North Cyprus

Places of Interest in Kyrenia

Places of Interest in Kyrenia

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrnia’s castle is mentioned for the first time in early historical records from 1191, when King Richard the Lion Heart became the new master of the island after having defeated the island’s last Byzantine Emperor Isaac Comneus during the time of the third pilgrimage to Mecca. Research conducted in the inside and the surroundings of the castle has revealed findings that have dated it to the Hellenistic Period, but the exact year of construction has not yet been determined. However, excavations carried out show that the original castle was fortified by the Byzantines in the 7th century A.D. to protect against Arab raids.

Bellapais Abbey

The present day name is the corrupt term of the Abbey de la Paix’ or the Abbey of Peace.
The building is regarded as masterpiece of Gothic art, and the most beautiful Gothic building in the Near East. The first monks who were known to have settled here were Augustinians who had the flee from Jerusalem when the city fell to Sellahaddin Eyyubi in 1187. It is known that the original construction was built between 1198-1205, and a large part of the present day complex was constructed during the rule of French King Hugh III (1267-1284)

The Kyrenia museum of folk art

The Kyrenia museum of folk art situated on the Kyrenia Harbor road and was open in 1974. It is a fine example of pre XVII century buildings which have traditionally housed Cypriots. These buildings consisting of a ground floor and an upper floor have their main entrances opening to the harbor. These typical Cypriot houses contain many traditional Cypriot items.

St. Hilarion Castle

St. Hilarion Castle, which took its name from a runaway saint who lived and died on the top of the mountain after capture of Jerusalem by the Arabs. In the 10th century a church and a monastery was built into it.

Buffavento Castle

The castle was originally constructed as a watchtower by the Byzantines and then converted into a castle by the Lusignans, it is 950 meters from the sea level. The meaning of its name is “challenging the winds”. It controls a passage through the Five Finger Mountain range and its crucial location was used to allow fire signals to be observed from other castles at night.

Mausoleum and the Tomb of Hazreti Ömer

One of the most important visiting places of religious value. It is located 4 kilometers from Kyrenia and situated on the coastline of Chatalkoy. The complex was built during the Ottoman Period of Commander Ömer and his six soldiers who died during the Arab raids in the 7th Century.

Archangelos Mihail Icon Museum

This church was built in 1860 in the historical Harbor Region and was open to the public as an Icon Museum in 2004. In addition to the authentic icons in the church, some items under the protection of the Department of Museum and Antiquities are also on display here. The oldest icon in the museum is dated back to 1714.

Antiphonitis Church

Antiphonitis (“Christ of the Echo” or “Christ Who Responds”) stands 8 kilometers south of Esentepe, it is from 12th century. The dome is supported by eight columns, four of them built into the walls and four detached. It is the last surviving example of this style in Cyprus. The western porch and arcade were added in the 15th century and are fine examples of gothic architecture. It is thought that many of the frescos have been destroyed but some admirable ones still exist. The one in the dome which depicts Christ surrounded by angels is an outstanding example of the period’s art.

Santa Maria Monastery

It was first constructed as a Coptic Convent in 11th century and was dedicated to St. Makarius of Alexandria. In the 15th century, the monastery was given to Armenians and became a stopover point for Armenian pilgrims on their way to and from Jerusalem. The present buildings are from the 19th century.

Ruins of Ancient Lambousa

The first settlement on the spot was in 13th century BC and they were tribes coming from Balkans. The region became a Phoenician colony in 8th century BC. The city kingdom had brilliant times also during the Roman and Byzantine eras. City walls, rock tombs and the fish ponds from Roman times are important relics of the city. Silver objects of high artistic value which are called the Lambousa Treasure are on display in museum of New York and London.

Old Cemetery of Kyrenia

During the British Colonial Administration, St. Adrew Church, District Club and a tennis court were built at the edges of the Ottoman Period cemetery. Nowadays, greater part of the graveyard had been converted into a parking place but some graves, tombs and fountains are protected.

Chrysokava Open Air Museum

It is located between the old historical harbor and the new tourism harbor. This rocky cave was a cemetery during the Roman times and a stone quarry during Lusignan and Venetian periods. The classical Roman Agia Mavra Church carved into a rock is the main attraction of the place; its walls are covered with frescos from the Byzantine times and behind the church there are cisterns for collecting the rain water.

Panagia tou Potamus - Mary of River Church

The church in Ozankoy is a Byzantine Church reflecting the peculiarities of the 15th century. The iconostasis is of Venetian style and very well preserved, however very few of the frescos could survive till the present day.


This ancient settlement on a small rocky hill, on the coast within bounds of today’s Acalulco Resort Hotel and it dates back to the Neolithic Age (4000-3000 BC). The excavations had shown that beehive type houses were of round shape and that they had stoves in them. The artifacts found at the site are on display in Kyrenia Castle Museum.

Fine Arts Museum

The 1933 dated structure, which is located in the city’s western side on the Pashabahche Street, was opened to the public as a Fine Arts Museum in 1975. In general oil paintings, panels and objects reflective of Asian art, and various porcelain items are on display, distant from a detailed classification.

Peace and Freedom Museum

Next to the place where the Turkish Armed Forces entered Cyprus in 1974 during the peace operation, the building where Colonel Ibrahim Karaoglanoglu and brigade became martyrs, is now used as a museum where the pictures of the martyr soldiers , memorabilia, and various guns and items confiscated from the Greeks are displayed. Just next to the museum is the Karaoglanoglu Martyrs Cemetery, the Anonymous Soldier’s Statue and an outdoor museum where heavy weapons confiscated during the operation are displayed.





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