N° 29
Town / Village : Kantara

District : Famagusta



The castle of Kantara is the easternmost castle of the three Pentadaktylos mountain range castles. It commands both the northern coast and the Mesaoria plaun and controls the entrance to the Karpas peninsula.

The castle is built on a rocky hiitop (2068ft) which determined both its outline and the arrangement of its buildings. The north, south and west steep cliffs made access to the castle impossible. The entrance consists of an imposing barbican which is protected by strong towers. The barbican and the outer entrance have been ruined. In the north and south the castle’s fortification wall ends up in two huge towers with embrasures.

The southeastern tower in the castle’s interior is a large rectangular room covered with a cross vault. This room’s vaulted basement, which was turned into a cistern for the concentration of rain water, was originally used as a prison. To the southwest of this tower another vaulted room exists and to its south there is a range of three vaulted chambers with loopholes where the soldiers resided.

The west part of the castle’s southern wall ends in a horseshoe-shaped tower and continues in the west side of the cliff with three vaulted chambers. In the north side of the west part of the castle there are two vaulted chambers which were used as cisterns. To the north of this area one can see the remains of the castle’s Byzantine northern wall along with cisterns and other buildings that are in a ruinous condition.

The chamber at the top of the hill preserves its beautiful window in its south wall. The view is stunning since one can see the island’s northern coastline, the Karpas peninsula, the east part of the Mesaoria plain and the gulf of Famagusta.

The northeast tower commands the entrance and controlled the movement at sea in the north. The tower’s ground floor consists of a passage with loopholes at the north, which leads to a square chamber covered with a cross vault. In the eastern wall of this chamber an entrance leads to the horseshoe-shaped vaulted tower with loopholes on all of its three sides. The tower’s upper floor consists of a long narrow passage which ended in the rectangular chamber.

Period :

Like the castles of St Hilarion and Buffavento, it was first built in the Byzantine period after the Arab raids.






The first mention of the castle is in 1191.

More information exists from Frankish and Venetian sources.





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