Saturday, May 17, 2014

Paphos Fort

The Paphos Fort (also known as the Paphos Medieval Fort and the Pafos Castle) is located near the Paphos Harbor in the city of Kato Paphos, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

On the site of a former Byzantine fort, this small fort was built in the 13th century during the Frankish rule, to replace the Saranta Kolones Byzantine Fort that was destroyed in the 1222 AD earthquake.  Originally, they built two towers, including the present-day Paphos Fort and a circular tower about 50 meters away, which is today in ruins.

In the 13th century, the Lusignans rebuilt the Paphos Fort, after it was destroyed by an earthquake an 1222.  In 1570, the fort was destroyed by the Venetians.  During the Ottoman rule of Cyprus, they restored the Paphos Fort in 1589. 

According to a sign at the fort, "It is in fact a Frankish tower within a Venetian wall.  After its destruction, it was restored by the Ottomans in 1592 AD, according to the inscription above the only entrance.  It seems that roughly on the same site, there were earlier Byzantine fortifications mentioned by Agios Neofytos."

Over the years, the Paphos Fort was utilized as a fort, a prison, a mosque, and even a salt warehouse, until it was declared an ancient monument by the Cypriot Department of Antiquities in 1935.  The Paphos Fort was restored, and then open to the public in 1940.

According to a sign at the fort, "What survives today is the Ottoman restoration of the western Frankish tower, its Venetian additions, and the remains of the second tower at a distance of 50 meters to the east."

Near the Paphos Fort, there are ancient ruins of a second fort (or tower), which was most likely rebuilt by the Ottomans around 1780, when they rebuilt the Paphos Fort.  However, the Ancient Fort Ruins are quite minimal today. 

Also, near the Paphos Fort, there's a sign indicating that "Saint Paul, the Apostle, visited this place during his first missionary journey."  

The Paphos Fort is an interesting site to explore, and there's a lovely view of the Kato Paphos tourist area and the Mediterranean Sea from the rooftop of this ancient fort.

Site: Paphos Fort and Ancient Fort Ruins. 

Category: Archaeological Site. 

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

Phone Number: N/A. 

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

Entrance Fee: €2,50. 

Date of Visit: 2008, 2011-2013.

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