Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Larnaca Fort

The Larnaca Fort (also known as the Larnaka Castle) and the Larnaca Medieval Museum are situated along Foinikoudes (also known as Phoinikoudes), which is the coastal promenade in the tourist area in the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

 



The Larnaca Fort was most likely built during the reign of King James I (from 1382 to 1398) to protect the town's harbor, which was utilized as the island's main port. 

According to a sign at the fort, "The fort was initially built towards the end of the 14th century AD by the Lusignan king of Cyprus, James I.  It was part of the chain of defensive works which were constructed at the time, in order to guard and protect the southeast part of the island, which stretches from Cape Pyla to Akrotiri Bay in Lemesos."

During Venetian rule, the fort was strengthened during an upgrade to the Larnaca port.  Yet, it was abandoned by the Venetians, when they focused the island's defense in other cities.
During the Ottoman period, since the Larnaca Fort was in ruins, it was rebuilt in 1625.  However, by the 18th century, this fort was mostly in ruins, again.

During British rule, the fort served as a prison and a police station until the middle of the 20th century. 
 




According to a sign at the fort, "The architectural type of the earlier fort is not known.  Certain parts of this medieval architectural phase were incorporated in the ottoman building and can be viewed at the south and east sections of the fort.  It must be mentioned that the fort was ransacked, destroyed, and rebuilt several times, since it was at the center of conflicting economic interests, which had to do mainly with the export of salt from the port of Larnaka."

The structure of the Larnaca Fort consists of various buildings constructed during several different time periods.  The entrance on the north side is a two-story structure that was built during the Ottoman period, while the east and south sides were build during earlier time periods. 

Another section of the fort was utilized by the British to execute prisoners, and the British built the gallows that were active until 1948.
 



According to  a sign at the fort, "In 1948, the fort was converted into the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum until 1969, when the current Museum came into being.  The first floor of the gatehouse is still used as a museum, where artifacts of the Byzantine, Medieval, and Ottoman period are displayed."

The Larnaca Medieval Museum, situated within the Larnaca Fort, is a small museum in three main rooms.  The museum features ancient antiquities from throughout the Larnaca area.  

The fort's inner courtyard hosts various cultural events throughout the summer, and the courtyard features a display of several cannons, which date to the Medieval period.

 



The Larnaca Fort is one of the main forts in Cyprus, and it's a pleasant place to visit for local residents and tourists.  From the top of the fort, there are views of the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Larnaca, particularly Foinikoudes, which is the main tourist area.


Site: Larnaca Fort and Larnaca Medieval Museum. 

Category: Archaeological Site and Museum. 

Location: Leoforos Athinon at Foinikoudes in the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 24322710 and 24304576. 

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday to Friday, and 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday Sunday, during the winter months.  8:00 AM to 7:30 PM on Monday to Friday, and 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday Sunday, during the summer months.

Entrance Fee: €2,50. 

Date of Visit: 2010.

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