Paphos Fort, Paphos
Dominating the harbour area of the town is the wonderful Paphos Fort. Whilst not on the grand scale of some of the castles of Western Europe, it is still a fascinating place with a lot of history, and is extremely popular with tourists and Cypriots alike.
The history begins with the Byzantines who built it. Now Cyprus is something of a crossroads in the Eastern Med, and the history of the castle certainly reflects the many groups that have passed through here. It was rebuilt in the thirteenth century by the Lusignans, originally a French family, much given to crusading who established branches in Cyprus and Armenia. Next to come along were the Venetians, who dismantled it in 1570, only to be ousted by the Ottomans who rebuilt it. the ottomans eventually handed over the island to the British in 1878. Obviously unimpressed with it's defensive qualities, the British promptly turned the place into a salt store, which it remained until 1935.
The modern, less warlike, visitor can climb to the top of the castle and enjoy the wonderful views back over the harbour and along the modern resort town on one side, and the ancient sites on the other.
It is open every day as follows.
Winter hours (1st November- 31st March): 08.00-17.00
Spring hours (1st April - 31st May): 08.00-18.00
Summer hours (1st June - 31st August): 08.00-19.30
Autumn hours (1st September - 31st October): 08.00 - 18.00
Entrance is €1.70
Due to the nature of the site it is regrettably not wheelchair friendly.
The little fort standing guard over Paphos' harbour is the last remnant of the forts that have stood here for centuries. This one was built by the Ottomans in 1592 to replace the fortress built by the Lusignans in 1391 and blown up by its later Venetian defenders when defeat at the hand of the Turks became inevitable. That mediaeval fort was built on the foundations of an earlier, probably Byzantine one - such layers of history are commonplace in strategic forts such as this one.
All we see today of all this effort is just the western tower. Knowing that puts the fort's Lilliputian size into a better perspective - the remains of the eastern tower sits some 70 metres away on the breakwater - it is recorded that the fort's construction was the two towers linked by a wall - imagine the wall into position and you realize this was once a formidable part of the town and port's defences, not the toy fort of first impressions.
Empty now - though every now and then the idea of turning it into a museum is mooted - the last use the fort was put to was as a salt warehouse during the years of British administration. There's nothing apart from the view from the ramparts to attract visitors these days, but it is a great vantage point and most visitors to Paphos end up crossing the the little bridge over the moat at some time during their stay.
Paphos castle was once a part of the medieval defence-wall of Paphos and you will find it in the port-area. It is open for tourists and you can also see its large halls on the groundfloor free of charge. Only for stepping up to the top of the castle you have to pay some entrancefee, see some photos of the great panorama that you get up there in my next tip !
The castle is down by the harbour, and had a stage built round it for a openair concert when i was there. The castle was originally built has a byzantine fortress , it has used as a fort, prison and warehouse.,in the past.
Paphos Castle would be a small but interesting castle, with very little inside to see - and embedded in the pier's concrete - but the outer shell is nice, indeed, and very solid-looking. You can walk up to the top for some good views of the concrete that dominates all Paphos.
The castle was born as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour, and it was later rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, when they took over the islands. Then the Venetians came and dismantled it in 1570. The fort/castle as we see it today is thanks to the ottomans, who took it over and decided to strenghten it when they arrived in Cyprus.
The Paphos Medieval Fort is a rectangular shaped and symmetrically small sized fort yet still very impressive. It is the main feature of the Harbour in Paphos. The fort was built by "Ahmed Pasha in 1592 A. D.” as the inscription obove the main entrance says. The fort has two storeys. The first floor includes the skylights and five rooms. Two openings on the floor aloow you to see down into the underground prison cells. There are a few steps opposite the main entrance leading to the roof of the fort, which some may find a a bit steep and a bit of a narrow passage to get through. Once you get up to the top of the Fort and look out into the spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the other way views of the Kato Paphos Archaeological Prark, you will notice that it was worth the small change into the Fort.
The area surrounding the harbour provides a beautiful area to relax and enjoy a drink or meal while people watching.
The Fort roof affords an excellent viewing and photographic area.
The mosaics, amphetheatre and lighthouse are located just behind the Fort.
Originally the harbour was guarded by two forts but both were badly damaged when the Turks attacked in 1570.This one was restored and used by the Turks as a prison.For a small charge you can go inside and see the dungeons and climb the narrow steps to the top where you can see the stunning views across the harbour.
Paphos medieval fort is located down by the harbour,it was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect Paphos and was later rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century,it was dismantled by the Venetians in 1570 and rebuilt once again by the Ottomans after they captured the island in the 16th century.
Stroll along the wide promenade here and climb the rooftop of the Fort for some great views. This was a favourite area in Paphos for us. The area here has many pavement sde cafes to linger in too.
The small fort at the end of Paphos harbour was first built in the 13th century. Destroyed by the Turks & then rebuilt by the Ottomans.
There is a great view of the harbour and its cafes from the rooftop of the Fort - easily accessible. On a clear day you can see for miles around too.