Saranta Kolones Castle Ruins

Paphos, Cyprus

Saranta Kolones ('Forty Columns castle') is a ruined medieval fortress inside the Paphos Archaeological Park. It takes its name from the large number of granite columns that were found on the site and probably once formed part of the ancient agora. The Byzantine castle is believed to have been built at the end of the 7th century AD to protect the port and the city of Nea Pafos from Arab raids. It was later remodeled by the Lusignans in the early 1200s.

The fortress had a three-metre thick wall with four huge corner towers and another four intermediary towers along the joining walls and moat surrounding the castle. Access was across a wooden bridge spanning the moat. The square courtyard measured 35 metres long by 35 metres wide, with a tower at each corner. The main entrance was through a fifth, horseshoe-shaped tower on the east side. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1222, the castle was subsequently abandoned.



Your name


Founded: c. 1200
Category: Ruins in Cyprus


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mirek Zabski (2 months ago)
Harbour fortress from the Byzantine times. The original fortress was rebuilt by the Turks in the 18th century C.E. Saranta Kolones was solid and large. The defensive walls were almost 10 feet thick. A wide water moat also surrounded the fortress. Unfortunately, an earthquake typical of this region destroyed the fortress. Ruins left, but it's worth visiting and seeing. It won't be a waste of time. I recommend a visit. I visited in May 2015.
Mohammed Malik (10 months ago)
This is such a beautiful place but make sure you go on a good day not when it’s raining. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes otherwise you will regret later. So much history.
Remote Life (12 months ago)
Quit interesting and historical area and Happy to visit there.
Dave Schram (2 years ago)
Very cool castle that had a moat around it. I'm sure this would be been incredible to see when it was built, but it was only used for approx. 25 years!!!!! Enjoy Paphos!
Steve Parry (2 years ago)
What an an usual castle, I’ve seen a few and this is different (in my opinion) as it’s been left since the earthquake and was not rebuilt (castles are usually built on top of each other or redeveloped). But .... it’s also an unusual shape as your see, the sunset is incredible and adds to the aura of the area (worth a visit).
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the largest Roman triumphal arch. The arch spans the Via triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph.

Though dedicated to Constantine, much of the decorative material incorporated earlier work from the time of the emperors Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180), and is thus a collage. The last of the existing triumphal arches in Rome, it is also the only one to make extensive use of spolia, reusing several major reliefs from 2nd century imperial monuments, which give a striking and famous stylistic contrast to the sculpture newly created for the arch.

The arch is 21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep. Above the archways is placed the attic, composed of brickwork reveted (faced) with marble. A staircase within the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, on the west side, facing the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Roman Forum.