Kolossi Castle
Cyprus, Limassol City

Kolossi Castle is located on the outskirts of the village of Kolossi, 11 km from the city of Limassol. The fertile valley at the mouth of the Kuris River, on which olive groves, vineyards, wheat and sugarcane were grown, was a "bone of contention" for militant feudal lords in the Middle Ages. To protect their possessions in 1210, the Colossi Castle, which served as the residence of the High Command of the Order, was built by the knightly monastic order of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1306, the castle was briefly placed at the disposal of the Knights Templar, and in 1313, after the ban of the Templars by Pope Clement, the hospitaliers again became the owners of the castle. In 1310, the Order of the Hospitallers was transferred to the island of Rhodes, and the castle is given to the military command Commandery. In addition to military tasks, his functions included the organization and control of the production and processing of sugar cane and grapes in the Kolossi Valley. Hence the name Commanderia - the famous local wine. According to legend, it was with this wine that guests were treated at the wedding of the English king Richard the Lionheart and his beloved Berengaria of Navarre, who were married in Kolossi Castle. As a result of the attacks of the Mamelukes in 1425 - 1426, the castle was completely destroyed. In 1454, on the ruins of a former castle, the master of the Hospitaller's Order Louis de Maniac builds a new fortress 21 meters high and with walls one and a half meters thick. The castle could be reached via a suspension bridge. The first floor of the castle, divided into three compartments, was used as a grocery warehouse. Two rooms still have water storage tanks. On the wall of one of the halls there is a fresco depicting Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. John. On the second floor there were living quarters and a refectory. The master’s chambers were on the third floor. This huge room is divided into two parts. In one of the rooms there is a large fireplace with the arms of Louis de Maniac. The transition between the floors of the castle was carried out along a narrow spiral staircase. The stairs were built narrow, and the person climbing it moved counterclockwise - this was done for the convenience of defending the castle, because it was not convenient for the person climbing the stairs to fight, holding the sword in his right hand. The roof of Kolossi Castle is flat, with narrow loopholes located along its perimeter. Near the walls of the castle are ancient ruins that remained from the first Kolossi Castle destroyed in the 15th century. Kolossi Castle is one of the most famous sights of Cyprus, which is visited annually by thousands of tourists.

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