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Othello’s Castle

Castillo de Othello

Castillo de Othello

Othello’s Castle (Famagusta, north Cyprus) – located an hour’s drive east of Nicosia, this is the castle where Shakespeare’s famous play “Othello” was set (Othello being a Venetian commanded sent to Cyprus by his superiors) – located in the east coastal port of Famagusta. This castle was originally built by the Lusignans in the 12th century to defend both that town and its harbor, and today it has a dominating presence, as it has for hundreds of years.

 

In 1492 Venetians transformed it into an artillery stronghold. The marble panel above the entrance shows the winged Lion of Venice (which is still visible today), and includes the name of “Nicolo Foscarini”, who remodeled the tower. It is said that Shakespeare must have heard of the Venetian governor of the island, Christophoro Moor (whose surname means “moor”). Because of the Shakespearian reference, the British renamed this castle after Othello during its colonial period in Cyprus.

 

Note: After years of neglect (aggravated by political conflict during the 1960s), renovation work began on this site in 2014. The interior of this site is closed until renovations are completed. For now, visitors passing through Famagusta can still see its exteriors.