Sunday, January 2, 2011

Othello's Tower

The castle overlooking Famagusta Harbour is popularly known as "Othello's Tower", since the majority of Shakespere's play "Othello" is set there. More than a mere tower, it is an actual castle.
In the above picture, (if you click on the image) you can see the Lion of St. Mark over the iron shod main gate. Thats because the Venetians repaired Guy de Lusignan's castle in 1492.

The central courtyard is just big enough to parade the troops. It is now used as a theatre where they show Shakesperian plays... The wall you see in the picture above is many rooms thick...the main gate is to your right...and is very defensible with many places where stones and such can such be used to injure an invader. Directly ahead is a great room where cannon balls and other ordinance were stored. Most cannon balls were the light marble balls so beloved by mortar men...they could drop a 40 pound one foot diameter marble ball on any ship in the harbour. The ordinance was different on this side because it was the harbour side. The other towers, on the landward side, use steel cannons with iron cannon balls. Too heavy and numerous to pack out, they are all still there.

I like the above picture because the weather has worn the sandstone in organic fashion. The stones at first glance look like piled skulls. Or maybe that is just the ghosts in the castle which are influencing my vision.

Above...the corbels which must have held up a magnificent room.

And the courtyard is littered with remnants of statues.

This is Guy de Llusignian's great hall. Magnificent groin valted hall, once upon a time covered with marble bas relief carvings.

The above and below pictures are of that great hall as seen from outside. Above the hall were the apartments...many of which must have been very comfortable, with window seats and cool stone ceilings. I fear the apartments have been sheared off about the six foot mark. Below, you can see the lintel-less window openings, where the ladies would have sat on window seats, and admired the soldiers drilling in the courtyard below. The modern stairs in back are greatly appreciated, the original stairs are very steep!

As usual, I urge you to click on the pictures to see them a little larger. Because of the amount of detail available, I made these pictures rather larger than the usual ones I post here.

I am planning a walking tour of this tower, which I'll put up on these pages when I find my round tuit.

ip-location map zoom

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