Путеводитель по Кипру: достопримечательности, маршруты, путешествия, экскурсии, фотографии, карты

13 May – 6 June 1727, Larnaca and Alikes Печать
Хочу всё знать - Barskiy's Trail: Cyprus

Lazarus, friend of Jesus and the salt lake

 Barsky first arrived in Larnaca from Lefkosia, having covered the distance between them in three days. In the first half of the 18th century the area where the city of Larnaca stands today was two different places, called Larnaca and Alikes. The part adjacent to the sea, where the Church of St. Lazarus stands, is called Alikes, and Barsky struggles to define Larnaca, writing that it was not a town and not a village, but a place on the coast where the residences of the British and French consuls were situated.

Barsky goes on to describe the port and notes the goods exported from Cyprus: wine, cheese, oil, honey, carobs, mineral paints.

He also devotes attention to the Church of St. Lazarus, which resembles a royal palace. Barsky writes about Lazarus, the friend of Jesus and brother of Martha and Mary, who was the city’s first bishop. The position was then called Bishop of Kition, and in fact this name survives today in the church titles of the Cypriot clergy (for example, the current bishop is called Metropolitan Nektarios of Kition). Barsky mentions a sarcophagus that contained the relics of Lazarus, which in all likelihood had been lost at the time of his visit.

The sultan owned the rights to the salt harvested from the salt lakes near Larnaca, so only the Turks had the right to extract it, and they were to pay a tax to the treasury on its sale.

Barsky sketched Larnaca and Alikes, trying to capture their elusive character. The Church of St. Lazarus is depicted without a belfry, while its cupolas seem to have been cut off.

Ларнака и Аликес1

barsky There we spent 10 days, and from there, on the 13th of May, came to Larnaca (1), a place located not far from the sea. Larnaca is neither a town nor a village, but a place near the coast, where the French and English (2) consuls live, for the administration and judicial scrutiny of their people, who arrive by sea in ships.

Close to Larnaca there is one place by the name of Alikes (a port, it is now inside the city boundaries), standing on the very seashore, here is a dock for ships, where vessels arrive from various countries – French, British, Turkish and others – and bring commodities that Cyprus requires, and from Cyprus they take in return goods and transport them to their countries somehow: wine, cheese, oil, honey, Turkish carobs, mineral paints extracted on Cyprus, and others.

At this wharf is the Church of St. Lazarus (3), big and high, luxuriously built, like some kind of royal palace; about which it is not falsely told that it was built by St. Lazarus, he whom our Lord Jesus Christ raised from the dead on the fourth day after his death in Bethany.

Церковь Св. Лазаря

The best evidence of this is that in that temple, in a large altar, underground, there is, as it were, a recessed grave, dug like a small cave, and in it were placed the relics of St. Lazarus, when he departed for the second time, after having been a bishop on Cyprus (as his life testifies). I did not hear where they lay, the casket lies in the church even today, honoured and revered among Christians.

В гробнице св. ЛазаряВ гробнице св. Лазаря

 Larnaca is situated a half-verst from Alikes, and therefore, since it is the sole settlement, people pass incessantly here and there on errands. In Larnaca, however, live all the distinguished people, there are more houses and there are three churches, in Alikes there is just one church of St. Lazarus; however, both here and there beautiful palaces are found, especially those of the French consuls and French merchants. In Larnaca there is after all one French church and a Franciscan monastery, belonging to Roman monks (4). Near to Alikes are two lakes with salt water, the source of salt white and pure (5); though of the Christians nobody owns them, only Turks, but even they purchase (salt) and give tribute to the sultan.

CY5 4254

This place sits on an even and cheerful field, but there are few gardens, and no woods at all; not far off, roughly two to three hours on foot, stand mountains and from there they take trees for wood. There is little good water there, but there is plenty of wine, bread, oil and everything else.

Not far from the harbour, called Alikes, from the west, is a high mountain, around four hours’ walk, and on the top of the mountain stands the Monastery of the Holy Cross (6), which was founded by the Holy Empress Helena.

Вид на Ставровуни

 But I will talk about that in more detail later. We paid our respects to the coffin of St. Lazarus there and stayed until the end of the month of May, occupying ourselves with our affairs.

Stranstvovaniya Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo po svyatym mestam Vostoka s 1723 po 1747 / Edited by N. Barsukov. Part 1. 1723–1727 (St. Petersburg, 1885), 398-400



