Kyrenia North Cyprus

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia Castle

Situated in the north ease of Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus, Kyrenia Castle provides a distinctive landmark in the harbour area, and boasts a rich and varied history with early reference made to it in documentation dating back to 1191 referring to Richard Lionheart’s campaign in the area. It is thought that the castle may have been constructed in around VII AD, although there is no recorded exact date of construction.

The castle is thought to have been constructed as part of the defense of the island against Arab attacks, and this defense also included other castles including St Hilarion Castle, the Castle of Buffavento, and the Castle of Kantara.  The castle is thought to have been added to during the Lusignan reign, and it was the Venetians that made the final changes to it.

Kyrenia Castle is a well preserved historical building, and in its construction it is possible to detect different influences including Byzantine, Lusignan, and Venetian. King John d’Ibelin is though to have constructed a large section of the castle as it is today between 1208 and 1211 AD.

During the Lusignan reign royalty used the castle in order to seek shelter when it was a time of war, or simply to relax during times of peace. In the late 1300s, Venetian attacks saw Kyrenia Castle suffer considerable damage, and a hundred years later the Venetians seized the castle and made their own alterations on it, and this is the castle that can be seen today.

For three centuries, from 1570 AD, the castle moved into Ottoman hands, and after this was used as a prison and as a school by the British. In the 1960s part of the castle was also used as military headquarters by the Greek National Guard.

When you visit and explore Kyrenia Castle, you will find the combination of influences in its construction quite fascinating, and in the entrance corridor of the castle you will also find the tomb of Admiral Sadik Pasha, who, in 1570, took over Kyrenia.


Ancient Shipwreck Museum

The Anthipanitis Church

The Bellapais Monastery

Fascinating Buffavento Castle

The Folk Arts Museum

The Hz.Omer Tomb

Icon Museum

The Kyrenia Harbour


Kyrenia Sourpmagar Monastery

St. Hilarion Castle


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