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Kolossi Castle should be in the itinerary of all those visiting the area of Lemesos.
You will not need much time to look around its premises, but it is well-worth a visit for its historical background, and for the experience of being inside a castle that was originally built in the 13th century, and imagining what it must have been like living in such a majestic place.
The castle originally belonged to the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem and was the seat of the most important of their Commanderies. During some years in the 14th century, it was controlled by the now more famous than ever Knights Templar.
The castle is a square tower with 21 metres (69 ft) high and three floors. The ground floor was probably used as storeroom, the kitchen was probably located on the second floor, and the third floor was the living quarters of the Commander.
To the south of the castle you will find a courtyard enclosed by walls and the ruins of an auxiliary building, which most likely was a stable or a warehouse. On the southwest corner of that building there was an entrance, protected by a circular tower. The sugarcane refinery installations that make Kolossi an important sugar producer in the old times have been located to the east of the castle.
The area also produced and exported the traditional sweet wine of Cyprus, which became known as the “Vin de Commanderie” or Commandaria. This is now one of the oldest named wines in the world, having kept the same name for eight centuries. Make sure you take a bottle home with you as a souvenir from your visit to the area.
• A key landmark for those visiting Lemesos' area – only 15 kms west of the town of Lemesos.
• The castle's history is linked to the Knights Templar (now of “The Da Vinci Code” fame).
• The castle was an important sugar producer sometime in the 15th century.
• Kolossi's area is famous for producing the wine “Commandaria”.
Look Out For:
• The stairs up the tower and down to the basement do not have handrails.
• Explanations are not displayed, so make sure you have a copy of this information or a guide book with you when visiting the castle not to miss the important bits.
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