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King Richard and the "accidental" domination of the island!

Richard, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was a King of England and one of the most important monarchs of the medieval Europe. A rather "random" happening thought brought Cyprus in the way of this great king, linking his form with the island forever.

Arriving in Cyprus, King Richard was faced with the then ruler of the island, Isaac Komnenos. The visit of Richard was not planned, nor was it aimed with any particular purpose, but a big storm forced him to escort on the coast of Limassol. Richard’s arrival on the island sealed the history of Cyprus forever, since during his stay the King conquer the whole country.

Although the visit of Richard was remarkable, the chronologists show different reasons why the King attacked Cyprus. Some chronologists argue that when Richard arrived on the island, Komnenos behaved offensively at the 2 women who accompanied him (his wife-to-be, Berengaria, and his sister Ioanna), which caused Richard's anger and hence his decision for attacking Cyprus. According to other reports, Richard won with his troops against Komnenos, when he refused to release part of the mission, which had found shelter on the coasts of Cyprus.

The Lionheart, by landing his troops in Limassol, fought Komnenos, who, in the end, was defeated. Thus, Cyprus was submitted to the British, who centuries later would have conquer it again. The King, having obtained the most of the benefits from his short sovereignty in the country, sold it shortly afterwards to the Templar Knights, since the conquest of Cyprus was not something that interested him.

By first marrying Berengaria at the Castle of Limassol, in 1191 AD, Richard departed for the Holy Land, as was his original intention. Find out more about the wedding of Richard and Berengaria here.

Source of information: "Limassol, Journey to the Times of a City", (2006)

* NOTE: The articles of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the articles, once it has been confirmed.

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