Medieval Castle & Museum of Limassol

Medieval Castle & Museum of Limassol

History mired by mystery...

In the center of the old city of Limassol, you will find the Medieval Castle and Museum. Located opposite the popular "Molos" park and near to the old port.

Take a walk along the square and you will see the castle surrounded by cafes, restaurants, the Carob, traditional taverns, ice-cream parlors, shops, handicrafts shops and clubs.

The picture you will view in that place will take you to the Middle Ages. It will make you live at that time, from 1987 until today hosts a part of the Medieval Collection of the Cyprus Museum. Inside the castle, there are several valuable items you will see weapons, armor, tools, Byzantine, medieval and Islamic glazed and utilitarian pottery, bronze and glassware, lamps, jewelry, coins, objects of worship and architectural elements from Byzantine and Gothic buildings. Impressive is a series of plaster casts of the sculptural decoration of the medieval cathedral of St. Sophia in Nicosia. Also exhibited an important collection of medieval tombstones engraved.

Castle also presents a rich photographic material relating to the Byzantine and medieval fortifications of Cyprus and representative religious monuments of the above mentioned periods.

But let's go back in history that is of particular interest. The exact date of construction of the castle is not known. The original fort was larger than the current one, in which some parts of the former building integrated and considered to be part of a larger castle but unfortunately it didn't survive. As revealed by findings in 1951, the castle is built on an early Christian basilica (4th-7th c. AD) and the east side of the three-storey building arched basement, is the ground of a large arch with a diameter of about 12 meters. (10th-11th c. AD) which probably belongs to the first Latin city cathedral that it was an important temple.

But according to Stephen Lusignan, the original castle was built by the founder of the Lusignan dynasty, Gouido Lusignan in 1193. However, the first official mention of the castle dates from 1228, during the mixing of Frederic II of Germany in the affairs of Cyprus. This original fort if indeed existed, has not identified archaeological and most likely surrender to the Knights to manage on behalf of the Crown in 1308.

Tradition tells that the king of England Richard the Lionheart celebrated his marriage in the castle with Berengaria and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 AD in Limassol. But this does not valid because the castle was built a few years later.

The castle was badly damaged, from earthquakes that happened between the centuries, and other serious damage that was attacked by many invaders, as by the Genoese in 1373 after having conquered the castle and destroy it after they burned the city. This led to the end of the medieval situation. In the 15th century began to be repaired in 1402, after it was again ready to face the Genoese and again by the Mamelukes of Egypt in 1413, their first attack was a failure but the second not. In 1491 another earthquake cause damage ...

They were made again extensive repairs and reconstructions in 1518 by Saige who visited the city, until the demolition of the Venetian governor of Cyprus Vragandinos to not let the Ottomans use the castle as a fortress in 1538. It reconstruction again from the Latin Bishop of Limassol.

After the final conquest of the island (1576) by the Ottoman Turks, the remains or parts of the ruins of the old castle incorporated around 1590 into the new stronghold of the Ottomans with strong 2-meter thick wall and formed the cells on the ground floor and the floor that up 1948 was used as a prison. Since the Turks and until 1940, the castle was used as a prison, while from 1948 to 1964 served as Provincial Archaeological Museum Limassol round in 1590, the Ottomans rebuilt the fort in its original form.

Historical periods are represented in the Medieval Museum Limassol are:
Early Christian 324-650 AD
Period Arab invasions / Early AD 650-965
Middle Byzantine 650-1192 AD
Frankish 1192-1489 AD
Venetian Period 1489-1570 AD
Turkish Occupation 1570-1878 AD

Address is Richard and Berengaria Street, near the old port
Phone 25-305419
Opening hours Monday - Friday: 8.00 - 17.00
Saturday: 9.00 - 17.00
Sunday: 10.00 - 13.00
Ticket price € 4,50
Nonaccessible space for people moving a wheelchair. 


Medieval Castle & Museum of Limassol

Don't forget to visit the beautiful "Molos Park'' near the castle!