Kolossi Castle and beccaficos(“Ambelopoulia”) birds

Just outside of Limassol, the visitor can find beautiful Kolossi Castle.
It was built around 1210 when the Hospitallers, Knights of St.John of Jerusalem, arrived in Cyprus and were given the state of Kolossi by Lusignan King Hugo I.
The area controlled by the Castle is surrounded by 60 villages, the Kouris river, and fertile land with many vineyards, olive trees, carob and cotton plants, sugar plantations…
The present shape was erected in 1454 by order of Louis de Magnac, Grand Commander of Knights in Cyprus. It is about 75 feet high with walls 9 feet thick, divided into three floors. On the second-floor wall, you can still see a large mural painting of the Crucifixion bearing coat of arms of Louis de Magnac. He was succeeded by John Langstrother, who later was beheaded by King Edward IV. At the beginning of the XVI Century passed into the possession of the Cornaro family, with the first owner being Cardinal Marco Cornaro, brother of Queen Caterina. After the Ottoman
conquest, the Cornaro family lost the property.
After 1799 when the House of Cornaro died out, the property was claimed by Count Mocenigo of Zakinthos( Greek Island), who married the heiress of the Cornaro house. It was in possession of this family till 1954, when the last descendant Count Alvise Nicolo Mocenigo, died.

As there were many vineyards, they were “visited” by little birds caught on lime twigs, plucked, and packed in jars with vinegar. The knights introduced that specialty to the gourmets of Europe and beyond. That is now forbidden, but it is practiced secretly. In the early XVI century, by the writings of John Locke, they exported to Venice. Some 1200 pots, apart from those that were consumed in Cyprus. Their Greek name is”Ambelopoulia.” In free translation, “vineyard birds.” Even today, it continues to be a specialty, but the law protects those birds in Cyprus.

Just near the castle you will see an old church and sugar mill complex.

Warmly recommended for the visit as you will enjoy the view and the surroundings



Darko Richard Lancelot A

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