The Medieval Castle of Paphos – A place full of History
This amazing Castle is located on the right side, in the famous Harbour of Kato Paphos. Though it’s not that big of an architecture, you can spot it from afar. When you first set your eyes on it, you may not believe the history behind it. But trust me,it does have an important role in Cyprus history and how we like to call it: “a lot of baggage”.
The History behind it:
The Medieval Castle of Paphos was first built by the Byzantine Empire in 965 A.D. It had one job only and that was to protect the port. Unfortunately, in 1222 A.D. ,it was almost completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake.
At the end of 12th century, the castle gets to be restored by the Lusignans. In case, you wonder who are the Lusignans, well, we mean the members of the House of Lusignan. This royal house came originally from France and ruled over Jerusalem,Cyprus,Armenia and some parts of Europe. They decide to take care of this castle,in effort to replace the fort of “The 40 Columns”.
In 1570, the Venetians take steps to undo that decision and destroy this amazing castle, with explosive. The decision came,due to the belief that Ottomans will capture the island. And so they did.
Yet in 1592,the Turks reconstruct the castle and even makes it stronger with new fortifications. In addition, the ground floor opens up to many small spaces. The use of this castle changes for the first time. From protecting the port,it actually becomes a prison. To my surprise, I also found out,that during British Occupation, the Medieval Castle of Paphos had a strange use : warehouse for salt.
Finally,in 1935,the good news came: The Medieval Castle declaration as an ancient monument! Now,it represents a symbol of Paphos city. Also,it is important to specify: that from 1999, the Castle became a beautiful scenery for the Opera that takes place during Aphrodite Festival in September.
In conclusion,this wonderful piece of history, hides more secrets than any of us would have believed before.
I am happy that UNESCO took the decision to add it to their Cultural Heritage List. I do believe that,this kind of architecture should be preserved for us to be able to step back in the past,even if it is only for 30 minutes.