Paphos Castle

Sitting majestically by the harbour, Paphos Castle constitutes one of the hallmarks of the city and is a fully protected UNESCO World Heritage site.

This emblematic tourist attraction built of large, heavy stones was originally a Byzantine fortress designed to reinforce the harbour’s defences, since its previous fortification — the Saranta Kolones Fort, the remains of which can be seen nearby — had been destroyed by an earthquake. After being dismantled by the Venetians, it was reconstructed, expanded and strengthened by the Ottomans who invaded and captured the island in the 16th century. The Castle also served as a prison and, during the British occupation, as a salt warehouse. In 1935, it was declared a National Monument. 

Nowadays, it is used as a backdrop for numerous cultural events, and as a major part of the scenery during the annual Aphrodite Festival, which stages a different opera every year. Do not miss the magnificent view from the upper level.