The castle is thought to have been constructed to
protect the town against the Arab raids in the 7th century.
Like the Kantara Castle, it played an important role
in the Lusignan period. In this period the castle underwent
a lot of changes due to restoration work.
The restoration work was interrupted briefly in 1373, because
of the Genoese siege but went on afterwards.
When the castle was first built, the fortifications were
constructed with the armoured knights and archers in mind.
When the Genoese took control of the castle in 1489, they
reconstructed the fortifications taking the Ottoman artillery
into consideration. They added the northwestern and the southeastern
towers as an extra precaution. In spite of all this, however,
following the fall of Nicosia in 1570, they surrendered the
castle to the Ottomans without putting up any resistance.
The entrance to the castle is via a bridge built over
a wide ditch. This ditch was full of water until the 14
hundreds. The Lusignan insignia of three lions on the vault
of the inner gate has been brought here from another building.
Inside the castle there is a Byzantian church (St.
George) thought to have been constructed in the 11 hundreds.
The tomb of the Ottoman Admiral, Sadik Pasha the Algerian,
who was killed during the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans
in 1570 is also in this castle. The other sections of
the castle are: the Venetian Towers of the Northwest, Southwest,
and Southeast; the guards room, the big hall, various
dungeons, and rooms used as depots belonging to the Lusignan
period; a tower belonging to the Byzantine period; the Venetian
defence platform; a cistern; an arsenal, and a cannon parapet
belonging to the Venetian period; and the shipwreck museum.
The Department of Antiquities created the atmosphere of
an open-air museum in the castle by personifying different
historical characters and by using site-animation.
Read more about Kyrenia Castle on Cyprus44