Buffavento Castle is situated on the top of the Five Finger Mountains range at a heught of 950 metres. It was built as a defence against Arab raids and as a signals post. It has been variously known as “The Lion Castle” and “The One Hundred and One Houses”. During the Lusignan Period (1192-1489) it was used as a prison and this is when it was known as “The Lion Castle”. The name Buffavento was given to it by the italians and means “Defier of the Winds”. An ancient myth relates that there were 101 rooms in the castle and that whosoever passes through the door of the lost 101st room would inherit a treasure.
The lowest part of the castle was probably built by Byzantines in the 11th century. The base was expanded by the Lusignans in the 14th century. It is not regular in shape as it makes use of the mountain itself for its defense. During the Venetian period Buffavento, like the other mountain strongholds of St. Hilarion and Kantara, fell into disuse as the costal castles of Cyprus, such as Kyrenia and Famagusta, became more important for the defence of Cyprus.
Another tale related to the castle tells of a Byzantine princess who, suffering from leprosy had retreated to the castle. Her dog also suffered from the same disease and one day the princess noticed that the skin of her dog had begun to heal. Following him she saw the animal bathed in a spring far below the castle. She did the same and was cured. In gratitude, she founded the Monastery of Ayios loannis Chrysostomos at the spot near the water source.