Othello’s Tower, one of the most important historical sites in the Mediterranean and the location for one of Shakespeare’s iconic works, has become a magnet for visitors and history buffs following the completion of restoration work.
Since the tower was inaugurated last June, the number of visitors has doubled.
Othello’s Castle was built in the 14th century during the Lusignan era to protect the port against enemy attack.
The castle was called ‘impenetrable’ due to being nearly impossible to penetrate from attack as it was surrounded by very deep ditches.
Following the sale of Cyprus to the Republic of Venice, the square towers were replaced by circular ones to house more modern artillery. After the modifications were made, a relief of the Lion of St Mark was engraved above the castle entrance and Captain Nicolo Foscari, who directed the alterations, was inscribed before it.
According to history, Othello’s Tower is so called because a lieutenant-governor of Cyprus (1506–08) named Christoforo Moro was allegedly the model for the title character in Shakespeare’s famous play, Othello, which was also set in Famagusta.
Information shows that the ditches around the castle were drained in the 1900s in order to reduce the risk of malaria.
The Bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage signed a contract to begin structural consolidation works to the tower. The EU-funded project is now completed.
Co-chairman of the committee, Ali Tuncay, who spoke to Havadis recently, said that close to €1 million was spent on the conservation work of the castle.
This was a collaborative work and an effort between United Nations Development Programme – Partnership for the Future Office, the Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage of Cyprus and local and international architects, engineers, conservationists and researchers.