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Paphos Castle, an architectural marvel that originated during the illustrious period of the Byzantine Empire, stands tall and proud, commanding attention as a testament to its medieval origins. Its primary purpose was to safeguard the treasured Paphos Harbour, providing an impenetrable fortress against potential threats and ensuring the safety of its inhabitants.

Throughout the course of its existence, this resilient structure has undergone various transformations, each contributing to its rich history and adding layers of intrigue to its story. One notable reconstruction occurred during the 1200s when the Lusignans, recognizing the castle’s strategic importance, undertook the task of revamping it, enhancing both its defensive capabilities and architectural grandeur.

However, the winds of change continued to blow, and in the 1500s, it was the turn of the Ottomans to leave their mark on Paphos Castle. Their vision for the fortress differed from that of their predecessors, prompting them to dismantle and rebuild certain sections according to their own unique style. These alterations brought forth an amalgamation of architectural influences, blending Byzantine elements with Ottoman aesthetics.

Presently, visitors have the privilege of exploring the remnants of the Ottoman construction, which still bear witness to the castle’s former glory. Among these captivating features is an impressive tower, standing as a testament to the castle’s formidable nature. One can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder when gazing upon its ancient walls, which have withstood the test of time.

Descending into the depths of the castle, visitors will discover somber prison cells that once held those unfortunate enough to face the wrath of this mighty fortress. These cells serve as a chilling reminder of the castle’s past, evoking a sense of somber reflection as one contemplates the hardships endured within those stone walls.

Ascending to the castle’s rooftop, one is greeted by the sight of battlements that once housed cannons, ready to defend against any potential attack. However, as time marched on and the castle assumed new roles, the cannons were eventually removed from their lofty perches. In the late 1800s, Paphos Castle underwent yet another transformation, this time serving as a British salt storehouse. While this new purpose may have altered its appearance and diminished its military significance, it allowed the castle to continue playing a vital role in the region’s commerce.

As one explores the sprawling grounds of Paphos Castle and delves into its storied past, a sense of reverence takes hold. This magnificent structure stands not only as a physical testament to the resilience and ingenuity of those who came before but also as a gateway into a bygone era. Each stone tells a story, each wall whispers secrets of days long gone, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of history and heritage.

Location: Kato Paphos Harbour, Coastal Broadwalk, Paphos, Cyprus

Open: Mid-April–Mid-September: daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm. Mid-September–Mid-April: daily from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm

Phone: +357 26 306217

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