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

17-23 (?) July 1730: Famagusta, Limassol, the south coast Печать
Хочу всё знать - Barskiy's Trail: Cyprus

…fair in aspect, it has all means to resist enemies

While en route from Lebanon to Egypt by sea, Barsky’s ship approached Cyprus to make inquiries regarding the location of pirates who had been prowling the area. From the ship, having dropped anchor without entering the harbour, which was closed off with a chain, he saw Famagusta for the first time, and appraised its impregnable fortifications and beautiful buildings, including the St. Nicholas Cathedral, which had been converted into a mosque. This building, which Barsky wrongly names it as the Church of St. Sophia [to understand why, see Footnote 4], struck him as even more beautiful than the cathedral in Nicosia. Having learned everything about the pirates, the vessel continued along the southern coast of the island, with stops in Alikes and Limassol, and then set a southward course for Egypt.

barsky Having embarked from Tripoli [1], we did not encounter any problems. We left Tripoli in 1730, on 15 July, and two days later reached Cyprus; one famous town called Amokhust [2]. This town is soundly defended by a strong wall and adorned atop by bastions, just like in Rhodes; they are fine to look at and sufficient to repel enemies.

In it there are old buildings and beautiful churches, built in ancient times, some empty, some turned into Turkish moskhei [3]; foremost among them is the artfully built Church of St. Sophia [4], which the Hagarenes have now turned into their impious mosque.

Собор св. Николая

Собор св. НиколаяСобор св. Николая

But what man, having seen the beauty of this church, would not weep; and who, having seen its laborious and skillful art, would not wonder; and even the mind of the ignorant will move to amazement. It is of far greater beauty than the church in Lefkosia, the main city of Cyprus, of which I wrote earlier when I made my first description of Cyprus and sketched an image of the Cathedral of St. Sophia, which is in Lefkosia, also see the picture here of St. Sophia, which is in Amokhusta, and reason on the beauty of one and the other.

Also the town of Amokhust has such a quiet harbour that it is not disturbed by the waves even in the strongest storm, since it is enclosed by the walls of the city, only on the seaward side there is a small entrance, like a gate, through which the ships go in, and from one wall to another is attached a lantsug [5], large and thick, of iron. With it the entrance to the harbour is closed every night; this is done for protection from enemies.



When we arrived there, we entered neither the harbour, nor the town, since we had no need of staying there, but dropped anchor outside the harbour and passed the night, and learned of the brigands – where and in what direction they had sailed.

In the morning we got going and set sail on our way, along the island of Cyprus. We had two days with a headwind, and on the second day put in at another Cypriot port, called Alikes. Here stands the large and beautiful church of Saint Lazarus, who was bishop there after Christ raised him from the dead in Jerusalem, in the village of Bethany, about which I have already written much. There we stayed for three days and then sailed once more along the island, and after two days reached another port of Cyprus, called Lemeso, of which I previously wrote much. There we also stayed for two days, for the purchase of bread, wine, cheese, honey, because there everything is sold at a slight price.

After leaving Cyprus, we set sail at noon into open sea, across which we travelled with a fair wind for a day and a night, seeing no land, only sky and sea.

Stranstvovaniya Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo po svyatym mestam Vostoka s 1723 po 1747 / Edited by N. Barsukov. Part 2. 1723–1727 (St. Petersburg, 1886), 156-157