Coordinates: 34.911440 33.635440





[1] The name Larnaca is first mentioned in the mid-15th century by the chronicler Geogios Boustronius in his Narrative of the Chronicle of Cyprus, in regard to a settlement located at a distance of 1.6 km inland from the port. In the 16th century this toponym came into widespread use; in Western sources the form Arnika predominates, since the Europeans took the first letter of the city’s name as an article. The port became known as Skala. Modern researchers reject the traditional view that the name Larnaca derives from the word λάρναξ (sepulchre, sarcophagus) and is connected to the burial of Lazarus. This toponym most likely means “low-lying place” (Μαραθεύτης, Παυλίδης. 1988. Σ. 254).
Throughout the Ottoman period Larnaca and Skala were two independent settlements. In 1589 Orthodox ship owners bought the Church of St. Lazarus from the Turks for 3,000 akҫe, the currency of the Ottoman Empire. By 1605 four European states already had functioning consulates in Larnaca and Skala, and the number of diplomatic missions subsequently increased to 35. In 1625 the Turks built a fort on the site of a medieval stronghold in the port (Orthodox Encyclopaedia).
[2] He means, of course, the British consul. Like many, it appears Barsky made no distinction between England and Great Britain, and used the adjectives “English” and “British” interchangeably. It is also possible that he was unaware that Scotland’s accession to the United Kingdom in 1707 had marked the end of English consuls.
[3] St. Lazarus is believed to have been the first bishop of Kition. This story took shape gradually: there is no information about the time Lazarus spent in Cyprus in early sources.  Epiphanius of Salamis, presenting in the Panarion (the 470s) the story of the life of Lazarus after his resurrection, does not mention Cyprus (Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses [Panarion]. 66 // Patrologia Graeca v. 42. Col. 88). The Acts of Barnabas (written in the 5th century, before 488) mention Kition, but nothing is said about Lazarus (Acta Barnabae apostolic, paragraph 17, 21, 22). The pilgrim Theodosius affirms in his essay De situ Terrae Sanctae (ca. 530) that nothing is known of the second death of Lazarus (Theodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae 23 // CCSL. 175, p. 123). St. Lazarus is believed to have lived another 30 years after his resurrection, dying in A.D. 63 (Epiph. Adv. haer. [Panarion]. 66 // PG. 42. Col. 88). Ioannis of Euboa, a writer from the first half of the 8th century who researched the latter period of Lazarus’ life, was able to find out only that he had become a bishop on Cyprus and received the Crown of Martyrdom (Dölger F. Johannes von Euboia // AnBoll. 1950. Vol. 68. p. 26). C. Hotzakoglou refuted the opinion of many researchers that this information had been added later (Χοτζάκογλου, 2002, 34-35). Byzantine synaxaries presented the traditional view of Lazarus’ bishopric in Kition (SynCP. Col. 146-147). Unlike later sources, according to which Lazarus was ordained by the apostles Paul and Barnabas (the synaxaric legend of Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos in the Lenten Triodion, Damaskinos Stouditis’ Thesauros (Athens, 1960, 346); Χατζηïωάννου Κ. Π. ῾Η ἀρχαία Κύπρος εἰς τὰς ῾Ελληνικὰς πηγάς. Λευκωσία, 1971, Vol. 1. 354-356) or just by Barnabas (Γεδεών, 1885, 297; Λάμπρος, 1912, 124), in the Sinaxarion of Constantinople (the late 10th-century archetype) it is said that the consecration was performed by the apostle Peter (SynCP. Col. 147) (Orthodox Encyclopaedia).
[4] Franciscan monastery: this has survived to the present day as Terra Santa or Santa-Maria-delle-Grazie, the church of Larnaca’s Roman Catholic community. The church is found in the north-eastern part of the city, at 8 Terra Santa Street.
The monastery was founded by the Franciscan friar Callixte Martel in 1596 to accommodate Latin pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The first church stood until 1724, when it and the monastery complex were rebuilt on a larger scale – these were the buildings that Barsky saw. However, the building of Terra Santa that we see today was constructed only in 1842. Source: https://www.cyprusalive.com/ru/terra-santa
[5] Lakes: these still exist today, though they are better known for their flamingo colonies.
[6] Stavrovouni Monastery. A separate later entry in the series will be devoted to this place.


Stylianou A.&J. The painted churches of Cyprus. Treasures of Byzantine Art. Nicosia, 1985. 2nd edition: Nicosia, 1997. Pp. 12, 22, 35, 49, 174, 384, 433, 438, 446, 497.

Bliznyuk S.V., Korolevstvo Kipr i italyanskie morskie respubliki XIII–XV vv. (Мoscow, 2016), С. 215, 216, 219, 488, 677.

Bliznyuk S.V. Leonty Makhera i ego khronika “Povest o sladkoi zemle Kipr” / Translated from the Cypriot dialect of medieval Greek, introductory essay and commentary by S.V. Bliznyuk (Moscow, 2018), 60 (on Lazarus), С. 60 (on Lazarus), 43, 44, 61, 62, 64, 66, 158, 246, 388 (on Larnaca), 60-61 (on Kition).

Zykova N. V., Palomnichestvo na Kipr pravoslavny (po stopam Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo), (Larnaca, Izdatelstvo Russkogo pravoslavnogo obrazovatelnogo tsentra, 2013), С. 174-180.

Zykov V. & Zykova N., Drug Khrista i ego Kiprskaya obitel’ (Larnaca, Izdatelstvo Russkogo pravoslavnogo obrazovatelnogo tsentra, 2018), С. 76-73

The town of Kition and the Kition metropolitan see: Orthodox Encyclopaedia. V. 35, 156-162

Sofronios Michaelides G., St. Lazarus, the Friend of Christ and First Bishop of Kition: The History of His Church at Larnaca (Larnaca, Cyprus, 1999)


© Yuliya Buzykina
English translation by Alastair Gill