Girne Castle (Kyrenia Castle)

17 Dec 2023
Kyrenia’s most photographed spot has played host to many of its most important historical events, although this isn’t always a blessing. The current look of Kyrenia Castle traces its lineage to Venetian renovation in 1540, but it wasn’t 30 years before the Ottomans overran Kyrenia and put their own stamp on the place, a stamp that the British subsequently removed. Kyrenia Castle is that sort of place, an impressive fortification that has seen tumult and misery but has born all of that with a quiet determination, that “stiff upper lip” that the British claim but rarely display.

The British connection began in 1191 when King Richard I conquered the castle on his way to the Third Crusade (the famous one), but ol’ Lionheart quickly sold it to the Knights Templar, who in turn sold it to the Frankish Lusignans, who held it for three centuries. History is fun! Kyrenia Castle is the town’s main attraction and is home to the tomb of Ottoman Admiral Sadik Pasha (the chap in charge when the Ottomans took the city in 1570) and the Shipwreck Museum.


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