A visit to the imposing structure of Kolossi Castle is one of the most popular day trips for visitors to the town of Limassol. This excellent example of military architecture dating from the 13th century harkens back to a time where Cyprus was one of the frontiers for the crusades in the Holy Land to the east.
However, visitors can expect to see little of the original 13th-century structure. The current castle, erected in 1454, is built on the ruins of the older castle that was constructed in 1210. Although rebuilt in the middle of the 15th century, it remains one of the oldest standing castles in Cyprus. It is amazing how well-preserved it is, despite the tumultuous history of the island.
Kolossi played a pivotal role in the crusades. It was originally conquered by Richard the Lionheart of England in 1191, due to the military governor of Cyprus refusing to support him and the Crusaders. After the island was captured, including Kolossi, the whole of Cyprus came under the rule of the king of England.
The island was then sold, and the castle became influenced by the Franks for three hundred years, where it played host to crusader ambitions until the Muslims were finally able to conquer the east and the Ottoman Empire maintained control of the region well into the 19th century.
European Quality Castles
Western Europe is often praised as the place to be if you want to see castles, but Kolossi Castle is quite simply impressive. If ever you wanted a sunshine holiday with a castle thrown into the mix, then a visit to Limassol in Cyprus is the answer.
Sweep up the road to the structure and you will be struck by its huge square shape. Many first-time visitors think that Kolossi Castle is actually a tower for this reason. But the military architecture of the castle will surely remind you of the castles that dot the Western European landscape.
This is also why the castle was so hard to conquer and why the earthquakes, so common to the area, have never managed to shake the structure to its foundations.
Visitors are advised to take their time enjoying the interior of the castle, which has been maintained in its original form. This is not a furnished castle, but it is easy to spot the military installations within, including the ramparts and the slits from which archers would fire through.
How to Get There and the Surrounding Area
It is easy to get to Kolossi Castle as it is only 14 km to the west of Limassol, just off the main road to Paphos. The structure and its grounds are open all year, with slightly reduced opening hours during the off-season. Kolossi Castle is readily accessible via public transport; alternatively, there is ample car parking in the area. Many of Cyprus’s hotels have guided tours to the area, so be sure to ask.
When you are finished enjoying the spectacular remains of the castle, you should take the time to explore the surrounding area. There are buildings dating back to the 14th century, giving you a slice of what life was like in medieval Cyprus.
We recommend a visit to the ruins of the sugar mill!