Kyrenia North Cyprus

The History of Kyrenia!

Kyrenia has been around since the time of the Trojan War and there is evidence of settlements that date back to 5800 – 3000 BC.  It is believed that Cepheus from Arcadia was the founder of Kyrenia and he himself was a military leader that brought many settlers. 

The earliest reference to the town of Kyrenia was found in ancient Egyptian scripts that date back to 1125 – 1100 BC in the time of Ramesses III. 

Kyrenia has always been a harbour town and maritime trade was always important.  Under Roman rule Kyrenia continued to be a prosperous town and the Romans left their mark by constructing a castle to keep the town safe from sea attacks.  In medieval times the Byzantine emperors fortified the castle the Romans built and in the 10th century a church was also built which was used as an army chapel.  Kyrenia became very important because of its castle and the security it provided from Arab raids. 

In 1192 Kyrenia was under Frankish rule and the castle was once again enlarged and towers were erected.  The Byzantine castles of St. Hilarion, Bouffavento, and Kantara were also looked at and together these four castles provided Kyrenia with a defense system from sea attacks.  In 1489 Kyrenia castle was revamped once more under Venetian rule and circular towers that could withstand cannon fire were constructed. 

By the twentieth century Kyrenia was a busy town with a new school, its own newspaper, and many clubs.  The Akteon Hotel was also built in 1906 and this was the first hotel in Kyrenia.  Modern hotels such as the Seaview in 1922 and the Dome in 1932 followed and after the Second World War more hotels were built. 

In 1960, Cyprus gained its independence but conflict broke out in 163-64 between the Greek and Turkish population.  Things settled and Kyrenia prospered but on July 20, 1974 Turkey intervened Cyprus and saved life of Turkish Cypriot. 



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