The easternmost of the three castles on the Kyrenia mountains,
the Kantara castle, is about 700 metres above sea level
and is well positioned to control the entrance to the
Karpaz peninsula and The Mesaria plain.
it is thought to have been constructed by the Byzantines following
the Arab raids on the island like the other two castles, St.
Hilarion and Buffavento, the written sources only make a mention
of the castle in the year 1191, when Richard Lion-Heart captured
the island. When the impostor king of Cyprus Isac Comnen is
defeated by the former Palestine King, Guy de Lusignan, who
submits to Richard Lion-Heart, he takes refuge in this castle.
gets caught while trying to escape in the Karpaz region. In
the Lusignan and Venetian periods frequent mention of the
castle is made. The castle is involved in many battles in
this period. Although the Genoese conquer Nicosia and Famagusta
in 1373, the castle stays in the hands of the supporters of
the King of Cyprus, Peter I.
is known that, when the kings brother, Prince John,
escapes from captivity in the hands of the Genoese, he takes
refuge in the castle. The castle is surrounded with walls
by King James in 1391. After the Venetians gain control of
the island, like other castles away from the sea, this castle
too loses its importance. The castle has sections like a defence
line, dormitories, a cistern, vaulted rooms, and a signal