Limassol Castle, Limassol
The Limassol castle is located in the center of historical Limassol, very close to the Limassol Marina. The Cyprus Medieval Museum is housed in the Castle with exhibits that include Medieval pottery, tombstones, superb silver Byzantine era plates, weapons, crosses and coins.
The castle itself was built in the 13th century, on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle near the town’s old harbour. According to archaeological sources, the castle was estimated to have been much larger originally, with the Venetians making many modifications, strengthening the walls, so that it could be used in the defences of the town and ward off sea-pirates.
In 1570 the Ottomans conquered the castle and used it as a garrison and jail, while during the British Rule it functioned as a police station, and briefly as a place of detainment.
Kolossi Castle, Limassol
The Kolossi castle was originally built in the 13th century, and rebuilt in the 15th century. It is a perfect example of military architecture.
After the fall of Acre in 1291, it served as the Grand Commandery of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and in the 14th century came under the domain of the Knights Templar. During their stay in Cyprus, the Knights produced and exported a sweet wine, the ‘vin de Commanderie’. Today, “Commandaria” wine is one of the island’s traditional wines and being named for 8 centuries it is also one of the oldest named wines in the world.
Paphos Harbour Castle, Paphos
Saranta Kolones Castle
This Byzantine castle lies in “Kato Paphos”, near the harbour. It was built by the Lusignans at the beginning of the 13th century, on the site of a previous Byzantine castle. It was then destroyed, in 1222, by an earthquake.
The name Saranta Kolones (Forty columns) comes from the large number of granite columns found spread across this archaeological site.
The Medieval Castle of Larnaka is believed to have been originally built during the Middle Ages, and took its present form during Ottoman rule.
Chronographer Florius Boustronius dates it to the years of Lusignan King James I (1382-1398AD), who built it to protect the harbour of the town. During the same time, the Genovese occupied Famagusta and the Lusignans had to develop another major port for the needs of their kingdom. 18th century sources insist that the castle was built by the Turks in 1625AD, even though a Turkish garrison was stationed there since 1570AD. While other references by travellers confirm that the castle was constructed before 1625.
After the end of the Ottoman era in Cyprus, the British converted the fort into a prison and it was used during the first years of their rule.