The Kantara Castle is the easternmost of the castles situated on the Kyrenia mountain range in Northern Cyprus. Laying at 630 metres above sea level it is well positioned to control the entrances to Karpass Peninsula and Mesaoria plain.
It is believed that the Byzantines built it in the 10th century as a lookout post against raiding Arabs. The first historical mention of the castle is in connection with Richard the Lionheart's captured Cyprus in 1191. At that time Isaac Comnenus, the Byzantine ruler of the island, took refuge at Kantara Castlee.
Later, in 1228 the Royalists so badly battered the walls that they had to be almost entirely rebuilt. Then, the nobility used the castle as a lodge when they hunted mountain goats with tame leopards.