|(Greek: Κάστρο της Καντάρας Turkish: Kantara Kalesi)|
|Town or city||De jure Cyprus
De facto Northern Cyprus
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Kantara Castle is the easternmost of the three castles situated on the Kyrenia mountain range in Cyprus. (The other two are Buffavento and St Hilarion.) Lying at 630 metres above sea level, Kantara is well positioned to control the entrances to Karpass Peninsula and Mesaoria plain. The name 'Kantara' is believed[by whom?] to derive from the Arabic word qantara, which means a small bridge.
It is believed[by whom?] that the Byzantines built the castle in the 10th century as a lookout post against raiding Arabs. The first historical mention of the castle is in connection with Richard the Lionheart's capture of Cyprus in 1191. At that time, Isaac Comnenus, the Byzantine ruler of the island, took refuge at Kantara Castle. Later, in 1228 the Royalists so badly battered the walls that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt. Later, the nobility used the castle as a lodge when they hunted mountain goats with tame leopards.
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- Photos of Kantara Castle (rus)
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