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

19–20 September 1726. Limassol Печать
Хочу всё знать - Barskiy's Trail: Cyprus

First visit

Finding himself on Cyprus for the first time, Barsky barely had time to get his bearings. He came ashore in Limassol, which struck the traveller as a port city of little interest with dull architecture. He first set foot on Cypriot land not in the vicinity of the modern port, or even the old one, but opposite the place where the late-19th century Ayia Napa Cathedral stands today (not to be confused with the monastery and resort of the same name), roughly where the bus stop is. While the ship replenished its stocks, Barsky had time to learn the basic facts about Cyprus: firstly, St. Lazarus had served as a bishop on the island and died there, this time for good. Secondly, somewhere on the island is an icon which was painted by Luke the Evangelist himself; thirdly, the islanders make wonderful sweet wine and carob trees with edible pods grew there, which were also very sweet (carob trees do not grow only on Cyprus, but it was here that Barsky noticed them).

barsky At the setting of the sun a wind began to blow; gentle, but fair. The ship sailed with it two days and two nights across the incomprehensibly wide sea, seeing nothing except the sky, the sea and our ship. On the second day we saw from afar the island of Cyprus, which bears very long, though not very high mountains, and sailed for a full day along its shores and could not encompass it. On our ship there were several souls who were bound for Cyprus, and so, in order to set them down and take on fresh water, with the onset of night we turned aside from our course towards the coast, and cast anchor. We rose long before morning, the 18th of September, on Sunday. In the morning, the 19th of September, on Monday, early, we drew up to the shore, so as to disembark comfortably onto the land.

On my arrival in Cyprus

We approached Cyprus by night, without getting close to the shore, in order that the inhabitants of that land would not take us for sea brigands and open fire upon us. Therefore, by the wise counsel of our captain, we cast anchor in the sea at some distance and stood there until morning. On the morn, as I have already said, of the 19th of September on Monday, before sunrise, we lifted anchor and sailed closer to the coast, to one small town [1], where many of us disembarked onto the shore, each on his own business. I stayed with the aforementioned Jerusalem monks, and in their very company visited two Christian churches, very old and of great solid construction, built of simple stone [2].

Also I went to the gardens and in their shadow I walked, ate, drank, and rested. The ship stood for one and a half days, so I studied everything there. The town is small, and of weak and unflattering construction, since there are few stone houses here, but everything is of unfired plinthiform brick, made from clay [3], sprinkled with earth on top. Only on the coast is there one fortified tower with guns.

The town stands upon a broad field, even and most beautiful, beneath the mountains; there are many garden trees in the vicinity – olives, dates, figs, berries (?), pear, sour oranges, lemons and other trees which cannot be found in our country, a great many vines.

Know that we did not go to the main town, but there is another great and glorious main town there, which has a shipyard, glorious and rich, as in other places. For the island of Cyprus is very great: the vicinity has 750 miles and the same number of settlements (as the local people affirm), and three or four towns. On this island St. Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected from the dead in Bethany, was a bishop. Here he presented himself for a second time and here he still lies his grave, but as for his relics – God knows where they are [4]. There is also a marvellous monastery, where to this day is kept the icon of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, which was painted by Luke the Evangelist himself [5].

Nonetheless, none of us visited them, because the ship was soon due to sail, and this place was deep in the mountains, a walk of two days, and this we were unable to do; only the Jerusalem travellers collected alms and set off for that aforementioned monastery.

The island is most beautiful, great, glorious and rich, and the land yields cereals and grape vines. They produce sweet wines that are strong and pleasant for the drinking [6], and go to the Venetian kingdom and to other countries of Italy. Turkish carobs [7] are produced there in such numbers that they fill structures akin to large houses and are shovelled with spades like manure, and great merchants come and fill up numerous ships and convey them to other kingdoms. There we tarried only a day and a half, satisfied our requirements and assembled on the ship; and when we drew the iron from the water (that is, raised the anchor), we set off from there with God’s help to Palestine, on Tuesday, 20 September. 

Stranstvovaniya Vasiliya Grigorovicha-Barskogo po svyatym mestam Vostoka s 1723 po 1747 / Edited by N. Barsukov. Part 1. 1723–1727 St. Petersburg, 1885. Pages 273–275

Contemporary photos






Exact coordinates: 34.673650 33.044180





[1] "one small town" – Limassol.
[2] The writer and historian N. V. Zykova (of the Russian Orthodox Educational Centre in Larnaca) identified the place where the two churches which Barsky mentions stood. Today the site is occupied by the Ayia Napa Cathedral in Limassol. Thanks to the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Educational Centre, a memorial plaque has been mounted on the wall of the Ayia Napa Cathedral in memory of this remarkable traveller’s first visit to Cyprus. It bears text in four languages: Greek, Ukrainian, Russian and English.
[3] "unfired plinthiform brick, made from clay" – adobe brick.
[4] Christ’s friend Lazarus was bishop of Kition (which was located roughly where Larnaca now stands. Visitors to the city today can visit the 9th-century Church of St. Lazarus, now restored and reconstructed after a fire in 1970. During excavations in 1972 a sarcophagus was found in the church’s crypt, bearing the Greek inscription “ΦΙΛΟΥ” – friend. It is thought to be the tomb of Lazarus.
[5] This is a reference to the icon of the Virgin of Kykkos, kept in Kykkos Monastery.
[6] It appears he is talking about Commandaria, a dessert wine made in the foothills of the Troödos Mountains.
[7] Carobs are fruit of the carob tree.


It should be noted that the appearance of the city of Limassol has changed dramatically, and barely any of the buildings which Barsky would have seen survive, besides the fortress of course.



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


© Yuliya Buzykina
English translation by Alastair Gill