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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume IV: The art and architecture of the Crusader states

V: The arts in Cyprus,   pp. 165-207 PDF (8.9 MB)

Page 203

projecting brattice which covered the entrance in its east wall. In its final
Frankish form the castle is thus seen to conform with the principle of concentric
planning so far as circumstances permitted; the outer ward was ample only
on the west, cut up by the Byzantine towers on the south, and on the north
and east reduced at least in part to the dimensions of fighting galleries
isolated from the domestic accommodation within them. 
 Within these strong defenses, which in 1374 withstood all efforts of the
Genoese to penetrate them, was the royal residence, used by queen Eleanor
during the siege and by James I, who as constable had defended the castle,
after his return from captivity in Genoa. Something of these royal apartments
remains in the upper part of the west range, which to the south of the gatehouse
backs onto the original Byzantine curtain and which would have been screened
by the outer west wall. The chapel was in the third story of the gatehouse,
lit by large windows opening on the barbican, and there were other chambers
to the south communicating with it, but also reached and bypassed by a stone
gallery corbeled onto the inner wall. Access to the stairs by which the gallery
was reached from the yard was controlled by a gate leading to an alley between
the northern section of the west range, constructed within the Byzantine
wall, and the domestic quarters which occupied the northern part of the yard
but of which only the foundations remain. South of the gatehouse in the west
range survives an undercroft of three cross-vaulted bays, itself raised on
basement vaults entered from both the courtyard and the barbican. In the
floor of these basements are two shafts opening out below the neck into the
virgin rock, perhaps the "grotte oscurissime et horrende" where the supporters
of the usurper Amalric were thrown in 1315 to starve to death.9 
 The damage sustained in the siege of 1374 was evidently made good by local
repairs which did not affect the layout of the castle. Nor is there any evidence
of new works after the castle was surrendered to James II, who in 1460 had
attacked this last stronghold of Charlotte and Louis with artillery. It remained
for the Venetians to attend to the modernization of the fortress. 
 The treaty assigning Famagusta to the Genoese introduced the new feature
of a land frontier, to defend which James I built the castle of Sigouri in
1391, a typical castle of the plain, rectangular with square towers at the
angles and a ditch filled seasonally from 
 9. F. Bustron, Chronique de l'Ile de Chypre, ed. R. de Mas Latrie (Collection
de documents inédits, Mélanges historiques, 5; Paris, 1886),
p. 245. 

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