Saint Hilarion Castle,  Cyprus

saint hilarion castle, cyprus
saint hilarion castle, cyprus
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St. Hilarion Castle

 

Although it is a common misconception that the castle was named after St. Hilarion the Great who died in 371 AD near Paphos and who is famous as Palestineís founder of monasticism, Saint Hilarion Castle is actually named after a later saint who was one of the 300 saints who sought asylum in Cyprus after the Holy Land was overrun by the Arabs. Little is written about this saint except that his relics had been preserved within the castle walls.

It is widely presumed that he lived on top of this hill as a hermit and that, much like the St Neophytos hermitage near Paphos, a monastery was built in this area to give refuge to those who would like to follow his example, as well as to give shelter to his tombís pilgrims.

The castle which stood here prior to the building of the monastery had once been part of the defense of the Byzantine Empire on the island. Other castles which formed this line of defense were those of Buffavento, Kyrenia, and Kantara.

Although exactly when Saint Hilarion Castle was built is found nowhere in the archives, it is widely presumed that this occurred in the latter part of the 11th century.