The St. Hilarion Castle
the Buffavento and the
Kantara Castles it was built so as to defend the island against
the Arab raids.
castle gets its name from a saint named Hilarion. A monastery
and a church were built here in the 10th century. The first
references to the castle are found in the 1191 records. For
some time it was of strategic importance, but later it became
the summer resort of the Lusignan nobility.
after the invention of firearms and the increasing importance
of defending the coastline it lost its functionality and importance
like the Kantara and the Buffavento castles. The castle has
three parts. The parapets for the defence of the main entrance
were fortified by the Byzantines in the 11th century.
The lower section of the castle was being used for the soldiers
and the horses. The middle section contained the royal palace,
the kitchen, the church and a big cistern. At the entrance
to the castle in the upper section there is a Lusignan Gate.
There is a courtyard in the middle. The nobility used to live
in the Eastern section, the kitchen and the other rooms for
daily use were in the western section.
panoramic view through the Queens window (a window carved
in the Gothic style) on the second floor of the royal apartments
is superb. The Prince John Tower is at the top.