February 13, 2020

Buffavento Castle

Buffavento Castle

Welcome to Buffavento Castle:

Buffavento Castle is one of the many castles found in northern Cyprus. This can be visibly seen on the northern edges of mountains while the date of construction of this castle is still unknown to the world. The ambiguity in the date of construction is due to the fact that the castle contains the touch of both the Byzantine and Frankish architects in the building structure but most of the theories prove this building to be built in most probably the Byzantine period. However, this castle was largely damaged in the 14 century. Buffavento Castle can be located between the two main points of north Cyprus being the St Hilarion Castle in the west and the Kantara Castle in the east.

De Facto:

This castle is also under the de facto control of northern Cyprus. De facto refers to the facts and practices which are applicable and exists in real life but these practices are not officially recognized by the law and government of this particular state. This practice refers to the acts which occur in real life in contrast to the acts which should be done under the law and constitution of the particular country and is known and de jury. On the other hand, the castle found on the west is also of great importance to the outside world.

History:

St Hilarion was thought to have fled from Palestine and was a little hermit who left his own original home town in order to settle here and die here. After the hermit died here, Byzantine constructor created a monastery around his grave which was later converted into a fort. This much importance was given to this person due to the fact that this person was thought to have been fighting with the local demons of this area for a long period of time and saving the inhabitants from these dangers. Hence the castle build against the grave was given the name of St Hilarion Castle.

This Buffavento Castle is the least preserved of the castles. Situated on the height of 940 meters from the ground level. A huge amount of effort is to be placed in order to reach there due to the height. In order to reach the castle when have to start from the village. Taking the first turn right after the sign of Famagusta. This sign can be found just after the Catalkoy. This is quite a smooth path which is due to the act of bulldozing the surface during 1974 when the Turkish forces smoothened the path in order to pave a straight path for the forces to move to the castle of St Hilarion in order to remove all the Cypiotic Greeks from the castle.

Around the Castle:

On the path, one will move past the village of Arapkoy. This village has a myth associated with it, this myth being that this village can only accommodate a total of forty families. If more than forty families try to accommodate in the area, it is said that the angel of death will start its curse and kill all the extra families living in the area. This village still has a total strength of about 150 individuals only living in the area. These 150 individuals are a mixture of Turkish individuals, Greek Cypriots, Anatolian settlers or the foreigners living here. Recently after the huge fire, a number of individuals left the area and only some of the inhabitants are left behind life in the region.

Moving further reaching a plain site when the village of Mesarya can be seen, move toward the rough track on the west side labeled as Buffavento Kalesi. Here the first 400 meters are the worst followed by a long path of about 6 meters. This path is rather smooth with forest shrubs on the sides and bushes to be found almost everywhere. After the distance covered one reaches the point where there is a circular patch. All the vehicles are to be left here in case they are not 4 wheeler drive due to the fact that they will not be able to move further on the path and might even lead to an accident.

The Route:

From here is a 25-minute walk through the zigzag track of the forest leading to the castle. Due to the location of this castle, it was safe from a number of attacks in the past on the adjacent areas by the Turkish troops.

Buffavento Castle was initially a watchtower that was used due to the height in order to foresee any large army coming this way. This watchtower was, however, attacked in the year 1191 by the Guy de Lusignan and was conquered by the forces. Lusignan king of the time used this building in order to keep special prisoners kept here, mostly the political prisoners due to the strong structure of this castle. Afterward, this castle was conquered by the Venetians, leading this castle into a poor condition with only bath living in the castle and providing a stopping place for the travelers. Stair path of this castle leads to a terrace which is thought to be the place of fire signal with the St Hilarion Castle in case of danger.

Internal link: https://turkish.co.uk/buffavento-castl…cyprus-mountains/

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