University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The art and architecture of the crusader states
(1977)

V: The Arts in Cyprus,   pp. 165-207 PDF (15.7 MB)


Page 196

B. Military Architecture 
 Of military architecture in Cyprus there has survived from the Frankish
kingdom a varied heritage, ranging from town defenses to hilltop fortresses
and isolated watch-towers; much more has dis appeared. One type, the baronial
castle, which had been a feature of the crusader settlements on the mainland,
does not recur in Cyprus. The castles which the Byzantines surrendered to
Richard passed to the crown on the establishment of the kingdom, under which
castellation, like coinage, was a royal prerogative; only the military orders
were permitted to possess castles of their own. 
 In Nicosia, the capital, nothing has survived above ground of the Lusignan
fortifications, which the Venetians demolished in 1567 to build the present
ramparts and bastions on a smaller circuit. The walls of the city were evidently
derelict at the conquest, but it had near its center a Byzantine keep, where
the Templars had to defend themselves in 1191. This was doubtless the castle
which Wilbrand of Oldenburg saw being rebuilt in 1211; the teichokastron,
begun by Henry II and still under construction in 1340, 1 was perhaps connected
with it. The site of this "old castle"—on which the church of St. Clare,
known as Castigliotissa, was later erected—has not been identified.
The Frankish city walls, circular in plan with round towers, a ditch, and
eight gates, were started under Peter I and hurriedly completed on the approach
of the Genoese in 1372. Peter I also left incomplete a moated outwork to
the south, known as the Margarita tower, in which it was said he planned
to incarcerate his enemies. This was demolished, at least partly, with other
buildings in 1376, when Peter II started work on a new citadel. This seems
to have taken the form of a curtain wall encircling an extensive area adjoining
the south sector of the city wall and including the royal court and the monastery
of St. Dominic. It extended from the neighborhood of the present Paphos gate,
outside which a short stretch of wall with a projecting rectangular tower
has been found, to the Hagia Paraskeve gate, which was incorporated in it.
In the citadel 
1. Laurent,Peregrinatores, p. 181; Machaeras (ed. Dawkins), I, 43 and 71.
196 


Go up to Top of Page