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Castle Kantara

Photos and description

The history of the castle of Kantara began in the Byzantine period, but of particular importance it acquired only during the reign of the Lusignan Cyprus. The first mention in historical Chronicles dates back to 1191 year - then Cyprus was seized by Richard the Lionheart.

This castle, located on one of the peaks of the Kyrenia mountains, was part of a defensive complex, which included several other buildings - castles Buffavento and St. Hilarion, supporting a connection between them with the help of signal torches. Their main purpose was to protect the adjacent areas from the Arab raids. Kantara was the most Eastern point of this line of defense.

This castle bears the name of the mountain on which stands - its name comes from the Arabic word which means "bridge" or "arch". Originally, this place was a monastery of the virgin Mary Qantarah. On the top of the mountain you can still see the ruins of a small chapel, which was part of the monastery. In the fortress it has been transformed by the Lusignans, who erected defensive walls, strengthening them in the corners of the powerful towers of different shapes. The castle occupied a relatively small territory, as there were only military units, and had no outbuildings. On the East side of the castle was the main entrance to the fortress. It has survived best. And in General, Kantara is in a much better condition than the other mountain castles in North Cyprus.

From the top, where are the ruins of Kantara, offers a magnificent view on the surrounding from all sides mountains and forests.