Pafos Castle: The Stage
  • By Peppinos Skoullos
  • In Pafos
  • Posted May 25, 2015

The Paphos Castle, which is located on the west side of the harbor, was originally built in the middle of the 13th century by the Lusignans to replace the Fort at "Forty Columns", which is located about 600 meters to the Northeast. It is a small Fort, built entirely of hewed limestone. It has only one entrance on the eastern side and very small windows. In its main part it's consisted by a large tower, surrounded by enclosed courtyard. It was destroyed shortly before in 1570 by the Venetians, in order to be useless to the Ottoman Turks, whose the invasion at Cyprus was expected.  It has been restored by the Turks in 1592, as stated on a Turkish inscription over the entrance. On the same side of the harbor are the ruins of a second fortress, which probably was built simultaneously with the existing Fort.

The fortress, in its current form, is relatively well preserved. Its dimensions are 33 meters long and 17 wide. It is two storey and has height 21 meters. On the roof has a rampart of 2 meters with occasionally battlements (crenellations) from where the defenders of the fortress were standing. The ramparts were reinforced and by placing cannons. There is a  reference to them, from the Spanish Catalan traveler Ali Bey, in 1806. On the roof of the Castle stands the upper floor, which has a height of 4.5 meters and covers an area of approximately 13 x 7 meters. In the center of the roof there are three small rooms with openings. The first room, starting from the left, was Mosque. During the Turkish domination there were about fifty soldiers.Today, visitors can enjoy the endless blue of the Mediterranean sea, while their gaze reaches up to St. George's island in the Bay of Peyia. The wonderful combination of mountain and sea offers a breathtaking view. The beauty of the landscape is unique.

Since 1999, the Paphos Castle is being used as a stage space for staging the established Opera, held every September under the Pafos Aphrodite Festival 

 


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