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the northern slopes of Mount Makhera, and flows at first in a northerly direction past Tamassus to Ano Deftera, where it turns north-east, and forms a loop round the northern side of the capital, Nicosia; it then turns eastward and flows through the plain of Messaria, falling into the sea near the ruins of the ancient Salamis, about four miles north of Famagusta. Its total length is about 65 miles; throughout its middle and lower course in the plain it is largely employed for irrigating the adjacent grain fields; the channel is very narrow, and after heavy rain the water overflows the banks, inundating the surrounding country, and near the mouth extensive marshes have been thus formed. The river Idalia (or Yalias), also has its source on the northern side of Mount Makhera; it flows north-east through Lithrodonda and past Dali (the ancient Idalium), and here fertilizes a large district. After a course of about 38 miles it falls into the River Pedias in the Messaria plain to the north of the village of Vatili, and about 13 miles west of Salamis. The Plaho is another small tributary of the Pedias which flows from the north side, and joins it about five miles from the mouth. The springs at Kythraea to the north-east of Nicosia supply a large amount of water, and, after the several streams unite, they form a river which, though short, is of the highest importance as a fertilizing agent, and is also used to work several mills. It flows due south, and falls into the Pedias about two and a half miles below the ancient Chytri. The rivers which enter the sea on the south coast of the island are the following:— The Tretus (or Tetios) river, rises near the Thekla monastery, about five miles south of Dali, and flows southward ; near its mouth it waters a level tract of country to the west of Cape Kiti, and falls into the sea on the south coast of the island after a course of about 16 miles. A river, which in some maps is called the Deresi, rises in a valley to the north-east of Monte S. Croce, and flowing southward nearly parallel to the Tretus, enters the sea about one and a-half miles west of that river. It is probably not more than a mountain torrent. The Pentaskhino river rises on the south side of Monte S. Croce, and after receiving the waters of several rivulets falls into the sea close to Dolos Point. The Maroni river rises in the high ground north of Lefkara, passes on the east side of that place, and then flows southwards to Maroni, falling into the sea a few miles east of Cape Carubier. The Wasilipotamus rises among the southern slopes of Mount Makhera, and flows south towards Cape Carrubiere. The St. Helenas stream rises in the high ground above Ora, and flows southward. The Moni river also rises near Ora, and takes a southerly course past the village of Moni on the Larnaca-Limasol road, reaching the shore slightly to the eastward of the site of the ancient Amathus. The Garili river is amongst the most important in the island; it takes its source in a valley on the south side of Mount Adelphé, and flows due south to Limasol. It formed the boundary between the Piskopi and Limasol districts. Its length is about 20 miles.
The Piscopi river is made up of several streams which rise on the
The Diarisos, or Hieropotamus, rises in the mountainous region .
to the west of Mount Troodos, passes near Omodos, and enters the
but none of them are of importance, or can even be depended
upon to contain any water in their channels except during winter.
not sufficient to meet the requirements of both quarters of the
miles long from east to west, and about one mile broad.
Lake Vatili, in the Messaria Plain, is shown on the geologically coloured map in Drs. Unger and Kotschy's work on Cyprus, to the north of the village of Watili, and not far from the junction of the rivers Pedias and Idalia. No other map indicates its existence. Both these lakes dry up very considerably in summer, and the authors mentioned above, say that Gaudry's assertion that fish are to be found in them is no longer correct. When General di Cesnola passed Lake Paralimni he noticed that it was dry, and he mentions that in the time of the Venetians, rice was cultivated in the neighbourhood, which shows that plenty of water for irrigation must then have been available. There are two small lakes close to the sea between Famagusta and the ruins of Salamis, but the watcr of these is brackish. In addition to the above there are the large salt lakes near both Larnaka and Limasol; these lakes, and the manner in which the salt is produced and gathered, are described in Chapter IX.
