Othello Castle was originally built as a moated citadel by the House of Lusignan in the 14th century to protect Famagusta's harbour, and was originally the main entrance to the town. The tower was restored 3 years after Cyprus was sold to the Republic of Venice, under the command of captain Nicolo Foscari. After the restoration the Lion of St. Marcus was engraved on the entrance, along with captain Nicolo Foscari's name and the date (1492). The castle gets its name from Shakespeare's famous play Othello, which is set in a harbour town in Cyprus. In 1566 the castle was moved to the prison.

Othello castle also has a refectory and a dormitory constructed during the Lusignan period. In the courtyard, there are old cannons lying on the ground. One of them is made of bronze and is over 400 years old. There are some iron cannon balls lying about, as well as some stone balls that would have been used in a trebuchet. It is rumoured that the Venetian merchants, during the Ottoman siege, hid their fortunes down here and sealed the tunnels up. As they were not allowed to take anything with them when they were allowed to leave the city, these treasures are still supposed to be there.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Cyprus

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alek Zych (2 years ago)
Great place. Really liked it. Impressive structure. Ticket price very, very low.
Cesare Balci (3 years ago)
Wonderful castel has Saint Marco Lion relief
Stacy Hackner (3 years ago)
Cute Venetian castle that inspired Shakespeare - apparently Othello was based on a real ruler here, and the castle was subsequently renamed. You can walk around some cool little areas within the entrance fortifications and up on to the ramparts to get a good idea of the town and harbor. Parts of it were in the film "Exodus"! There was an extensive display on the conservation work, but otherwise few signs throughout.
Michelle Jenkinson (3 years ago)
Good very informative. Excellent value for money. Worth a visit.
Colin Lothian (3 years ago)
Entry fee €2.50. Interesting fortifications which are supposed to be the inspiration for Shakespeare's Othello. The ramparts can be walked in part and there are views over the port. On the ground floor are some artefacts and poster boards describing the collaborative efforts of Greek and Turkish Cypriots to conserve this monument. There is a public toilet on site.
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