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The Medieval Castle of Limassol and its history

One of the most important monuments of the city's identity and history, is undoubtedly the Limassol Castle. This particular building is located at the heart of the historical city center, between coffee shops and restaurants, paved squares and other remarkable monuments. The history of the Castle begins from the Middle Ages and reaches to this day, carrying incidents and events of every era, which stigmatized the city.

It is believed that the building was erected on an early Christian Basilica and an Inter-Byzantine monument, while it was officially mentioned for the first time, in 1228 AD when Frederick II of Germany used it as a hostage jail. Since then, the Castle suffered tremendous damages, mainly from the attacks of the conquerors that sequentially occupied the city, but also from natural weather phenomena such as the big earthquakes that hit the city in 1567 AD and in 1568 AD.

Afterwards, in the early years of the Ottoman domination, the building had been in a bad situation. The Ottomans, who had completely conquered the island, incorporated the remains of the medieval building and remodeled it in 1590 AD, giving the look that still retains until today. The Turks, reinforcing the walls and forming the cells, used the fort as a prison – a state that lasted during the British domination also, until 1950 AD.

One of the most important legends that accompanies the Medieval Castle, is the historic marriage that took place between 2 prominent personalities of the medieval period, King Richard and Berengaria of Navarre. As it is said, in 1191 AD, the King married his beloved in the Castle area and made it Queen of England.

Today, the fortress has a remarkable form in the center of Limassol. Marking the history of the city and forming an integral part of the life of the past centuries, it has now been transformed into a museum, hosting part of the Medieval Collection of the Cyprus Museum. In its area there are exhibits that reflect the history and the life on the island, such as weapons, armor, tools, utensils and other valuable items.

Cover photo: Pattichio Municipal Museum - Historical Archive - Limassol Study Center

* 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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