Kyrenia Castle - Kyrenia




The castle which lies to the north - east of Kyrenia dominates the harbour and is built on the tetragonal form.

It is first referred to by ancient sources in the year 1191 A.D. When the English King Richard The Lion Heart defeated lsaac Comnenus on his way to the Crusades and conquered Cyprus.

Explorations carried out in and around the castle take us as far as the Hellenistic and Roman Period (111 - 11 B.C.) But so far it has not been possible to establish the exact day of construction of the castle. As a result of the examinations carried out at the site, it is thought likely that, the original castle was built in the VII. A.D. by the Byzantines for the purpose of defending Kyrenia against Arab raids. The castle which had additions made to it during the reign of the Lusignans and was given its present from by the Venetians has come down to us a well preserved state.

The construction of the Kyrenia Castle which according to ancient historians and travellers was very important for the defence of the island, can be examined in three stages based on historical sources and existing remains.

  1. The Castle of the Early Byzantine Period (VII - XII A.D.)

  2. The Castle of the Lusignan Period (1208 - 1211 A.D.)

  3. The Castle of the Venetian Period (1489 - 1570 A.D.)

It is known that a large portion of the present castle was built by King John d'Ibelin between 1208 - 1211 A.D. and that existing fortifications of the Early Roman Period were also made us of.