The largest and most important plain in the island is that called the Messaria; it is a broad tract of treeless land, extending entirely across the island from the Bay of Famagusta to Morpho l8ay, a distance of about 60 miles, and with a breadth varying from 10 to 20 miles. The plain is broken here and there by curious table-shaped heights composed of layers of conglomerate and sand; they occur chiefly in that part of the plain lying to the south-east of Nicosia; they are sometimes rectangular and sometimes round in shape, the intervals between them appear to have been caused by the action of water, and the hills themselves are of the pliocene or quaternary age; the ground where they occur is not cultivated.
The Messaria is watered by the Pedias, the Idalia, and the
Morpho rivers, and their tributaries; these streams, though as a rule dry in summer, in winter and spring overflow their banks, and deposit over the surface of the ground a rich alluvial soil which acts as a manure, and adds greatly to the fertility of the adjoining fields.
In this plain is situated a large proportion of the cultivated area of the island, nearly the whole of the northern part is tilled annually, and produces good grain crops. It is said that the ordimary arable land averages £3 to £3 10s. per acre, but cotton-producing ground generally fetches £10 per acre. The best lands are reported to yield 30 bushels of wheat per acre, and in a good year as much as 40 bushels of barley are produced per acre. Still the plain is not now cultivated to anything like the extent that it formerly was ; Von Löher tells us that two centuries ago the whole of it was one huge highly cultivated field, filled with corn, vines, fruit, and vegetables, but that every year it becomes more unfit for cultivation, stones and marshes usurping much of what was formerly fertile and productive land.
Another level tract of country borders the shore of the west side of the Bay of Larnaca; much of the land here is waste, and covered with heath, weeds, prickly shrubs and thistles: a third plain borders part of the road between Famagusta and Larnaca to the north of the village of Ormidia. It is said that the famous forest of Idalium once extended over this part of the island, but it is now described as a dreary, treeless, and uninhabited plain. Lastly, there is a very narrow strip of nearly level and partially cultivated ground, bordering the northern shore at the foot of the Cerinea mountains.
Towns, WILLAGES, AND ANTIQUITIES.
. NICOSA, called also Lefcosia, has since the time of the Lusignans
the . been the capital of Cyprus, the seat of the government, and the residence of the Governor. The population is now estimated at about 16,000, and a greater proportion of the inhabitants are Mussulmans than in any other town in Cyprus. Nicosia is situated in the flat, fertile, and treeless plain called the Messaria, and at a distance of about 12 miles from the north coast of the island. As Nicosia is approached from Larnaca, the town comes into view from a small ridge about two miles distant, and from here it has a picturesque and even imposing appearance; inside the circle of fortifications are seen domes, minarets, spires, flat roofed houses with gaily painted balconies, alternating with palm, orange, and lemon trees; the interior does not, however, fulfil the expectations raised by this first view, for the town is irregularly built, and intersected by narrow and tortuous stone-paved lanes, which are bounded by high garden walls.
Houses. There are now but very few good or commodious houses in Nicosia, as those built by the Lusignan nobles are crumbling away in decay. Nearly all are built of mud-coloured sun-dried bricks; some few have the lower story composed of stone hewn by the Venetians during their occupation, but the great proportion are simply onestoried rectangular buildings with small courtyards. The bazaars afford almost the only variety of scene in the town; they are either under arches, or are covered overhead with trellised vines or stretched awning of canvas. The articles offered for sale are vegetables and fruits, unbleached cotton goods from Manchester, which have been printed on the spot in flaring colours, tin ware, pack saddles, rugs, silks of native manufacture, petroleum, &c. No house furniture can be obtained, and the local tradesmen are unenterprising and apathetic. The largest bazaar has been built since 1856, the old one having been destroyed by fire in that year.
Cathedral and The Cathedral of St. Sophia is a fine edifice built in the Gothic
churches. style; it was formerly richly decorated, but of the ornamentation
* This Chaptor is chiefly confined to a topographical description of the principal places in Cyprus, and a statement of such .#. as they may possess; separate chapters are devoted to the consideration of their industries, trade, agricultural o, and capabilities for the formation of harbours.