Limassol today is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Perhaps no problems that the Republic of Cyprus is having (economic crisis, pandemic, cancellation of the investment program, etc.) are unable to knock Limassol off its movement towards its goal - to become a modern developed city with a special Cypriot flavor.
The flip side of this process is not very attractive phenomena as the demolition of historically valuable buildings or the uncontrolled change of the urban landscape. However, these are all side effects of urban development, which, according to the famous cliche, is outside the comfort zone. But, it is interesting to explore Limassol, watch its growth and changes that are taking place here and now.
To better understand this amazing city, to appreciate its advantages and disadvantages, let's take a walk through its districts and environs.
First, some curious data about the history of Limassol. The city appeared in the Byzantine era, occupying an advantageous place between two ancient cities - Amathus (Amathous, Amathounta) and Curium (Kourion). Probably because of its position as an intermediate city (Greek "anamesos"), Limassol received the Greek name Lemesos.
In Byzantine sources, the city was also called Theodosiana and Nea Polis (Greek "new city"). And in Turkish it is called Leymosun.
A colossal leap in the city development took place after 1974, when the Republic of Cyprus lost the seaport of Famagusta. Today the port of Limassol is the largest in Cyprus and one of the largest in the entire Middle East.
Barges on the way to the port of Limassol
After getting acquainted with some curious facts and before starting our journey, let's figure out what is generally called "Limassol". Oddly enough, everything is not so simple here.
Strictly speaking, the boundaries of the municipality of Limassol include a relatively small part of the area that is usually called Limassol. Starting from the Zakaki in the west, the municipality stretches to Dasoudi Park, where its eastern border runs. In the north, the border of the municipality looks quite strange. Not even reaching the highway in the west and east, but in the center, the municipality runs through to the north and covers the territory up to the village of Palodia.
Administrative boundaries of the Limassol municipality
However, there is also the concept of "Greater Limassol" (Greek "Mizon Lemesos" Μείζων Λέμεσος). In addition to the municipality of Limassol, it includes five more municipalities: Kato Polemidia, Germasogeia, Agios Athanasios, Mesa Gitonia and Ypsonas. It turns out to be a rather impressive agglomeration. This is necessary in order for local authorities to jointly solve important systemic problems, for example, the issue of floods.
Administrative boundaries of "Greater Limassol"
The residents of Limassol will surely be very surprised when they learn that such districts as Mouttagiaka, Agios Tychonas, Parekklisia and Pyrgos have formally nothing to do with the municipality of Limassol, or even with the "Greater Limassol".
Yes, they adjoin Limassol and are inextricably linked with it, but officially they are separate areas. Fortunately, this gap is not expressed in any way in practice (until you start visiting local authorities, at this moment you can understand that everything is not so simple). You can easily live in Mouttagiaka, and go shopping in a nearby store in Germasogeia.
Mouttagiaka will be discussed today.
Administrative boundaries of Mouttagiaka
Mouttagiaka was a Turkish Cypriot village until 1974. It's name is the Hellenized form of the Turkish toponym Mutluyaka ("joyful coast" in Turkish). Interesting fact: the Turkish Cypriot refugees from this village came in 1975 to the occupied territories and settled in the village of Stylloi, which was later renamed Mutluyaku.
Mouttagiaka on the Kitchener map (1882)
In 1973, 336 people lived in Mouttagiaka (all Turkish Cypriots). In 1976 - 283 (these were refugees which came from the northern regions of the island). But since 1982, a sharp increase began: the number of inhabitants grew to 600 in the mid-1980s, to 1,447 by 1992, and, according to the 2011 census, 2,939 people lived here. It can be assumed (there is no exact data) that today about 3,500-4,000 people live in Mouttagiaka.
Population growth of Mouttagiaka from 1880 to 2011
The most dynamically developing area can be called the tourist zone, although quiet quarters of private buildings and small residential complexes consisting of maisonettes are still preserved here.
Today we will walk through the tourist area of Mouttagiaka, south of the highway. This area is built up in equal measure with private houses and low-rise residential areas built by firms such as Zavos and Aristo. On the second line from the sea, there are three high-rise dominants: the Ritz-Carlton Residence under construction, the completed 17-storey Arc Ship Tower by Cyfield, and a relatively low office complex occupied by Naga.
High-rises of Mouttagiaka (from left to right): Ritz-Carlton, Arc Ship Tower and Naga
Exit 23 on the A1 highway leads to Mouttagiaka. At the entrance to this part of the village, there is a recently built thirteen-storey high-rise Athanasiou Tower.
Athanasiou Tower (south facade)
To the south of the high-rise, there is a quiet residential area with beautiful two-story houses, over which the Athanasiou Tower literally hangs. This contrast very well characterizes not only Mouttagiaka, but the whole Limassol.
The private sector can be accessed through a tiny park called "Savva Savva" (named after Savvas Savva).
Savvas Savva was the head of the newly created Hunting Fund at that time. He held this position from 1997 to 1999. This was the time when the government decided to actively fight against poachers, and Savva personally had to inspect the areas where the hunt was carried out, checking the presence of a license from the hunters. Obviously, he soon got many enemies.
