The topmost tower of the spectacular castle of St. Hilarion, Northern Cyprus, known as Prince John's Tower, 732 m. above the sea. The walls and towers appear to sprout off the rocks almost at random, giving the castle a fairy tale look. Indeed it is said to have inspired Walt Disney to use it as a design for the castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Saint Hilarion was originally a monastery, named after a monk who allegedly chose the site for his hermitage, with a monastery and a church built there in the 10th century. Starting in the 11th century, the Byzantines began fortification. Saint Hilarion formed the defense of the island with the castles of Buffavento and Kantara against Arab pirates raiding the coast. Some sections were further upgraded under the Lusignans, who may have used it as a summer residence. During the rule of the Lusignans, the castle was the focus of a four-year struggle between Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Regent John d' Ibelin for control of Cyprus.
The Prince John tower sits on a cliff high above the lower castle. It has a grisly tale to tell. The misguided Prince Regent, John of Antioch, mislead by his hostile sister-in-law into believing his bodyguard of Bulgarian mercenaries were treasonous, had them thrown one at a time from this tower. Without their protection, John, who had been implicated in the murder of Eleanor's husband, was defenceless. He was lured to supper with Eleanor in Nicosia where he was, in turn, promptly dispatched.
This photograph was made from the steps on the northern flank of the mountain ascending to the Upper Castle, where the Royal Apartments and the Tower are. The Lusignan Royal Family must have been pretty fit to do this journey every day!
Critiques | Translate
wolf38 (28146) 2013-01-08 8:43
Hi Will. A timeless photo with artistic quality. Previously such nature motifs were painted. The composition, with castle, rock, tree and sky I really like. Your choice for black and white is interesting and certainly justified.
marina7 (5814) 2013-01-08 11:41
the site is very beautiful and you've created a gorgeous perspective here towards I guess the bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds. The impressive rocks, a bit of greenery and an old castle... I definitely would love to see this in color but since you've told us such a harrowing story I sort of understand your choice of black and white:)
emka (58078) 2013-01-08 14:06
Hi Will, Very artistic shot with this pine tree. we have similar tree that doesn't change as time goes by, after 500 years looking the same. Giood place for a castle, maybe easy to defend, but to live so high not so comfortable. But probably the Royal Family had no reason to go down evert day.
I like this black and white option. It is more impressive than in colour.
ACL1978 (5755) 2013-01-08 18:38
Beautiful angle and exposure to this one, Will - you captured the height and majesty of the tower really nicely, and the lighting here is really gorgeous - the clouds are just exploding out from behind the tower. Based on this, I have no doubt this castle could serve as inspiration for plenty of fairy tales.
Antipodean (1092) 2013-01-08 22:08
Kia ora Will,
Great photo taken from an angle that shows the Tower in all its drama. I personally prefer colour, but like this in B&W. Cheers, Neil
Nicou (97583) 2013-01-09 5:24
quel cadrage et compo superbe image avec ce gros rocher, ce rendu, et la tour au sommet avec cet arbre merveilleux.
bravo et amitiť
dip (21875) 2013-01-09 6:59
beautiful b&w shot,taken from a good point of view,I also like the lighting and framing,
bayno (16149) 2013-01-09 8:12
Drammatic scenary and sky Will, i like the low POV and how you processing the image...perfect framing too, i am a lover of B&W...nice to see some here in TE...
batalay (32846) 2013-01-10 6:41
The composition accentuates stresses the inaccessibility of the site, especially in B&W where shapes and patterns are more important that colors, that can distract. The photo reminds me of the old Ilford film, and of the works of Ansel Adams.
delpeoples (44904) 2013-01-11 23:23
Is this a Silver FX job? I looked at the colour WS and must admit that the B&W still appeals to me more. But (and I've had this same discussion with Rosemary and John Farnan) about B&W just not being as popular as colour here on TE, no matter how good it is. I think this is a technically excellent photo. If this is Silver FX, I probably would have pushed the Contrast and the Structure a little more. But I know you're not so fond of doing that. The sky looks lovely and I like the textures of the rocks.
Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a nice weekend
- Copyright: Will Perrett (willperrett) (2955)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2012-10-14
- Categories: Castles, Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Canon EOS5D, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM
- Exposure: f/9.5, 1/350 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-01-08 6:53