Kyrenia in

St. Hilarion Castle

St. Hilarion Castle

St Hilarion, Kyrenia, Girne

The castle is the main castle in Cyprus and one with the most impressive architecture. The name of the Saint Hilarion castle, also known as Dieu D’Amour belongs to a saint who is believed to have lived here. The second name came about with a word trick that was liked by many in the Middle Ages. In the old times this area was known as Didymos (twins) because of the two peaks that were separated by a valley. This name was mispronounced by the first Latin settlers and the name Dieu D’Amour became widely used.

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The Karmi Bronze Age Cemetery

The Karmi Bronze Age Cemetery, Kyrenia

Close to the hillside village of Karni (Karaman) is a Middle Bronze Age necropolis where chamber tombs have been carved out of the rock. On the wall of an access passage of one tomb the relief of a female figure has survived. This is the earliest relief of a human figure discovered on the island so far and it is believed to represent a fertility goddess. Also discovered in one of the tombs was a Minoan “Kamares” cup and blue faience beads from Egypt which are thought to be gifts to the dead and which suggest very early trading relations with crete and Egypt. The artifacts that have been discovered are believed to have belonged to seamen who worked on the ships at nearby Lapithos (Lapta). Based on this information we can understand which countries the early inhabitants of Cyprus were trading with.

The Church of Antiphonitis

Antiphonitis Kilisesi, Bahçeli

The beautiful church is situated in a wooden valley about 8 km south of the village of Esentepe and can be reached from Esentepe or the village of Bahceli. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church was constructed in the 12th century. The narthex on the western side and the arcadeon the south side were both added during the Lusignan Period. The church was once the centre of an important monastery. In terms of basic plan, the building is in the Byzantine style. However, the architecture in unusual for Cyprus suggesting that it was built by local craftsmen and builder. The dome of edifice rests on eight stone columns which form an octagon and four of the columns are attached to the wall. The frescoes which adorn the church were painted in two separate periods. The wall frescoes have suffered damage or have been removed from their original positions but are nonetheless remarkable. The oldest of these frescoes date from the 12th century, the more recent ones are from the 15th century. Some of the frescoes retain their brilliant colour and portray the saints and scenes from the Bible. The dome depicts a representation of the Christ Pantokrator and John the Baptist. The twelve apostles seated on their thrones and images of prophets are also represented.

The Shipwreck Museum

The Shipwreck Museum

+90 392 227 2916

Kyrenia Castle, Küpdemir Sokak, Girne

The ship exhibited in the Shipwreck Museum which is situated in the one of the old guard rooms of Kyrenia Castle is the second oldest recovered sunken ship in the Mediterranean. The ship, which dates from The Hellenistic Period, was discovered by a sponge diver in 1965 and brought to the surface in a salvage expedition directed by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology from 1967-69. It has been established that the ship was approximately eight years old when it sank. The 14 meters long wooden hull is built mostly of Aleppo pine. The 413 amphorae on board originate from the islands of Rhodes, Kos and Samos. The 29 millstones which were used as ballast have identification marks which suggest they came from Kos. From the rediscovered artefacts it can be established that the ship traded along the coast of the Aegean and the Mediterranean and was manned by a crew of four. The 2300 year old ship is a major tourist attraction for Kyrenia.