Maistre Denis Possot, a priest of Coulommiers in Brie, travelled to Cyprus in June 1533. His ship landed for a short while in Limassol.
However the captain told us he wished to land, and in fact, he did land with a few of the passengers and went to visit a little church of S. George, very fair and built in the Greek style. Thence we went on for a mile and rested at a village where we found many sheep with tails as big as their bellies. One of them had four great horns, two straight and long and two others twisted. There were goats of which the males were as big and stout as stout donkeys. The good flies (bees) are inside the houses of the said village, and on the outside of the walls of the houses they have little holes to go in and out, and the wax and honey are thus inside the houses. This is the fashion throughout the kingdom of Cyprus. Near the said place there was a fair spring of cold water, which we saw with great interest. It is very necessary in this place on account of the heat which would be unbearable but for the winds which are nearly always blowing there.
There too we saw some very fine French mulberry trees, which had many ripe mulberries, of which we ate freely. There are also white mulberry trees with white fruit, but it is not good, for it is too sweet. But the leaves of this kind are very suitable food for the worms which make silk. There are many fields where cotton is grown, and it is to be noted that when the wheat harvest is done this cotton is sown at once, and what is left of the seed is used to fatten oxen. From this seed is produced a plant two feet high, with a leaf rather like that of the rose, and a flower like a poppy, except that it is yellow. From this flower is produced a pod, like a nut, from which cotton is extracted. And because the seed is mixed with the staple of the cotton they have certain tools of wood and iron to get out that seed. And this is repeated every year in February, and so in all parts of Cyprus. And because it scarcely rains at all in summer in Cyprus we observed a wonderful way of watering the fields, and cotton particularly, as we shall tell.
The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.