Kolossi Castle, Show all 97 places in CYPRUS » CYPRUS97
- Kolossi, 14km west of Lemesos on the road towards Pafos (Paphos)
- Working hours*:
September 16 - April 15, daily: 08:30 - 17:00
April 16 - September 15, daily: 08:30 - 19:30
Closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday (Greek Orthodox).
- * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
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The original castle was built during the 13 th century, not long after the island was conquered by the Crusaders. Although Kolossi Castle was once an important military stronghold, this function has long since been lost. On the other hand, the castle was also a notable economic center, due to the fertile agricultural land around it and is still famous for its produce. The best-known of these is the Commandaria, a dessert wine from Cyprus regarded to be one of the oldest manufactured wines in the world.
What is the History of Kolossi Castle?
The history of Kolossi Castle may be traced all the way back to the end of the 12 th century, when Cyprus was conquered by the Crusaders. In 1191, the English king, Richard the Lionheart set sail from Sicily to the Holy Land to participate in the Third Crusade.
Settlement by Shipwreck
Originally, Richard had not intended to land on Cyprus. A storm, however, had scattered his ships and three of them were driven to the island’s shores. These ships were wrecked before they could enter the port of Limassol and the shipwrecked men were taken captive. Another ship was carrying the king’s sister, Joan of England, and Richard’s betrothed, Berengaria of Navarre. Although their ship was not wrecked, it was not seaworthy and those on board, despite their status, were not well received by the island’s ruler, Isaac Komnenos , a self-proclaimed Byzantine emperor.
Ruins of Kolossi Castle
Richard and the rest of his ships arrived soon after, and, displeased with Isaac’s actions, attacked the island. The English king captured Limassol, but Isaac escaped, resulting in a pitched battle between the two. The site of this battle has sometimes been identified as Kolossi, and Isaac who did not enjoy the support of the local population, was easily defeated. Thus, the English conquered Cyprus and on the 12 th of May, Richard and Berengeria were married in Limassol.
King Richard Sells the Island - Twice
Richard, however, did not hold Cyprus for long as he sold it to the Knights Templar before leaving on the 4 th of June. The Templars, however, held the island for only six months before a rebellion by the locals forced them to return Cyrus to Richard. The king sold the island once more this time to Guy de Lusignan, one of his vassals and the former King of Jerusalem.