St. Hilarion-Kyrenia Castle and Kyrenia
Perched high up on two peaks of the Pentadactylos range, this original byzantine lookout post was transformed into a royal castle of the 13th century by the French Lusignan princes. A magnificent location with views both towards the sea and the plain, it is an exceptional monument of gothic architecture and nature.
The ruined Castle of St. Hilarion is a particularly interesting and perhaps unique example of a «chateau fort», built as a royal residence, and completely abandoned since the close of the middle ages. Such a monument illustrating the mode of life of medieval royalty, untouched by subsequent alterations, would be difficult to find in Europe. Here we have the most interesting of souvenirs of the once famous Royal House of Cyprus and Jerusalem.
George Jeffery. A description of the Historic Monuments of Cyprus. Nicosia 1918
One of our most beautiful and best preserved castles built by the Lusignans on the sea front. An amazing and robust construction entirely out of limestone from the nearby quarries of the Kyrenia range. The castle has an interior court yard, a little chapel dedicated to St. George and houses today the original shipwreck of the Kyrenia ship that sailed in the 3rd century BC from Samos to Cyprus with a rich cargo of wine amphorae and stone mills. The ship sunk a few miles out of the little town of Kyrenia; marine archaeologists and scientists studied the shipwreck for years and managed to preserve the hull which today is exhibtied in one of the rooms of the castle.
Necessary documents to have: valid Passports or valid ID
Meeting place for bus trips: University of Nicosia Parking and returning same place