Friday, December 6, 2013

Limassol Castle

The Limassol Castle a medieval castle that's located near the Mediterranean Sea in the old section of the city of Limassol, which is within the Limassol district of Cyprus.

The original castle was built over an Early Christian Basilica and Middle Byzantine monument.  Over the years, there were several earthquakes that damaged the castle, as well as various restorations and reconstructions.

According to tradition, Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre at this site in a chapel, and then he crowned her Queen of England in 1191.  The chapel was built for the royal wedding, but it was later destroyed by an earthquake.  A new Gothic style church was built in the same location as the chapel, and it was later encompassed by the currently built castle.

In 1576, the remains of the Limassol Castle were integrated into the new Ottoman fort, which is the castle as it appears today.  The original castle was considered a fort, and it was larger than the current castle.  Between 1790 to 1940, the castle was utilized as a prison, before becoming an ancient tourist site.

Within the castle, there's the Limassol Medieval Museum, which is also known as the Byzantine and Medieval Museum of Cyprus.

On the castle grounds, there are various ancient ruins, including sections of mosaics floors from the Ayia Mavri Basilica in Alassa, which date back to the late Roman period, as well as an olive oil press.

According to a sign posted at the Limassol Castle, "Reconstruction of an olive-oil press of the Byzantine period used from the 7th to 9th centuries A.D.  The press was found during rescue excavation as the locality 'Dameftis' in the Kouris river valley and the mill was found north of Limassol town....  The origin of this press goes back to the Roman period and has been described by Plinius.  In Cyprus it was widely used, not only in oil presses but also in wine presses, even until recent times, e.g. at Lania, Omodos, etc."

The Limassol Castle is an interesting castle and museum, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants surrounding the castle to visit, too.  

Site: Limassol Castle and Limassol Medieval Museum. 

Category: Archaeological Site and Museum. 

Location: Near the Old Port in the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 25305419. 

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sunday, and closed on Monday. 

Entrance Fee: €4,50. 

Date of Visit: 2008, 2009, 2013.

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