Larnaca, also known as Lárnax in Greek, Lârnaka in Turkish, or Iskele in Cypriot, is a port town in the Republic of Cyprus’s southeastern region. The modern town, located on the bay between Capes Kiti and Pyla, covers a large portion of ancient Citium, which was founded by the Mycenaeans in the 13th century BCE and rebuilt by the Byzantines. The Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, was born in Citium. Its modern name (meaning “Funeral Urn” in Greek) refers to the numerous tombs that once existed beneath its surface. The modern port, which was built during the Ottoman occupation (1571–1878), was expanded after the Turkish intervention in northern Cyprus (1974) closed the island’s main port at Famagusta. Small craft are docked at Larnaca’s port; larger ships anchor in the roadstead and are served by lighters (barges) or two floating pontoons completed in 1977. Larnaca is a port of entry for potatoes and cement. A tannery, an oil refinery, a cooperative cheese factory, and the production of commercial salt, brooms, processed food, and chemicals are all part of a growing industrial base. Roads connect the town to Dhekelia, Pano Kophinou, and Mazotos. Larnaca International Airport has grown since its inception as a temporary facility following the closure of Nicosia‘s international airport in 1974.
Larnaca is well-known for its educational institutions, which include the American Academy (1908). According to legend, after his resurrection, Lazarus of Bethany settled there and became its first bishop; the main church bears his name. Artifacts from local archaeological excavations are on display at the regional museum, which is housed in an Ottoman fortress built in 1625.
The surrounding region is mostly agricultural. Wheat, barley, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are among the crops grown. The industry is primarily based on agricultural products and includes milled flour, canned fruits and vegetables, and beverages. At Kalavasos, to the west, salt is extracted, and copper and gypsum are mined. The population was 70,502 in 2001.