Venetian Palace Ruins

Famagusta, Cyprus

At the western end of Namik Kemal square, you will find the remains of the Venetian governor's palace (Palazzo del Proveditore). When the Venetians took over Cyprus, it was not by force, but as the end result of intrigue perpetrated over many years. In 1468 they arranged a marriage between the Lusignan king James II, and Caterina Cornaro, the 18 year old daughter of one of Venice's most noble families.

The Venetians immediately began converting the city from a French medieval one to an Italian renaissance one. They moved the capital of Cyprus from Nicosia to Famagusta, and around 1550 built the palace we see today on the ruins of a 13th century Lusignan one. The Lusignan palace was used as living accommodation for the kings of Cyprus till 1369, when it was destroyed by earthquakes.

The Venetian palace was largely destroyed by the Ottomans, but what little remains is impressive. The most noticeable part is the three-arched entrance to one side of Namik Kemal Square. It mirrored the triumphal archways of ancient Rome, and they were even able to use genuine Roman columns salvaged from Salamis. The upper part of the gateway imitates the temples of Greece and Rome, while above the central arch can be seen the arms of Giovani Renier, the Italian Governor of Cyprus at the time.

Until recently, the palace was used as a car park. However it has now been paved over and is frequently used as a venue for open air concerts.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: c. 1550
Category: Ruins in Cyprus

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Murat Erdogan (4 years ago)
Venedik Sarayı (Proveditore Sarayı), Gazimagusa şehir merkezinde bulunmaktadır. Saray 13. yüzyılda Lüzinyanlar (1192 - 1489) tarafından Kraliyet Sarayı olarak inşa edilmiş. 1369 yılına kadar Kıbrıs Kralları bu sarayda oturmuşlardır. Deprem sonucu zarar gören yapı, 1552 yılında Venedikliler (1489 - 1570) tarafından yenilenip, tekrar Kraliyet Sarayı olarak kullanılmaya başlanmış. Günümüze ise sarayın ‘L’ şeklinde olan batı kısmı ile Salamis’ten getirilen dört sütunu içermekte olan üç kemerli giriş gelebilmiştir. Ortadaki kemerin üst başında, 1552 yılında Kıbrıs'ta yönetici olan Yüzbaşı Giovanni Renier'in arması yer almaktadır. Saray kalıntıları Namık Kemal Meydanı'nın batısında yer almaktadır.
Jarik Oosting (5 years ago)
Historical place.
Ian Fergusson-Sharp (5 years ago)
When the Venetians took over Cyprus, it was not by force, but as the end result of intrigue perpetrated over many years. In 1468 they arranged a marriage (by proxy) between the Lusignan king James II, and Caterina Cornaro, the 18 year old daughter of one of Venice's most noble families. Within a year, the king had died under mysterious circumstances, with no heir, but a pregnant queen. The new king, James III, was to live for less than a year, leaving his mother as the heirless Queen of Cyprus. She tried to reign independently of Venice, but they imposed "advisors" on her, and fearing she would re-marry and provide an heir, in 1489 she was "persuaded" to abdicate and return to Venice, leaving her advisors in charge. The Venetian palace was largely destroyed by the Ottomans, but what little remains is impressive. The most noticeable part is the three-arched entrance to one side of Namik Kemal Square. It mirrored the triumphal archways of ancient Rome, and they were even able to use genuine Roman columns salvaged from Salamis. The upper part of the gateway imitates the temples of Greece and Rome, while above the central arch can be seen the arms of Giovani Renier, the Italian Governor of Cyprus at the time.
Hasan Debreli (6 years ago)
Great
Hugo Čejka (6 years ago)
Such a good place to chill
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.