The sunny island of Cyprus seems to be a very quiet and peaceful place, but there are several well-fortified fortresses and castles on its territory. The fact is that the island is located on a rather important place from the point of view of strategic location, so at one time Cyprus did not belong to anyone…
One of the most famous historical buildings in Cyprus is the Kolossi Castle, which is located about 10 kilometers west of Limassol. Previously, Kolossi was a stronghold for a variety of knightly orders. Initially, the castle was occupied by the Templars, then the Hospitallers, and later the Knights of the Order of Malta settled in it.
Kolossi Castle is one of the most striking examples of medieval military architecture. The present castle was built in 1454 on the ruins of an older castle from the beginning of the XIII century, and thanks to several alterations and competent reconstruction, the structure has been perfectly preserved to this day.
Around the castle there are beautiful citrus plantations. In addition, in the courtyard of the fortress there is a giant cypress and a gnarled old tree “machaerium”, which attract the attention of tourists with their unusual appearance. Above all this beauty rises the 25-meter tower of Kolossi. The tower itself consists of three floors, each of which in the past served for various purposes. The thickness of the walls of the structure in some places reaches 2.5 meters!
Originally, the fortress housed a sugar factory, which was located on the eastern side of Kolossi. Back in the X century, sugar cane was imported to Cyprus, and the sugar factory on the territory of the castle became the best on the island. Unfortunately, it has not survived to this day. Only the ruins of an old sugar-cane mill and an aqueduct built by the Turks still remind us of its existence.
Not only sugar cane, but also grapes were processed here. It was from Kolossi that the famous wine “Commandaria”came. It is believed that this wine was served to guests at the wedding of Richard ” Lionheart” and Berengaria of Navarre, who were married just on the territory of the ancient castle.
You can get to the fortress on the drawbridge of impressive size, which once spanned the protective moat. The interior of the Kolossi Castle is not particularly interesting for tourists, as the interior is rather sparse.
Previously, the second floor of the castle was occupied by living quarters, and the floor above was occupied by the commander’s chambers. The third floor is divided into two separate rooms, one of which was equipped as a knight’s living room, and the second – as a bedroom. Both rooms have decorative fireplaces. Several wells were dug in the basements of the fortress, so that in the event of a siege, the defenders of the castle could hold out for quite a long time.
The roof of the castle was (and still is) an excellent observation platform, which offers a great view of the surrounding area: citrus plantations, the city of Limassol and the sea. The facade of the fortress is decorated with several family coats of arms of the Lusignan dynasty as well as the coat of arms of Jerusalem.