Kolossi Castle

On the southern coastal plain of Cyprus, west of Limassol city, lies Kolossi Medieval Castle, a fortification which is considered one of the most distinguished examples of its era.

The castle was built during the Frankish rule in the island. More precisely, it was constructed in 1210 while the area was under the military order of the Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights Hospitaller. Later, and for a short period, the castle came in the possession of the Knights Templar, returning to its initial owners after few years. During the mid-1400s, after the raids of Mamluks on the island, the castle was destroyed. The castle takes its current form after it was re-built on the 15th century, under the orders of Commander Louis de Magnac.

Kolossi Castle is a fine example of military Medieval architecture. It is a three-storey structure, built of limestone blocks. The ground floor is divided into three halls, with an arched roof, which may have been used as storage rooms. The second floor is separated in two halls. Important is the placement of a huge fireplace in the western room, indicating the existence of a kitchen in the castle. An interior stairway leads to the third floor, which consists of two separate areas, the first one possibly serving as dining room and the other as a bedroom respectively. From there, the spiral staircase leads to the castle’s roof, with its merlons and crenels. The top of the castle offers a magnificent view towards the surrounding area, the vineyards, the castle’s gardens and Kolossi village.

On the east of the castle is located the sugar factory, while few meters away is the church of Saint Efstathios. The factory is a 14th century structure, with the primary building being an oblong stone-made, arch-covered hall. To the north of the main building are found the remnants of the sugarcane crushing mill and of the aqueduct. Further, the church, dedicated to Saint Efstathios, is a small 12th century stone-build structure. It has a vaulted, cruciform shape. Inside the church, there are three vaulted arches, while noteworthy are the remains of the 15th century frescoes on the dome.

Apart from the unique architecture and military history of Kolossi Castle and its surroundings, the area is also closely associated with Commandaria, the sweet red wine produced in Cyprus. During the stay of the Knights in Cyprus, and the creation of the feud of “La Grande Commanderie” (Great Commandery), the Knights were producing and exporting the local wine, which they have named “vin de Commanderie” or Commandaria.

Kolossi castle, once being symbol of power, it now stands as one of the most distinguished monuments of the island, with hundreds of years of history. Transporting us in a world of knights, the castle and the remains of the sugarcane factory, along with the byzantine church offer visitors an exquisite experience.

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