Cyprus castles

Since ancient times, Cyprus was a pole of attraction for many civilizations.  Due to its unique geographical location, the island played a crucial role in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Apart from its geographical position, the rich (piges) of copper and timber and other supplies, Cyprus was a desirable place for conquerors. Throughout the centuries, several conquerors  passed from Cyprus, such as the Egyptians, the Assyrians, Alexander the Great, Romans, Crusaders, Lusignans and various others.

Therefore, the castles in Cyprus were part of the defence of the island, against invasions or threats. The Cyprus castles are just few, however they have been erected  by various rulers illustrating the culture of each one. Four of the castles are situated in the occupied part of the Island, and those are the Kyrenia Castle, Kantara Castle, St. Hilarion Castle and Buffanvento Castle.

On the (free) side of Cyprus the castles built are: Paphos castle, the Limassol castle the Kolossi castle in Limassol  and Saranta Kolones castle in Paphos.

Cyprus castles map

Cyprus castles

Kolossi castle was initially constructed in the 13th century and it was then rebuilt in its present form during mid-15th century. This well admired 15th century castle is situated in Kolossi village, 14km west of Limassol in the south of Cyprus.During the 13th century, the castle served as the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar and after the fall of Acre in 1291 the castle served as the headquarters of the knights of the Order of St. John...
The Larnaca castle is located on the southern point of the coastal avenue known as ‘’Foinikoudes’’ in Larnaca. It was founded during the Byzantine period, with the earliest sources to be dated in the 14th century AD. The Chronographer Florius Boustronius and Jauna date the reconstruction of the castle to the years of Luzignian King James I (1382 – 1398 AD), who built it to protect the harbour of the town....
Limassol castle dates back to the Medieval Period and is located at the centre of the historical Limassol very close to the Limassol harbour. The castle was built during the Ottoman rule in the island but archaeological evidence suggest that before its current form there were earlier architectural faces, older and larger.In addition, archaeological studies and investigations on the interior space of the castle revealed that it was built over an...
Paphos Castle or Paphos Fort is located at the Kato Paphos harbor.The Paphos castle was originally a byzantine fortress which was built in order to protect the port. It was rebuilt during the 13th century by the Louzinians. It was then demolished by the Venetian in 1570 during the Ottoman invasion where they took over the island during the 16th century. During the ruling of the Ottomans the castle was restored to its old glory, expanded and...
Saranda kolones are ruins of an ancient castle located to the north of Paphos harbour and when translated into English means Forty columns.The name, saranda kolones comes from the fact that the original castle was built on the base of 40 granite columns. The columns are said to be constructed by the Lusignans in 13th century on the previous site of the Byzantine castle.The castle itself is said to be constructed in 7th century to protect...
St Hilarion castle is located on the Kyrenia mountain range, in Cyprus. Its location was such as to allow the castle with command of the pass road from Kyrenia to Nicosia. The St Hilarion castle was actually a monastery and not a castle, and it was named after a monk in the 10th century.   The monk allegedly chose the site for his hermitage and a church and monastery were built there.The Byzantines began fortification during the 11th...