/ / The Castle Of St. Hilarion

The Castle Of St. Hilarion

Photos and description

St. Hilarion castle is one of the fortresses located in the mountains not far from Kyrenia city. As often happens, initially the castle was a monastery which was named after its founder, an Egyptian monk Hilarion the Great, who built this place in the year 370 your skit. Later there was built a Church and monastery, but soon, around the XI century, the monastery was rebuilt by the Byzantines and converted into a fortress, which, together with the castles of Kantara, Buffavento and formed a line of defence against the Arab raids from the coast. Later, in the XII century, this area was conquered by the dynasty of Lusignan, which is also engaged in the restructuring and strengthening of the castle. After that, the fortress became virtually impregnable. According to historical sources, the enemy managed to capture her only a few times, and only then, when garrison ended with food, and he voluntarily lay down their arms. But when in the XV century St. Hilarion castle passed into the hands of the Venetians, they, for the sake of reducing costs for its maintenance, dismantled part of the castle. In addition, the building was severely damaged during the Turkish-Greek conflict on the island in the 1960-ies.

St. Hilarion castle was divided into three sectors: at the bottom were barracks for the guards, stables and barns, the average premises occupied by the Church of St. Christopher, built in the X century, and on the top were apartments of the Royal family.

Fortunately, the castle is quite well preserved and today is one of the best examples of the fortifications of Cyprus in the middle Ages. To reach it, you must overcome a steep climb, but climbing to the top, you can enjoy the wonderful views of Kyrenia and the Mediterranean sea.