What I Saw

02 Feb 2024

In 1835, the American missionary Lorenzo Warriner Pease arrived in Larnaca.

In 1835, the American missionary Lorenzo Warriner Pease arrived in Larnaca. This is what he saw when the ship dropped anchor:

As we lie in the harbor, Scala, which is the port of Larnaca lies directly on the seashore and extends neatly a mile in length, though it is very narrow. The citadel, which is said to have been built by the Turks in 1625, is in front of you. A little to the northwest is a mosque, whose tall and white minaret had attracted your attention long before you could see any of the dwellings of the place. From the mosque and castle, as you proceed south, the houses are generally one story high, small, and indicate but little comforts. The date trees, which lift themselves far above the dwellings of their masters, point out to you the Lords of the soil. This is the Turkish quarter: and the first feeling that rises in your breast is almost that of contempt both for the masters and the subjects. For the masters because, by their ignorance, they are unfit to govern such an island, and for the subjects that they have allowed themselves to be kept so long in subjection by mere brute force. A few coffee houses near the castle are the only indications of a business spirit exhibited on the shore of this part of the town. As, however, your eye ranges up towards the north, the houses are larger, usually stories high and far more comfortable in their appearance, even on the outside. The lower stories are usually occupied for magazines and their foundations are protected from the violence of the sea by substantial moles of wharves built 12 to 20 feet distant from the houses. The citizens are constantly passing and re-passing, and the flagstaffs show you that Europeans and Greeks reside in this part.

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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