Kantara Castle

Kantara Castle, Besparmak Mountains

Kantara Castle sits at the highest point of Cyprus. Throughout history, different civilisations have ruled over this castle, strategically constructed in its position. The Byzantines, the Lusignans, and the Ottomans utilised this castle for defence and its breathtaking views.

As you climb up to the castle, the stone steps carry you higher, surrounded by pine trees and flowers. When you reach the summit, the beauties of Cyprus unfold beneath your feet. The blue of the Mediterranean, the curves of the Kyrenia Gulf, and the ridges of the Besparmak Mountains dazzle your eyes.

One of Cyprus' Kantara Castle's most impressive features is its entrance, the Palace Gate. Dating back to the Lusignan period, this gate stands out with its magnificent arches. Inside, the castle ruins, cisterns, and watchtowers transport you back in time.

For those who want to experience both Cyprus's history and nature, Kantara Castle offers a touching experience.

Where is Kantara Castle?

Where is Kantara Castle

For those wondering where Kantara Castle is located, here is the answer: Kantara Castle is nestled on the summit of the Besparmak Mountains in the northeast of Cyprus, approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Kyrenia. It stretches towards the sky at an altitude of 700 meters, deriving its name from the Arabic word "kantara," meaning "bridge." This bridge carries traces of different civilisations throughout history.

This impressive castle may have been built during the Byzantine period. However, its exact construction date is uncertain, with many sources indicating it was built after the end of the Arab attacks in 965. There are no records about the castle until King Richard I of England took over the island. The legend that Isaac Komnenos sought refuge here to escape from the English armies under Guy de Lusignan's rule and later abandoned the castle after Girne Castle fell adds to its mystery.

Kantara Castle strategically overlooks the Mesaoria Plain and the Karpaz Peninsula. The stone steps to the castle take you back in time. When you reach the summit, the Mediterranean blue and the ridges of the Besparmak Mountains unfold before you.

If you decide to visit Cyprus, be sure to see Kantara Castle. It is a magical structure that intertwines history and nature.

You may be interested: Famagusta Ghost Town of Cyprus: Story of Varosha

Directions to Kantara Castle

Directions to Kantara Castle

Many visitors are curious about the directions to Kantara Castle and often conduct research. We recommend carefully reading the directions to Kantara Castle and taking notes if necessary. Here is your guide to reaching Kantara Castle: Start your journey from Girne. Head northeast of Cyprus, approximately 20 kilometres southeast, until you reach Kantara Castle.

As you walk along the road amidst pine trees and flowers, your excitement is bound to increase. Depart from Girne and proceed towards the Karpaz Peninsula, advancing along the foothills of the Besparmak Mountains. Follow the signs for Kantara Castle and climb the stone steps to reach the summit.

History of Kantara Castle

History of Kantara Castle

Kantara Castle rises on the summit of the Besparmak Mountains in the island's northeast. Its name is derived from the Arabic word "qantara," meaning "observation point." The history of Kantara Castle dates back thousands of years. It is believed to have been first built during the Byzantine period. However, it gained its real fame during the Lusignan Kingdom. In the 12th century, the Lusignans, who ruled Cyprus, constructed a castle at this strategic point. The castle was used to observe and protect the northern and southern regions of the island.

Kantara Castle played a significant role during the conquest of Cyprus. In 1571, when the Ottoman Empire captured the island, the castle came under Ottoman rule. During the Ottoman period, the castle served military purposes and as a garrison. Besides being a strategic point, the castle also offers magnificent views. When you climb to the summit, you'll notice the beauty of Cyprus beneath your feet. Kantara Castle is a magical structure that holds stories within its stone walls. If you plan to visit Cyprus, include this historical castle on your list.

Who Built Kantara Castle?

Rising on the summit of the Girne Mountains, Kantara Castle is a treasure that carries traces of history and all its natural beauty. While it is believed to have been constructed by the Byzantines after Arab invasions, written records first mention it in 1191 when King Richard the Lionheart seized Cyprus. It maintained its importance during the Lusignan and Venetian periods. Kantara Castle has witnessed many battles. Despite the Genoese occupation of Nicosia and Famagusta in 1373, it remained in the hands of supporters of King Peter I. Prince John, the brother of Cyprus King Peter I, who sought refuge in the castle after escaping from the Genoese. Walls surround the castle and consist of several sections, including defence areas, soldier quarters, a cistern, vaulted rooms, and a signalling tower, offering visitors a historical experience.

Visiting Hours of Kantara Castle

An essential question for those who wish to visit this magnificent castle is its visiting hours. Kantara Castle is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm. During these hours, you can explore the castle and journey into history.

With visiting hours from 08:00 to 17:00, you can comfortably visit the castle any time, especially during the early morning and late afternoon, when the scenery is most beautiful. Remember, in this magical place where history and nature converge, you will lose track of time.

Plan Your Trip to Cyprus

Plan Your Trip to Cyprus

Planning your trip to Cyprus is an exciting process, mainly if you aim to explore its historical and natural beauties. EuroDrive car rental service makes this process even more enjoyable. Kantara Castle, one of the historical points of interest in North Cyprus, will be an essential stop on your exploration route.

As you journey towards the castle, you will enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you. The magnificent views of Cyprus will enchant you from the beginning of your trip. The area where Kantara Castle is located stands out as a point where history and nature embrace.

When you reach the castle, you will be greeted by an atmosphere filled with history and legends.

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