Paphos Castle

Paphos Castle in Cyprus

The town of Paphos is the capital of Alexander the Great and birthplace of the mythical Aphrodite. Paphos is a coastal town in southwestern Cyprus, 45 km from the archaeological complex of the ancient city Kourion, and its impressive amphitheater, 59 km west of second largest city in Cyprus - Limassol, 98 km from the Cypriot capital Nicosia and 49 km from the Kolossi Castle, and it’s impressive military architecture. Paphos is a historic city with great architectural heritage and, thus it is included in the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites of UNESCO.

An imposing monument in the face of the castle Paphos, can be seen on the outskirts of the city's harbor. This impressive military fort was built as a Byzantine fort to protect the port of Paphos , as part of the coastal defense system of Cyprus. In the 13th century, the castle was restored by Lusignians, after the previous structure was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1222.

Paphos Castle in Cyprus

In 1570 the Paphos castle was conquered by the Venetians, who were unable, however, to protect the fort from the attacks of the Turks. So, fort Paphos was conquered by the Ottomans, who in turn completely transform the structure of the fortress.

During Ottoman rule the Paphos castle is extended, reinforced and built in strict military architecture, which has been preserved to this day. Reconstruction after 1222, of the castle Paphos added to the building two towers, one of which is still preserved, while the other remains only in ruins. At the entrance of the fort is a sign of the Ottoman reconstruction later.

Throughout history the Paphos castle performed it’s functions well. Besides being a fortress, it used to be even a prison, and was turned into a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island. To be a prison, the ground and basement of the fortress were used. On the first floor of the castle Paphos was a mosque under Ottoman rule, and several rooms for the guards.

At present Paphos castle is the place where in September is held the Paphos cultural festival, also known as the festival of Aphrodite (Aphrodite Festival). Paphos is actually named after the daughter of Aphrodite. Near the city is the rock of Petra, where it is considered that Aphrodite had come from the sea foam. According to legend, those who swim around the rock and then tour three times, will remain forever young.

Paphos castle is connected to the port through an arched bridge. The fortress itself has very few windows, but the upper platform is a splendid view of the historic town. Castle Square is used for cultural events throughout the year. During the festival of Aphrodite, castle Paphos became the natural background of the opera stage, which guest-stars masters from around the world.

Against the backdrop of the port, the smooth and powerful stone walls of Paphos, you can not help but let it make an impression. The fortress is one of many historical buildings for which the Cypriot city is part of the richness of UNESCO. From 1935 Paphos castle has been declared a cultural monument of Cyprus, in which were conducted fairly many archaeological excavations, which provide information about the history of the region and the castle.



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