:: KOLOSSI CASTLE ::


KOLOSSI CASTLE

A fine example of military architecture originally constructed in the13th century and subsequently rebuilt in its present form in the middle of the 15th century. . It served first as the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar, and after the fall of Acre in 1291 for some years, as the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Kolossi and its castle are directly connected with a number of important events, which constitute various interesting folds of the agelong and stormy history of Cyprus.
In 1191 Richard the Lionheart of England conquered Cyprus after it had been ruled by Isaac Commenus. Isaac Comnenus was the Byzantine Governor of Cyprus who declared himself an independent ruler of Cyprus and would not assist Richard and the Crusaders

 

St.Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara Castles were captured by Richard the Lionheart. The Castle of Kyrenia was captured by Guy de Lusignan and imprisoned the wife and daughter of Isaac who had sent them there believing that they would be safe. Guy followed Isaac to Kantara where he captured and imprisoned him. With the fall of the castles, which were protecting Cyprus from the foreign attacks the island came under the power of the King of England, by the end of May 1191 A.D. In May 1192 the island was sold to Guy de Lusignan by the Templars who in turn had bought Cyprus by Richard the Linonheart. This was the beginning of Frankish domination. The island was occupied by the Franks for three hundred years. Kolossi Castle belonged first to the Order of the Templars and then to the Order of St. John.

There are two different opinions regarding the building of the castle. According to the first of the castle was build in 1210 A.D. when Kolossi was given by King Hugh I to the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The ruins of the original castle still exist on the East, North and North-East side of the existing building.

According to the second opinion the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem built the castle in 1454 A.D. The difference in these two opinions is that while they both agree that the present castle was built in 1454, the first on supports that this was built on the ruins of an older castle while the second one seems to ignore the existence of an older castle at this same place.

The castle today looks very well with really impressive square shape. It is a very well built castle similar to a tower, which reminds us any similar towers in Europe. Based on military architecture of the castle, offered satisfactory security to the area. It was strong enough to resist any attacks, as strong as the Kyrenia castle, and that is why it was considered to be impregnable.

Each of its four sides are 16m long on the outside and 13.5m on the inside. The height of the castle is 21m. The solid construction proved able to protect the castle through the ages and also from the many earthquakes that happened in the area.