Sunday, January 3, 2010

St. Hilarion Castle second ward

The castle is known fondly as "Heart of Love". Its an intentional mangling of the words which mean "twin peaks".

The half round towers seem to be pretty effective.

The official line....

I love how it blends into the mist.
The chapel is more than a is a full blown Cyprus Orthodox Catholic church. Well, it was, once. The Venetians (those papists!) wrecked it when they didn't want it any more. What a bunch of spoiled brats!

Looking over the east wall. If you look closely at the sign beside the arched doorway, you will see that it says "Medieval Privies". True enough...the privies hang out over the east wall. Even better reason not to try to attack from the east. (and they still stink! I suspect that some modern tourists just saw "privies" and simple had a dump there.)

The merlons are more for show than for use.

Looking down at the first ward and barbican. In the distance, you can see the flat spot which was cleared specially for jousting. A road runs through it now.

The entrance way into the second ward. (second encentiente) as seen from the overlooking guard tower. Only a few of the arches still survive...that arch shape is awfully stable.

This was part of the castelan's administration offices, and the main route to the royal apartments, great hall, and kitchen. The holes in the top edge were for the purpose of inserting the ends of heavy wooden beams. The small arch in the base is to hold a candle, or oil lamp.

The second ward consists of a church, the royal apartments, the castellan's administration office, the great hall, kitchen (for the whole place) pantry, buttery, cisterns, and of course, the privies, of which there were several (and they still reek!) This section was protected by a drawbridge, but i could see no evidence of said draw bridge. Restoration and installation of hand rails and properly paved paths seem to have erased the evidence. There is a 10th century Byzantine church there, unfortunately quite the worse for wear which is remarkable for its excellent architecture.

The third bastion is a ways up... and the half hour or so of climbing up stairs will leave you breathless. The view would be worth it, I hear,however I only had an hour, and didnt bother with checking out the ruined Royal apartments, and the famous Prince John Tower window where PJ tossed his loyal Bulgarian bodyguard out one by one in response to a manipulative Eleanor.

There is a garden way up there to reward your efforts, a kitchen, the Royal Apartments, Prince John's rooms, and a view of the sea from 732 meters up.

The castle was emptied and left vacant in 1489 when the Venetians took the Island, so a lot of damage has been done. So much damage was done by plain ordinary neglect that sometimes it is hard to see the original walls and hallways which must have been there, but have since tumbled down. The picture here, for instance shows the massive difference between the well maintained castle in Karenia and the neglected grand old lady up on the hill in behind....but it still has presence...grin!

ip-location map zoom

1 comment:

Fritzthecat said...

I've been living in Northern Cyprus for a few years really enjoyed reading your text and seeing the photos. Thanks for sharing !
I've also linked your blog entry to trivago, an international travel website, as I believe that our visitors would find it as interesting as I did.