OTHELLO TOWER

Othello Tower is one of Famagusta’s largest and most popular attractions. Once it housed the headquarters of the defense of the fortress during its siege. 

Above the gate of the tower there is a marble bas-relief of the lion of St. Mark, which is the coat of arms of the Republic of Venice. The tower is named after Othello, since the events underlying the Shakespearean work took place directly in this place. The plot of the play was borrowed by Shakespeare from the Italian writer Chintino, who described in his book “One Hundred Wonderful Stories” the story of the Venetian captain Othello, who was born of the Moor, who entered the service of the Venetian army. Captain Othello served in Cyprus in Famagusta and was married to a noble Venetian named Desdemona. In the fortress garrison under the command of Othello, a lieutenant served, who really wanted to seduce the captain’s wife, but did not find reciprocity. Then the lieutenant slandered Desdemona, kidnapping her handkerchief and tossing him into the corporal’s room. Jealous husband, suspecting his wife of treason, decided to deal with Desdemona, but did not do it himself, but instructed the lieutenant. The lieutenant strangled the unfortunate Desdemona and managed to convince the Venetian general that this was done by a jealous husband. Othello was arrested, dismissed from service and expelled from the Republic of Venice. The lieutenant got the place of his boss. 

Famagusta fortress citadel was built in the 14th century. Later, the Venetians significantly strengthened it, making it the command post of the defense of the fortress. Above the entrance to the tower is the date of 1492, when the reconstruction was carried out under the leadership of Nicolo Foscarini. 

Through the old gate, tourists fall into the vast courtyard of the citadel, in which there are fragments of the Venetian emblems, stone nuclei of catapults, old bronze cannons.

From the sites of the Othello tower, there is an excellent view of the port of Famagusta, always lively and filled with ships. One can see the “Sea Gate”, which once led to the fortress from the harbor and through which attacks were made by the garrison of the fortress. A Venetian coat of arms is also installed above the gate.