The ancient city-kingdom was called Kition kai since its establishment until today, 4000 years of continuous urban, cultural and social human activity,have passed. Written evidence regarding the origin of the name of the city date back to the 13th century B.C. and the most popular legend of the founding of the city dates back to the time of the Noachian Flood. The city-kingdom of Kition took its name from its founder, Kitim, who was the grandchild of Noah, according to the book of Genesis.
Ancient Harbor of Kition
The presence of the Ancient Port of Kition is the main reason why the city of Larnaca maintains intense urban activity the last 4000 years. Historical data prove the occurrence of trade actions among Kition and Egypt, Crete, the Aegean Islands and the Phoenicians. The island of Cyprus, and particularly the wider area of Larnaca, was rich in copper, and all the exports of this particular metal, were taking place at the Port of Kition. Furthermore, the English word copper, is a derivative of the latin word cyprum, which derives from the name of the island, Cyprus. Nowadays, the Ancient Port of Kition, revives and comes into the limelight, because of the efforts made by the Government and the Municipality of Larnaca to promote the sightseeing of the Shipyard, located near the Port and the majestic temples of Aphrodite-Astarte and Hercules. The latter was considered to be the protector of the city. In addition, in 2016, a large-scale mosaic (20m x 4.5m)was discovered which depicts the 12 Labours of Hercules.
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was the most successful General the world ever knew. The love he had for his horse, Bucephalus, and for his sword, was widely renowned. His famous sword, was a gift by the King of Kition during their meeting in Asia Minor, in 332 B.C. and the emblems of the 3 crowns of the dynasty of Kition are distinguished on it. Today, it is hosted at the museum of Aigai, in Vergina, Thessaloniki, in Greece.
Zinon Kitiefs (or Zeno of Citium) was a great philosopher (334-262 B.C.). He is considered to be the most important thinker of all times, ever borned in Larnaca. Zinon was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy in Athens. Stoicism became the predominant way of living, not only for the Greeks but for the Romans also. His most renown maxim was the following: “ We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. Two sculptures figuring Zinon the philosopher are located in Larnaca.
Larnaca is probably the only city in the world that hosts believers and founders of the 2 largest religious parties globally, Christians and Muslims.
Church of Saint Lazarus
Saint Lazarus, the only man who resurrected, according to Christianity, left Bethany in 33 A.D. and chose to spend the rest of his life in Kition. In 4th century, simultaneously to the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, a church in his memory was built above his grave. Nowadays, this exquisite church is located in the central part of Larnaca, and thousands of people visit it not only for its great architecture, but also for them to visit Saint Lazarus’s Grave and pay their respects to his relics.
Hala Sultan Tekke/ Mosque of Umm Haram
Umm Haram was a holy assistant of Muhammad himself, the Prophet who introduced Islam, and she was married to Ubada bin al-Samit. She tragically fell off her donkey and died in Larnaca. Ubada bin al-Samit ordered the construction of a mosque in her memory. The mosque named Hala Sultan Tekke or Mosque o Umm Haram is located near the west bank of Larnaca Salt Lake and is considered as one of the most important monuments of Larnaca. Nowadays, many believers visit this shrine place and enjoy the beautiful scenery created by this monument, the park behind it and the Larnaca Salt Lake, where the beautiful Flamingos are encountered in winter.