Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kolossi Castle

The Kolossi Castle is located in Kolossi Village, which is about 11 km west of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus.

The current Kolossi Castle was built in the 15th century on fortress ruins, dating back to the 13th century.  The castle and surrounding area was most likely named after Gerinus de Colos, the former lord of the region.

In 1210, Hugues I of the de Lusignans gave land to the Order of Saint John, and they constructed a fortress.  Around 1301, the Order of Saint John used Kolossi as their commanding base.  In 1306, the Order of the Knights Templars took over and occupied Kolossi.  Shortly after, in 1308, it was returned to the Order of Saint John, when Pope Clement issued that the Order of the Knights Templars was illegal.

In 1310, the headquarters of the Order of the Saint John were transferred elsewhere.  So, Kolossi was given to the Commanderie, but it was primarily used as a residence.  The area surrounding the fortress produced and exported a traditional wine of Cyprus, which became known as Vin de Commanderie or Commandaria.  Now, Commandria is one of the oldest named wines in the world.

In 1454, Louis de Magnac, the commander, had a more stable fortress constructed, which is the Kolossi Castle that exists today.

The current medieval castle is 21 meters high, and it was built as a square tower with three levels, plus the rooftop.  The ground floor is divided into three parts, and it was most likely used as a storeroom.  There is an entrance to the first floor by a non-original suspended bridge that was added during renovations, and a narrow stairway that leads to the second floor and rooftop.  The first floor was possibly used as a kitchen and main dining room, and the second floor mostly likely served as lodging. 

From the rooftop, there is a lovely view of Kolossi Village and the castle’s surrounding area.  To the south of the castle, there is an enclosed courtyard and another building, which was possibly used as a stable or storehouse.  To the east side of the castle, the ruins of a sugarcane mill and refinery from the 14th century exists.  Some of the ruins of the 13th century castle, built by the Order of Saint John, are still viewable along the east side of the current castle.  Also, the Kolossi aqueducts are located near the castle. 

The Kolossi Castle is simply a delightful castle and definitely worth visiting, especially since it’s one of my favorite sites in Cyprus. 

Site: Kolossi Castle. 

Category: Archaeological Site. 

Location: Kolossi Village, about 11 km west of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 25934907. 

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (November to March), 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (April, May, September, and October), and 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM (June to August), daily. 

Entrance Fee: €2,50. 

Date of Visit: 2008-2014.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Questions or Comments

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Island of Cyprus

Cyprus (or Kypros) is a little island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Even though it’s smaller in size than the American state of Connecticut, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Geographically, it’s located in the Middle East; however, the island is now a part of the EU (European Union) and Europe.

The island’s strategic location between Europe and the Middle East encouraged numerous foreign invasions throughout the years.  Cyprus has been under the control of various leaders, such as the Egyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, Ptolemies, and Romans, as well as the Crusaders, Frankish Lusignans, Venetians, Ottomans, and British.

According to ancient tradition, Cyprus is considered the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.  More accurately, Cyprus is mentioned in the Bible, specifically during Paul’s first missionary journey.

After the Trojan Wars, the Greeks immigrated to Cyprus.  While settling on the island, they established the Greek identity, language, and culture.  Eventually, Cyprus won its independence in 1960 from the British, but the Greek identity of language and culture has remained extremely evident on the island, even until today.  In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and since then thirty-seven percent of the island (in the northwestern region) is still occupied by Turkey.  Cyprus and Turkey are continuing to work out a solution, along with the assistance of the UN (United Nations).

While Cyprus is sometimes confused as a part of Greece (due to the heavy influence of Greek culture and language in Cyprus), it’s actually a separate country.  Currently, it’s a divided country with the northern part of Cyprus occupied by Turkey.  Currently, this site primarily focuses on the southern side of the island, which is simply referred to as Cyprus.

Cyprus has five districts, which are Famagusta (Ammochostos), Larnaca (Larnaka), Limassol (Lemesos), Nicosia (Lefkosia), and Paphos (Pafos).  The main cities in Cyprus are Ayia Napa (Agia Napa), Larnaca (Larnaka), Limassol (Lemesos), Nicosia (Lefkosia), and Paphos (Pafos).  Plus, there are plenty of villages scattered throughout the island.

Cyprus has a wide variety of interesting archaeological sites and ancient ruins, museums and educational centers, landmark buildings and monuments, and monasteries and churches with historical and architectural significance.  Also, the island has natural beauty with beaches, mountains, valleys, farmlands, etc. 

Hope you enjoy Exploring Cyprus with us!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to Exploring Cyprus

Exploring Cyprus provides detailed information about the island of Cyprus.  This site is geared towards those planning to visit or currently living on the island, as well as those simply searching for more information about Cyprus.

Some of the items featured on this blog include the following:
  • Archaeological sites and ancient ruins
  • Monasteries and churches
  • Beaches and mountains
  • Major cities and various villages
  • Museums and educational centers
  • Landmark buildings and monuments
  • Festivals and cultural events
  • Travel tips and current news

For the past several years, Elizabeth has lived in the Republic of Cyprus with her husband, Elie.  As they continue Exploring Cyprus, Elizabeth updates this blog with her travels and experiences, as well as daily life in Cyprus. 

Hope you enjoy Exploring Cyprus with us! 

NOTE:  Travel information is subject to change, particularly prices, opening hours, etc.  When arranging travel details, plan in advance to verify the necessary details.  This blog and those contributing to this site cannot be held responsible for the readers’ experiences while traveling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exploring Cyprus

Exploring Cyprus provides detailed information about the island of Cyprus.  This site is geared towards those planning to visit or currently living on the island, as well as those simply searching for more information about Cyprus.

Visit Exploring Cyprus at the following links: 

And more details coming soon!