Limassol Medieval Castle, as we see it today, was rebuilt during the Turkish domination (XIX century).
According to the fame, the castle stands on the site where Richard the Lion heart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England, in 1191. Cells in the basement, were used as a prison until 1950. The Cyprus Medieval Museum is housed here now.
The oldest report on the existence of the Castle, dates back to 1228 when Frederick the Second of Germany and his supporters, sent to prison the hostages seized by Ibeline, the king regent of Cyprus. This Castle was likely to be an ancient Byzantine Castle or the one that took its place over the early Frankish period. According to Stephen Lusignan, Guy de Lusignan had built the original Castle in 1193. This original fort, if it’s existed, has not yet been localized by the archaeologists. It’s more likely to have been given up to the knights for administration purposes on behalf of the crown, in 1308.
In 1538, the Turks landed at Limassol and conquered the Castle. Bragadino, the Venetian Governor of Cyprus, decided to have the Castle demolished, in order to prevent any further use of it or its conquered by the Turks, to be used as a fort.
Boustronios blamed the Governor for this act of his, stating that the expenses for the demolition of the castle went beyond the costs for having it repaired. The demolition works, took place through several phases and their completion was achieved, owing to the earthquakes occurred in 1567/8.
Following the complete conquest of the island (1576) by the Ottomans, the ruins of the old castle or parts of it, were incorporated into the new fort built by the Ottomans in 1590. A 2-metre thick wall and the specially tailored ground floor cells used as a prison until 1950, have been two particularly important features of it.
When the Cyprus central prison cells were transferred to Nicosia, the Castle of Limassol was declared an archaeological site and a cultural monument. It was therefore given to the Department of Antiquities, to be used as a Regional Archaeological Museum, where only one technician was initially employed. It remained closed after the 1963 conflicts until 1974, when the National Guard used it as an outpost.
When the new Limassol Regional Museum was entirely restored and the exhibits were transferred to the new building, some cleaning and maintenance works took place at the Castle for a number of years. Its design was transformed, both inside and outside, in view of hosting there the new Museum, known as the Cyprus Medieval Museum, which was inaugurated on 28 March 1987.
|Near the Old Port|
|Opening hours||Monday – Friday: 8.00 – 17.00
Saturday: 9.00 – 17.00
Sunday: 10:00 – 13:00
|Accessibility||Non wheelchair accessible|