Othello's Castle and Citadel, Famagusta

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  • Courtyard
    Courtyard
    by leics
  • View across the old town
    View across the old town
    by leics
  • Harbour view, with warship
    Harbour view, with warship
    by leics
  • Pinat's Profile Photo

    Othello's Tower

    by Pinat Written Sep 3, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Othello's Tower is the medieval fortress guarding both the harbour and the town of Famagusta. Othello is the name of a Venetian governor of 1506. The entrance to the tower is pierced through the Venetian fortifications which date from between 1500 and 1550.

    Inside the walls is the Great Hall, and with the large kitchen at one end. Windows are quite small (probably for defence purposes). When you climb up the steps, you can see a fine view of both ancient and modern harbours. Modern ships still use the same harbour entrance as it was in the golden age of Famagusta, 1300 to 1400 A.D.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by leics Updated Jan 4, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Citadel
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    Also called Othello's Tower, because shakepeare mentioned Famagusta in his play 'Othello'.

    It's a fort overlooking the old port area, strengthened and changed by the Venetians in the late 1400s.

    The Citadel is in better condition than many of the churches, possibly because its courtyard is still used for performances. but even so you can see the damage wrought by centruies of sea air.

    The fort suffered greatly under Ottoman bombardment....legend has it that the treasure of the Venetians is hidden away somewhere inside its numerous blocked passageways and derelict rooms.

    look closely as you wander round, for there are still stores of cannonballs and the odd bit of carved masonry.

    Pigeons roost in the gracefully-arched Great Hall, their droppings adding to the deterioration.

    And from the roof you have a fine view of the industrial harbour ( part of the fort is still a 'forbidden zone')..........there was a Turkish warship docked there when I visited.......and of distant Varosha (see tip below).

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  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo

    OTHELLO TOWER AND CASTLE

    by Arkeolog Updated Feb 23, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A relief from othello Tower

    The castle is called Othello Castle due to the descriptions of the castle in Shakespeare’s Othello and is one of the most frequently visited and photographed historical buildings in Magusa. According to some researchers, Christophoro Moro was the Venetian governor of Cyprus at that time, and when William Shakespeare heard Moro’s last name, he wrote his play mistakenly thinking that Moro was Moroccan (Moorish). Due to this, the castle is known as Othello’s Castle. The relief of St. Mark’s lion at the entrance to the castle has been proudly greeting visitors for centuries. Below the relief is written the name of Nicolo Foscari, who repaired the castle, and a date of 1492. This date probably indicates the date when the castle was repaired.

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    The Venetian walls, Othello tower and castle

    by call_me_rhia Updated Nov 19, 2007
    detail of the walls
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    The Walls of the Old City are known as the Venetian walls, and circle the old town completely. It's a well-preserved wall, at first built by the Lusignans, but fortified by the Venetians, after they captured the city. You often can see decorations and statues of lions, which were the symbol of the Republic of Venice

    There used to be two gates to the city, and both are still standing, one was called Porta del Mare (sea gate) and one Porta di Ravalin (land gate). This latter one is the gate you'll use when entering the old town, while the first one, obviously, is located on the sea front. The other two existing gates were added (well, opened) during the British occupation.

    If you take a walk along the walls you'll see many other interesting "details": bastions, ramps, embrasures, arms depots, depots, stables and in particular the Othello tower with its adjoining castle.

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  • om_212's Profile Photo

    Othello's Castle and Citadel

    by om_212 Updated Jun 17, 2007

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    the 21st century Othello ;)
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    yes, this is the place :) here Othello has been sent from Venice to fight Turkish fleet .. well, the rest of this drama is known (or can be learnd from Shakespeare ;).

    the medieval fortress dates back to early 16 century and is in decent shape. not long ago, it has been utilized for theatre performances. I haven't happened to see one, just was told that they are
    in Turkish.

    entrance ticket: 2 YTL ($1.5)

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