Over the centuries Larnaka had many different names: first it was Kittim, then Kition, it was also known by foreigners as Salines meaning city of the Salt lake, as salt was being mined there and the Venetians later named it Larnaca which means ‘sarcophagus’ or coffin, this was because of the many thousands graves of past conquerors found close to the city. Salt was a big export business as the city was built close to the Aliki Salt Lake and it is said that in one year over seventy ships would sail out to other lands loaded with Cypriot salt.
The Larnaca fort was built in the 14th century and again it was in place as a defence system, and it was also used as a vital observation point with every ship that sailed into the harbour being spied upon by watchers standing on the forts battlements, if they thought the ship was a genuine trading vessel then a shot would be fired. This signalled the ship that could now safely tie up at the harbour.
Like so many castles, and forts in medieval times huge changes were made over the years to the structures, many of these places were totally rebuilt several times and Larnaca fort still shows examples of Ottoman, and Roman architecture.