Coordinates: 35.125500 33.944000 − a car park inside the fortress of Famagusta



Ship's run




(1) He means the ancient city of Tripoli in Lebanon, founded by the Phoenicians, the second largest city in the country (for a description of the city, see Part 2 of Stranstvovaniya Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo po svyatym mestam Vostoka c 1723 po 1747 (St. Petersburg, 1886), 57-59. It received its Greek name, meaning “Tripoli”, because it was the centre of the Phoenician Confederation, which also included towns such as Tyre, Sidon and Aradus. Not to be confused with the capital of long-suffering Libya, which bears the same name, but is situated on the north African coast. In the case of the Libyan capital, the Greek name, which replaced the Phoenician “Oea” is a reminder that three ancient cities once stood on the site of the modern one.
(2) Mosques.
(3) Famagusta. Instead of the current “Famagusta”, a calque from the Latin name of the city, Barsky uses the Greek version of the name: Αμμόχωστος (Ammóchostos). The name means “city on the sands” and appeared in the 4th century. One of the most ancient cities in Cyprus, it was originally called Salamis, and was mentioned in the Iliad. Its name subsequently changed several times. In the 3rd century BC it was rebuilt by the Ptolemies under the name of Arsinoe, in honour of the Hellenic queen of Egypt. This was the native city of the father of Empress Theodora, wife of Justinian. The latter renamed the city in his honour, calling it New Justiniana. In 1570-1571, while under Venetian control, the city put up a heroic but doomed resistance to the troops of General Lala Mustafa Pasha, Grand Vizier to Sultan Selim II. The city is notable, among other things, for being the setting for the events of Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello.
(4) The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Famagusta. Construction lasted intermittently from 1298 to 1400 AD. Modelled on the cathedral in Reims (one of the great Gothic cathedrals), it was consecrated in 1328. Later, following the conquest of the city in 1571, it was converted into a mosque, and remains so to this day. The Turks began to call the new mosque Aya Sofia, in honour of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, which they had turned into a mosque and important Muslim shrine. Since 1954 the mosque has borne the name of Lala Mustafa Pasha, the Ottoman commander who conquered the city. However, as the Italian scholar Michele Bacci has noted, the memory of St. Nicholas is preserved in a local Turkish legend that claims – falsely – that the saint’s remnants are kept here. In 1087 the relics were taken from their resting place in the ancient Lycian city of Myra (on the Mediterranean coast of modern Turkey) by merchants from the Italian port of Bari, who transported them to Italy in the belief it would bring prestige to their native city. The Turkish legend, which claims that the relics never completed their journey from Lycia to Bari, is based on an entirely logical assumption related to the peculiarities of medieval shipping: ships would sail along the coast, periodically calling in at ports to replenish water and provisions. It is possible (though unlikely) that the merchants’ vessel might have stopped off in Famagusta while en route to Bari. There are in fact episcopal tombstones in this cathedral mosque, but they belong to medieval European prelates, and not to St. Nicholas.
(5) From the German lannzug. A chain obstructing the entrance to a harbour.



Zykova N.V., Palomnichestvo na Kipr pravoslavny (po stopam Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo), (Larnaca, Izdatelstvo Russkogo pravoslavnogo obrazovatelnogo tsentra, 2013), 18 (ill.), 168.

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), 13, 20, 22, 60, 61, 64, 79, 85, 89, 95, 100, 101, 103-105, 108-111, 113, 114, 118, 122-124, 126, 128, 129, 131-137, 139, 140, 142-144, 146-152, 154-162, 165, 166, 168, 170, 171, 174-176, 178, 183, 189, 190, 213, 214, 216, 217, 219-221, 224, 226, 228-230, 234, 235, 237-240, 243, 244, 246, 249, 253-258, 265, 268-281, 283, 286-294, 301, 305, 307-311, 313, 321, 324, 327-331, 341, 343, 354-359, 366, 371, 374, 375, 377-379, 381, 383, 390-392, 399, 404-407, 412-415, 417, 418, 420, 425, 431, 435, 447.

Bliznyuk S.V., Korolevstvo Kipr i italyanskie morskie respubliki XIII–XV vv. (Мoscow, 2016), 14, 35, 36, 42, 52, 57, 58, 75, 84, 85, 89, 90, 92, 99, 120, 128, 132, 137, 144, 151-153, 155, 159, 164, 165, 174-176, 180, 190, 199, 201, 203, 204, 210-213, 215-217, 227, 230, 232-234, 241-243, 248, 255, 257, 259, 260-264, 267, 269, 272, 275, 277, 279, 281-285, 287-291, 293-301, 304-306, 308, 313-315, 318-334, 336-340, 342-350, 353, 357-386, 388-419, 432-459, 461-466, 468-514, 516-525, 535-540, 544, 558, 560-562, 567, 569, 570, 572-576, 578, 582, 583, 586, 588-596, 598, 599, 601, 603, 605, 609, 610, 614, 623, 635, 657, 695, 698, 702, 723, 743, 745-747.

Bacci M., Iconography of Saint Nicholas: Results and Perspectives of the Studies // Dobry kormchy. Pochitaniye svyatitelya Nikolaya v khristianskom mire (Мoscow, 2011), 296–317.


© Yuliya Buzykina
English translation by Alastair Gill