Kolossi Castle was a former Crusader castle possibly built in 1210 by the Frankish military, when the land of Kolossi was given by King Hugh I to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (Hospitallers). Owing to rivalry among the factions in the Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus, the castle was taken by the Knights Templar in 1306, but returned to the Hospitallers in 1313 following the abolition of the Templars. The present castle was built in 1454 by the Hospitallers under the Commander of Kolossi, Louis de Magnac, whose arms can be seen carved into the castle's walls. It held great strategic importance in the Middle Ages, and contained large facilities for the production of sugar from the local sugarcane, one of Cyprus's main exports in the period.

The castle today consists of a single three-storey keep with an attached rectangular enclosure or bailey about 30 by 40 metres. It is a fine example of medieval military architecture and directly connected with a number of important events, which constitute various interesting folds of the agelong and stormy history of Cyprus.

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Founded: 1454
Category: Castles and fortifications in Cyprus

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Simon Winstanley (3 months ago)
Beautiful site. Well worth a visit on Cyprus on a nice day. Cafe and souvenir shop located close by.
Александр Игонин (4 months ago)
A castle, not a big one. As I recall, it contains three floors and also has rooftop access. I liked the spiral staircase, and the view from the roof was good... But aside from that, nothing too impressive. You have to pay fee on the entrance. A restroom and free WiFi are provided.
Rock Cyprus (5 months ago)
A magnificent castle! It can actually be described best not as a castle but as the fortified residence of the Commander of the Hospitallers, who oversaw and managed the sugar cane plantations around the Colossi area. The main building has 3 floors, and dates from the 15th Century, while the foundations of an earlier structure have been excavated and unearthed in the west side of the complex. The main building has been wonderfully restored in 1933 and it is a joy to visit. The visitor’s leaflet provides very good information that you can use in order to navigate and appreciate the site. Do not forget to have a look at the remains of the sugar cane factory, powered by a water mill (the original aqueduct feeding the mill is still intact). One of the most beautiful sites in Cyprus!
Denis Dem (5 months ago)
Small castle, but well preserved, except interior which is absent. It would definitely win if it was decorated with replicas of furniture. Also in main rooms of the castle can be seen missing wooden constructions that were used to create second floor in these rooms. Unfortunately, they are missing too, what on the other hand allows to see whole room. Also ticket is only €2,5 and a 17 bus can be taken to it just for €1,5 one way what is really cheap and makes it must visit place for me.
Adrian S (5 months ago)
A small castle well worth the visit as it has great views of the surround areas from the very top. Free car park on site. Entry free of €2.50. Definitely NOT recommended for those with mobility issues as lots of steps/stairs and uneven ground. Toilet facilities on site.
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In 910 AD, Count Konrad Kurzbold (cousin of the future King Konrad I) founded a collegiate chapter of 18 canons, who lived according to the rule of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, on the hilltop site. The original castle chapel was torn down and a three-aisled basilica was built in its place. The foundations of this basilica have been found beneath the present floor.

The construction of current cathedral is dated to 1180-90. The consecration was performed in 1235 by the archbishop of Trier. It seems certain that the cathedral was built in four stages. The first stage encompassed the west facade, the south side aisle, the choir and the transept up to the matroneum. This section forms the Conradine church. The second stage consisted of the addition of the inner pillars of the south nave. In this stage the bound system was first introduced. In the third phase, the matroneum in the southern nave was built. The fourth stage included the north side of the transept and the choir matroneum. By this stage Gothic influence is very clear.

The interior was destroyed by Swedish soldiers during the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and reconstructed in a late Baroque style in 1749. The Baroque renovation was heavy-handed: the surviving medieval stained glass windows were replaced; all the murals were covered up; the ribs of the vaults and columns of the arcades were painted blue and red; the capstones were gilded; the original high altar was replaced. The colorfully painted exterior was coated in plain white and the central tower was extended by 6.5 meters.

The collegiate chapter of Limburg was dissolved in 1803 during the Napoleonic period, but then raised to the rank of cathedral in 1827 when the bishopric of Limburg was founded. Some renovations in contemporary style followed: the walls were coated white, the windows were redone in blue and orange (the heraldic colors of the Duke of Nassau) and towers were added to the south transept (1865).

Further changes came after Limburg was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. It was now the Romantic period and the cathedral was accordingly restored to an idealized vision of its original Romanesque appearance. The exterior stonework was stripped of all its plaster and paint, to better conform with the Romantic ideal of a medieval church growing out of the rock. The Baroque interior was stripped away and the wall paintings were uncovered and repainted.

Further renovations came in 1934-35, enlightened by better knowledge of the original art and architecture. Art Nouveau stained glass windows were also added. A major restoration in 1965-90 included replastering and painting the exterior, both to restore it to its original appearance and to protect the stonework, which was rapidly deteriorating while exposed to the elements.

The interior is covered in medieval frescoes dating from 1220 to 1235. They are magnificent and important survivals, but time has not been terribly kind to them - they were whitewashed over in the Baroque period (1749) and uncovered and repainted with a heavy hand in the Romantic period (1870s) before finally being restored more sensitively in the 1980s.