a number of excellent Hotels have been built along the coast - mainly to the East of the town. There are many attractions to tempt the visitor ranging from a Camel Park at Mazotos to Archeological sites of great importance and Churches of historic significance. The Larnaca Salt lake gives a home to migratory Flamingoes before it dries out and there are many exotic birds that transit Cyprus including Hoopoes and Rollers.