HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
 
  Previous Next  

CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 410

View PDF version of this page

At last, after much trouble, we reached the gate of the palace and took a few moments' rest. This singular edifice may be described as consisting of four separate bloeks, some higher than the others. Lot me call the first the guardrooms, the second the storerooms, the third the court or state apartment, and the fourth the sleeping quarters of the owners on the very highest point of the mountain. This last block was perhaps intended to serve also as a chapel or oratory. There are vaults below. The building I should asoribe to pra>-historic times. I am told that no mention of it exists iu any history worthy of credit, and on no part of it did I find any trace of au inscription or hieroglyphics. The walls are built of stone quarried on the spot, cemented with lime. Several of the corners are of bricks, still red, and well burnt. Some which I measured were two feet long, one foot broad, and two fingers thick. The jambs of tho doors and windows are of marble composed entirely of fossil shells of a thousand different kinds, quite well preserved. Some rooms still preserve their roof. When one thinks of the labour and cost involved in the building of such a palace, on such a site : when ono reflects on its antiquity, one is astonished indeed. It was decorated with all the luxury known at the epoch of its construction. The window openings are well proportioned : the marble was certainly brought from a great distance, as well as tho Ihne and the bricks which could not have been made on tho spot. The beauty, I might even say the magnificence, of the apartment probably used by the court, even the provision of water for a building so vast and situated on such a height, make one believe that the founder of the palace was a sovereign endowed at once with great talents, no ordinary spirit, and immense wealth. If we care to suppose that the building was a simple fortress one might fix very nearly the date of its erection, without regard to the silenco of history, for it may have beon connected with no memorable event, nor attracted particular attention. On looking at it simply as the dwelling of some great personage—I have seen such among the African mountains, the abodes of Arab sheikhs—I should say that it had been built just as those were, when there were no houses in the country. But when I consider tho magnificence and luxury of this palace, a monument of the art of its age, aud its remarkable and impreg-nable position, I recognise the abode of a mighty sovereign. It follows then that the Palace of the Queen was certainly built and inhabited in a prehistoric age : that it was erected by a king of the island, a rich and powerful sovereign : and that it was at the same timo a fortress which defied attack, and a luxurious home, in which the charms of society tempered the display of warlike power. But who was the prince who created it ? The name Palace of the. Queen lias been handed down from father to son by an unbroken tradition, for there is not a man now in the island who does not know it by this title. Every faith must have its mysteries, and in the convent of S. John Chrysostom I was shown an old picture, painted on wood, about two feet square, which represents the Queen, the foundress, according to the monks, of both the palace and the monastery. She is depicted at her prayers before an image of the Virgin Mary. The artist has made the Queen as beautiful as he could, but he has dressed her in modern Greek costume. At the foot of the picture is an inscription, half effaced, in Greek, in which one may still read her supposed name Maria, daughter of Philip Molinos, etc. The monks pretend that in their convent was preserved an ancient manuscript which affirmed that this princess was their protectress. But no one has seen it, and a comparison of the two buildings exposes the anachronism. It is quite certain that when the Palace of the Queen was built nothing was yet known of Marias or Philips or Molinos, still less of a monastery of S. John Chrysostom. 400 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

View PDF version of this page


  Previous First Next  
 
 
 
 
 
Our banners   Bibliography   Global Folio
All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated.
If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Cyprus Explorer as a source and place link to us.
Created at June 2008
              Яндекс.Метрика