Nicosia Municipality - The fortifications during the Lusignan period: 1192-1489 AD
The fortifications during the Lusignan period: 1192-1489 AD

The fortifications during the Lusignan period: 1192-1489 AD


The first Lusignan castle was built during the reign of King Henry I, 1211. On seals of the king and his mother Alix in 1234, a castle with one or two towers is depicted with the inscription ‘CIVITAS NICOSIE’.
 
“Passing on we reached Cossia (Nicosia). This is the king’s capital city, situated almost in the middle of the plain; it has no fortifications. A strong castle has just now been built in it. It has inhabitants without number, all very rich, whose houses in their interior adornment and paintings closely resemble the houses of Antioch. In this city is the seat of the archbishop and also the court and palace of the king, where I first saw an ostrich.”
 
Oldenburg W (De), PELEGRINATIO, 1653.
 
Under the reign of Peter I, 1368, a large tower named Margarita was built.
 
“So he ordered a tower to be built, and in the upper part he built a church, which was called Misericordia; and below the surface of the ground it was a prison, which he called Margarita. And this finished and it was so strong, and he wished to put a moat outside.”
 
Leontios Machairas, Recital concerning the sweet land of Cyprus entitled, Chronicle, 1483.
 
Peter II fortifies the entire city, demolishing Margarita tower. The new walls had many gates, including:
• The Gate of St. Andrew
• The Gate of Sainte Venerande or Sainte Paraskevi
• The Gate of the Armenians
• The Gate of the market or Paphos.