The Kamares old aqueduct is located on the west side of the city centre of Larnaca and on the north-west of the Larnaca Salt Lake. The most famous part of the aqueduct is visible on the road heading towards Limassol in the Kamares area. The word Kamares in Greek means arches. The whole structure consists of 75 arches.
The aqueduct was built in 1745 by the Ottoman Governor of Larnaca, Abu Bekir Pasha, who financed it in order to solve the issue of water shortage in the city. The aqueduct provided water from the river Tremithos and other nearby occasional water springs to the city and to the port of Larnaca. The monument stands as one of the most significant constructions built in the Ottoman times because it was rare for a Governor to be concerned about the public interest.
According to tradition, Bekir Pasha assigned the project to a Greek Cypriot interpreter (interpreters were called ‘Dragoumanos’ in Greek), named Christofakis, and handed him a money pouch. However, Christofakis lost the pouch and uttered prayers to Saint George to assist him find it. In a dream-like vision, the Saint revealed where it was and Christofakis built a church in his honour at the same spot. The Saint George Arpera church is found north-east of Tersefanou village.
The aqueduct was in operation until 1939, the mid of the British times. Today, the whole area around the aqueduct is called Kamares. The monument is a landmark of the city of Larnaca and important for the island’s rich history. It is highly recommended to pay a visit during night-time where its arches are strikingly illuminated.