Othello Castle

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Othello Castle
Greek: Πύργος του Oθέλλου
Turkish: Othello Kulesi
Part of the Fortifications of Famagusta
Famagusta, Northern Cyprus
Famagusta 01-2017 img26 city walls Othello Tower.jpg
Othello Castle
Coordinates35°7′39.7″N 33°56′35.7″E / 35.127694°N 33.943250°E / 35.127694; 33.943250
TypeCastle
Site information
ConditionIntact
Site history
Built14th century
late 15th century (modifications)
Built byKingdom of Cyprus
Republic of Venice (modifications)
MaterialsSandstone

Othello Castle (Greek: Πύργος του Oθέλλου, Turkish: Othello Kulesi), also known as Othello's Tower, is a castle in Famagusta, Cyprus. It was built by the Lusignans in the 14th century, and was later modified by the Venetians. The castle was named after a Venetian governor in 1506. Shakespeare's play Othello which is believed to be written in 1603 might have taken its name from this castle.

History[edit]

Relief of the Lion of St Mark on the walls of the castle
Ground plan 1918

Othello Castle was built in the 14th century by the Lusignans (who ruled the Kingdom of Cyprus) to protect the port against possible enemy attacks. It was also used as the main entrance to Famagusta. It used to be called "impenetrable fortress" due to it being nearly impossible to attack because of very deep ditches surrounding it.

After Cyprus was sold to the Republic of Venice, the castle's square towers were replaced with circular ones to suit more modern artillery. After these modifications, a relief of the Lion of St Mark was engraved above the castle's main entrance. The name of Captain Nicolo Foscari, who directed the alterations to the castle, and the date 1492 are inscribed near the relief. The castle gets its name from Shakespeare's famous play Othello, which is set in a harbour town in Cyprus.[1]

In 1900, the castle's ditch was drained of water to reduce the risk of malaria.[2]

The castle began to be restored in 2014,[3] and it reopened to the public on 3 July 2015.[4]

Layout[edit]

The castle contains four circular towers. It contains a refectory and a dormitory, which were constructed during the Lusignan period. The castle's yard contains cannonballs left behind by the Spaniards and Ottomans, relics of its turbulent history.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Othello's Tower and Citadel". cypnet.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Othello Tower and Castle". cyprus44.com. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  3. ^ Tsagari, Daphne (5 July 2014). ""Othello" Castle in Cyprus to be Restored". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Othello Tower/Citadel to reopen this week". United Nations Development Programme. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.

Notes