:: PAFOS ::


PAFOS CASTLES

The castle of Kato Pafos is a medieval building constructed on the west side of the port of Pafos.
One of the prominent parts of the castle is the Frankish tower with a courtyard which had replaced an older Byzantine castle. To this day the castle remains as it was rebuilt by the Turks on the base of the western ancient breakwater and on the ruins of a castle built by the Lusignans, which had been improved in 1391 by King James 1.

 

This castle represents only small part of the fortifications of Pafos, which aimed at the protection of the harbour and the town against foreign raids. In its long history it came to know many conquerors and played its own important part in the defence not only of Pafos by of the whole island.

In the middle of the 16th century a reconstruction was considered necessary because the Venetians destroyed the castle because they were afraid that it might fall into the hands of their enemies and pirates and used a base for attacks against them.
The reconstruction of the castle was carried out twenty-two years after the conquest of the island by the Turkish commander of Cyprus Ahmet Pasha (1589-1593).

The castle as it survives today is relatively well preserved and has a rectangular shape. Its outer dimensions are 33m length and 17m width. The castle has two storeys and is 21 m high.

The ground floor during the Turkish rule served as a prison for long-term convicts. When the English took Cyprus (1878) they used the castle as a government store for salt until 1935, when the salt was removed to one of the customs stores and the castle was declared an ancient monument.
The roof of the castle is surrounded by a stone parapet. The parapet has twelve battlements, which were used for the defence of the castle.
The one of the first floor rooms has been used as a mosque and the others as rooms for the guards.