Savvas Savva was killed on March 23, 1999, the attacker planted explosives in his car and blew up the car when Savvas got into it. It was on Archbishop Makarios III Avenue, and the murderer, who was arrested the next day, turned out to be 25-year-old Charalambos Spyrou.
Monument in the Savva Savva park
They say that blood feud was the reason for the official's murder.
During one of the inspections, Savvas Savva demanded a hunting permit from a young man named Marinos Spyrou. But the man turned out to be too proud to show the document, and simply pointed the barrel of his gun at the official. Savvas turned out to be more agile and was able to quickly draw out his pistol and shoot, killing the young guy on the spot. The brother of the murdered, Charalambos, vowed to take revenge.
Residential area Zavos Aqua Park Resort
Ariadne Street goes through a roundabout at the LIDL supermarket and then continues south. By the way, this LIDL was built on the territory of abandoned warehouses, the architect managed to very successfully fit the walls made of stone into the layout of the entire store, so LIDL Mouttagiaka can be safely called one of the most unusual on the island.
To the southwest of the supermarket is another private sector with quiet, deserted streets.
Here is such a miracle growing at one of the houses
If you turn left on the roundabout, you will continue along Ariadne Street. On the left will be the Cineplex cinema.
On the right, between Alkeou Streets (or Alcaeus, the ancient Greek poet and musician) and Richardou Leontokardou Street (or Richard the Lionheart, this person needs no introduction), is the residential quarter Zavos Santa Barbara Village with two-story houses, many of which are for short-term rent.
Santa Barbara Village Central "square"
View of the area from the south side
Alcaeus Street will lead you to the Sky Tower which is under construction, but this is the territory of another municipality, of Germasogeia.
To the south of the Street of Alcaeus, right in front of the Sky Tower, is Irakleous Street (Hercules Street), it runs into Richard the Lionheart Street, which is divided in half between Germasogeia and Mouttagiaka. There are two residential complexes on the territory of Mouttagiaka on this street: Aristo Paradise and Sun City Complex.
Sun City Complex
Sun City is literally a shabby apartment building, so be careful if you see an advertisement for the sale of an apartment in Sun City. It can turn out to be not a modern complex at all.
Between the apartment building and Santa Barbara Village, there is a small park famous for its abundance of cats and the fact that homeless people occasionally spend the night on its benches.
After walking along the Alcaeus, Hercules and Richard Streets, we made a circle and again went to Ariadne street, directly to the Naga tower.
If we go to the left, then we will again find ourselves on the highway (it is less than a minute from here by car, which is very convenient), and if we go to the right, we will go out to the sea.
In the southern part of Ariadne Street, 400 meters from LIDL, there is a Metro supermarket. Locals can choose which store in the neighborhood they like best, not every Limassol resident has such alternatives. Opposite the Metro is a very atmospheric place: the Pandehis ceramics workshop.
Rows of huge clay pots of various sizes stand right on the street, adding a special Cypriot flavor to the local landscape.
Turning left behind the workshop, we find ourselves on the seaside road - Amathountos Avenue, named after the ancient city of Amathus.
Here is the Arc Ship complex (the shape of the building really resembles th Ark), to the east the elite 33 floors Ritz-Carlton is being erected.
Arc Ship Tower
Between them, there are three monotonous gray apartment buildings, and there is also a huge vacant lot, which is decorated with real gardens and orchards laid out at two private houses. Truly, Mouttagiaka is a village of contrasts.
View of the Ritz-Carlton from the northwest
A real vegetable garden just next door
Behind the Ritz-Carlton, the Mouttagiaka territory ends, and the municipality of Agios Tychonas begins.
It is surprising, but there are no normal beaches in Mouttagiaka, as well as no hotels. The only hotel on the territory of the municipality was the Aquarius Beach Hotel, which was closed for a long time even before the pandemic and is now being put up for sale.
The area near the sea is built up with restaurants and private houses. The narrow strip of sand under the veranda of the fish restaurant is not the most impressive place to swim. Local residents, however, easily solve this problem by going on foot to swim in Germasogeia or Agios Tychonas.
In Mouttagiaka, there is the Mecca of Cyprus nightlife - the Guaba nightclub.
It was closed throughout the entire pandemic and the big question is whether the facility can be afloat again after all that happened. The Limassol partygoers hope so very much.
Also in Mouttagiaka, right along the sea, there is a gorgeous (except for a few irregularities) bicycle path 3 kilometers long, which almost reach the Archaeological Park of Amathus, ending at the former Dolce club.
Witness of a bygone cabaret era
So we have examined the Mouttagiaka tourist area. Next time we will walk along its historical part and find out if there is life behind the highway.
Interested in housing in Mouttagiaka? Take a look at the DOM Portal. The website has the largest database of real estate in the country, both residential and commercial. Choose and contact professionals who will help you make the right choice!
- Where to buy property in Limassol to rent out? (link)
- Limassol city overview: a place to live, relax and invest (link)
- Where to live in Limassol? Coastline vs mountains (link)
- Pros and cons of living in Limassol (link)
- Limassol for tourists. From urban infrastructure to nature (link)
- Limassol District Beaches (link)
- The most popular areas of Limassol to live (link)
Photos: DOM LiVE, pixabay.com