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Paphos Harbour Castle

Welcome to the Paphos Harbour Castle, where history buffs and tourists alike come to explore the medieval fortress that once safeguarded our scenic harbor.

With Byzantine and Venetian roots and a touch of Ottoman restoration, this West End fortress packs a punch!

Be sure to check out the Western Frankish Tower and catch a glimpse of the prized Venetian additions.

And don’t forget to snap a pic of the inscription above the entrance that tells the castle’s story.

This large square tower has seen it all with its enclosed courtyard – from prison cells during Ottoman Rule to a salt store under British administration.

And hey, did you know there used to be 12 cannons on the roof? The Ottomans took them out in 1878.

Subsequently, the castle functioned as a salt store until its designation as an Ancient Monument in 1935.

So nowadays, the castle is an ancient monument that’s worth visiting.

You must check out this historical gem while strolling through the quaint Paphos harbour!

The History of Paphos Castle

Standing proudly at the western end of Paphos’ harbor, Paphos Castle, also known as the Medieval Fort, has a rich history that dates back to the Byzantine era. 

Initially, the Paphos Harbour Castle was built as a fortress to protect the harbor; it underwent several reconstructions and additions over the centuries, reflecting the island’s tumultuous history under various rulers.

Ottoman Restoration and Venetian Influence

The castle, as it stands today, is essentially the result of the Ottoman restoration in 1592. 

The Western Frankish Tower, with its Venetian elements, is a prominent feature of the castle’s architecture. 

Inscriptions above the castle entrance witness these historical renovations, adding to the castle’s allure for history enthusiasts.

Lusignan and Venetian Contributions

During the Lusignan period in the 13th century, the castle underwent significant expansions and enhancements. 

The addition of the “Genoese Towers,” strategically positioned at the port entrance, played a crucial role in the defense against naval invasions. 

Despite being destroyed in the 1491 earthquake, the ruins of these towers remain a testament to their historical significance.

Defending Against Invaders

Paphos Castle has a storied past of resisting invasions. Thanks to its resilient construction and strategic positioning, it withstood the Genoese invasion in 1373 and remained intact during the Mamluk attacks in 1426. 

The castle’s defenders, led by the fierce Spanish mercenary Sforza, demonstrated exceptional bravery during the Turkish invasion in 1570, although the castle was eventually destroyed after 16 days of intense fighting.

Ottoman Occupation and British Influence

Following the Ottoman repair and subsequent occupation, the castle served as a military stronghold with a garrison of 100 men and 12 cannons. 

With the arrival of the British to Cyprus in 1878, the castle ceased its military functions and was repurposed as a salt depot until 1935.

Modern-Day Landmark

Today, Paphos Castle stands as a symbol of the city’s resilience and rich history. 

Paphos Castle is a renowned tourist destination, enticing visitors with its thematic exhibitions and historical displays that provide a fascinating window into the city’s rich past.

The castle’s accessibility features make it a welcoming destination for all visitors, showcasing its importance as a cultural landmark in Paphos.

Experience Paphos Castle

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Paphos Castle with a visit to this iconic landmark. 

Explore its ancient walls, marvel at its architectural wonders, and discover the stories of its past. 

Whether you’re a history buff or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, Paphos Castle offers a fascinating journey through time. 

Visit it today and witness the timeless beauty of Paphos’ most iconic fortress!

Paphos Harbour Castle
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Paphos Castle
LocationThe western end of Paphos’ harbor
  • Originally a Byzantine fort
  • Rebuilt by Lusignans in the 13th century
  • Dismantled by Venetians
  • Ottomans rebuilt it in the 16th century
  • 1592 Ottoman restoration
  • The central part is a big square tower
  • Enclosed courtyard in the middle
  • Ground floor with central hall and small rooms used as prison cells
  • 12 battlements on the roof
  • Resisted Genoese invasion in 1373
  • Not covered by Mamluks in 1426
  • Withstood attacks during the Turkish invasion in 1570
Modern UseTourist attractions with thematic exhibitions; occasional cultural festivals
AccessibilityGround floor accessible for wheelchair users
Visiting Hours8:30-17:00 (winter), 8:30-19:30 (summer)

Paphos Castle, a marvel in the heart of Cyprus, has been home to many over the years! Built by the Byzantines to protect the harbour, it was remodeled by the Lusignans in the 13th century.

Unfortunately, it was later dismantled by the Venetians.

Paphos Castle, an outstanding landmark, has stood tall since the mid-13th century.

Isn’t it amazing that this impressive structure has existed for almost 800 years?



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