10 things to do in Larnaca seen through the eyes of an artist.
A most unique and unlikely beginning....
Our customers have often been intrigued by Theo's choice of subject matter, many seeking out the locations of his paintings first hand. Art by Theo Michael is a husband and wife team art studio in Larnaca, where the artist Theo Michael takes his painting inspirations from his local environment.
So through the eyes of an artist, here are a few cultural destinations which are not to be missed when you visit this island.
The Aqueduct Kamares
Reverie shows a couple bathing in the sunlight on a beautiful spring day. But this painting also depicts Larnaca's Roman style aqueduct, built in 1746 by Bekir Pasha, the Turkish governor of the town at that time. It carried water from 10 kilometres away to Larnaca and was in use until the late 1930's.
As the story goes Theo's father maintained that he used to walk on top of the arches, cooling his feet on his way to town. We never quite took his story at face value until recently, when a customer relaid the same anecdote of his own father to us.
More than 20 arches are still intact which are beautifully illuminated at night. A path joins the site to a footpath on the East bank of the Salt Lake, creating a semi circular cycle route all the way to the mosque of Hala Sultan Tekke.
How to find the aqueduct?
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
The Salt Lake and mosque Hala Sultan Tekke
The Salt Lake depicts the Salt Lake of Larnaca with a glistening mirror image of the town in the water.
Heading out of Larnaca by car towards the airport, avoiding the motorway route, you will end up on the Airport Road. This road stretches along the south end of the Salt Lake and offers magnificent views right across the lake with Larnaca town in the background. If you could peek around the tree in Theo's painting, you would also gain a splendid view of a mosque. Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram is considered to be the third holiest place for Muslims in the world and well worth a visit.
The mosque is located on the west bank of the Salt Lake and clearly sign posted from the Airport Road.
The most captivating aspect of the Salt Lake has to be the presence of many migrating birds during the winter months; especially the flamingos offer a colourful and majestic sight. But the Salt Lake offers interest all year round. For most of the year it is dried out and you can cross it by foot to taste the salty crystals as they form and shimmer on the surface.
Along the East side of the lake you will find a well tended path that connects the airport road in the south, to the Roman style aqueduct Kamares at the north end of the lake. This path is perfect for cycling and walking, stretching over several kilometres, and as mentioned above, creates a well maintained route from the aqueduct right around to the mosque Hala Sultan Tekke. The complete hike may be too far to walk, but if you have access to a bicycle, it's a pleasant ride during the cooler months of the year.
How to find the mosque?
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
The Pierides Museum
It was the beautiful up-lighting at night which attracted Theo to paint Night At The Museum. The beauty of the wrought iron bars and the banister's shadows on the walls are complimented by the femme fatale, making her way to the entrance of the Pierides museum. One just wonders what the occasion might be. Figurative art with a Film Noir feel, which could easily be mistaken as a cinema movie poster, meets Cypriot architecture.
The Pierides Museum houses an archaeological collection of artefacts and other exhibits, covering over 9000 years of the island's rich history. It is a private collection which was started in 1839 by Demetrios Pierides, and has been systematically enriched by the Pierides family over five following generations.
The Pierides Museum is located at the beginning of the main shopping street in Larnaca, Zinonos Kitieos Street 2, which runs parallel to the seafront promenade.
How to find the Pierides Museum?
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
Fields with haystacks are a familiar site in Cyprus in late spring. But the real star of this painting, followed closely by that round bale in the foreground, is the mountain of Stavrovouni in the far distance. Right at the pinnacle of the mountain you will find the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Stavrovouni. Founded by Saint Helena in around 327-329 AD it is regarded as one of the oldest monastery in the world. The views from this mountain top are spectacular and well worth an inland short trip of about 45 minutes by car.
Considering the monastery was founded by a woman, it is peculiar to note that only men are allowed to enter the actual monastery. There is an external gift shop, and dressed respectfully, the shop is accessible to both, men and women.
With the right weather the views from outside the monastery are breath taking, allowing an almost circular view over the North, East and South of Cyprus.
How to find the Monastery of Stavrovouni?
Church of Saint Lazarus
The Church of Saint Lazarus can be found in the town centre of Larnaca. It was built in the 9th century by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI and then later restored in the 17th century.
It houses the tomb of Saint Lazarus. According to the Gospel of John, Lazarus of Bethany had been the subject of a miraculous resurrection by Jesus Christ. Some time after the miracle he was forced to flee Judea and came to Cyprus where it is believed that he was appointed to be the first Bishop of Kition (now Larnaca).
Services in this Greek Orthodox church are held regularly, and if weddings are your thing, you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony during your visit.
How to find the Church of St Lazarus?
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
Stay tuned for more painting inspirations featuring exciting places to visit in Cyprus.
Too hot to trail the sites?
Visit our studio instead. You will find all the mentioned sites in one handy place adorning our studio walls. The perfect start to be inspired on your visit to Cyprus.