After the Arab raids of the 6th and the 7th centuries A.D the Byzantines first fortified the peak of the mountain, to be followed by the Lusignans, who embellished and strengthened the fortifications so as to protect Famagusta and the important and rich peninsula of the Karpas; The French royal family of the Lusignans used the palace during the hot summer months.
The superb Castle of Kantara, the Hundred Chambers, which, seeming to hang in mid-air, dominates this end of Cyprus has been often visited and described. Buffavento stands higher, and St Hilarion can show more perfect ramparts and turrets, but neither recalls so strangely a forgotten age, neither seems to be so thickly peopled with its ghosts, as this lovely ruin on its pillar of rock. No painter’ s wildest fancy has pictured anything so fantastic as these Cyprian Castles, and standing at the foot of the last steep leading to the gate of Kantara, and involuntarily recalling the fairy towers of romance, the traveller might imagine in the stronghold of a Sleeping Beauty, untouched by change or time for a thousand years.
George Jeffery. A description of the Historic Monuments of Cyprus. Nicosia 1918.
Monastery of Panagia Tochniou
An interesting monastery of the 14th century, where byzantine art persists and blends with medieval forms. Fragments of wall paintings are found in the dome and the apse of the church.
Meeting place for bus trips: University of Nicosia parking and returning same place
Necessary documents to have: valid Passports or valid ID
Description: Through an interesting journey through the Mesaoria plain, we will have a quick look at the chapel of Agioi Tris Paides and its cave with interesting fossils, and we will continue to Kantara Castle where we will visit the various levels of the fort. On our return trip will stop at an interesting Byzantine Monastery where you will see how Byzantine art blends in with the gothic art of Cyprus.