Kyrenia (Girne) -


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The City of Kyrenia, Cyprus

Buffavento Castle  

Buffavento castle was built, along with St. Hilarion and Kantara, as a part of the defensive chain against the Arab raids. It is the highest of the three castles, its summit being some 950m above sea level. Like the other two it guarded an important pass through the mountains and it had signal connections with the other two strongholds. When Richard the Lion Heart conquered Cyprus in 1191, the Byzantine despot king of the island Isaac Comnenus is said to have fled there.

Like the other castles of the island it is associated with a mysterious queen, who once ruled Cyprus, a story probably connected with the goddess Aphrodite. One of the popular stories about the castle is that during the reign of the Knight Templars a Byzantine princess noticed that the skin of her dog had begun to heal. Following him she saw that the animal bathed in a spring far below the castle. Doing the same, she was cured. In gratitude, at the spot near the water source she founded the Monastery of Ayios Ioannis Chrysostomos.

During the Lusignan rule it was as a prison and called 'Chateau du Lion'. 

In its later history, the Venetians having relied on the coastal fortresses such as Kyrenia or Famagusta for the defense of the island, Buffavento fell into oblivion.

The name of the castle means 'Defier of Winds'. However, some people think that 'buffeted' or 'blown' by the wind is a more appropriate explanation for its name. Its lower section begins with an arched gateway. The group of rooms beyond this entrance must have served as barracks and store rooms. Under the rooms a cistern is located. The door and the arches of some rooms in the upper castle show Byzantine style red brickwork. In the upper castle the remains of a chapel can be distinguished. This part offers a staggering view of Nicosia and the Troodos chain in the south.

Related Links
Bellapais village
History & Music - Bellapais Music Festival
Medieval Music of Cyprus
Lusignan, Genoese, and Venetian periods in Cyprus


Turkish Cypriot Cuisine


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