Kyrenia North Cyprus

Kyrenia – St Hilarion Castle

Kyrenia St. Hilarion

Located in northern Cyprus, St Hilarion Castle is thought by many to have been named after St Hilarion the Great, who founded monasticism in Palestine, but this castle is actually named after a later saint. This saint is thought to have sought refuge in Cyprus after Arab raids and attacks on the Holy Land, and many of his relics were kept and preserved in St Hilarion Castle.

Although not much is known about this saint, he is said to have been a hermit and a monk, and he came to live and die in the castle after fleeing persecution from the Arabs in Palestine in the seventh century.

This is one of a number of castles that were designed to provide defense to the island against Arab attacks, the other castles being The Castle of Kyrenia, the Castle of Buffavento, and the Castle of Kantara. It is thought to have been built in the eleventh century, although there is no exact date of construction recorded.

St Hilarion Castle boasts a rich and varied history, and was first mentioned in 1191 documentation of Richard Lionheart’s campaign. In the early years of the Lusignan Kingdom it is thought that the castle may have been strengthened, and in 1228 was prepared for defense following demands for regency of Cyprus by Emperor Frederick II.

The castle is located in the Kyrenia area of northern Cyprus, and is situated above the town, offering incredible views for visitors, as well as plenty to explore in terms of history. The rich history of this castle includes invasions by the Venetians, the Ottomans, the Byzantines, and the Arabs.

Located on the Kyrenia mountain range, St Hilarion Castle was originally a monastery, and now comprises three wards. In the lower ward were the quarters for the men of arms as well as the stables. The middle ward is home to the church. The upper ward was for use by only royalty. In the fifteenth century parts of the castle were dismantled to enable the Venetians to reduce costs.

Ancient Shipwreck Museum

The Anthipanitis Church

The Bellapais Monastery

Fascinating Buffavento Castle

The Folk Arts Museum

The Hz.Omer Tomb

Icon Museum

The Kyrenia Castle

The Kyrenia Harbour


Kyrenia Sourpmagar Monastery

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