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St. Hilarion Castle

Life's Stronghold

The impressive ruins of St. Hilarion Castle are situated high on the Kyrenia mountain range in North Cyprus. The castle is named after a hermit monk, Hilarion, who fled from the Holy Land during the Arab conquest to escape persecution and is said to have lived and died in a cave at this location. There may have been a monastery on the site previous to the 10th century.

St. Hilarion is the best preserved of the trio of Byzantine castles erected to defend the island from Arab raids in the 11th century. The Lusignans added to the castle, which reputedly became the King's summer residence. Parts were dismantled by the Venetians in the 15th century due to high maintenance costs.

The castle is divided into three wards. The lower section was the main garrison with stables, the middle was made up of royal apartments, a kitchen, a sizeable church and a large cistern and the upper ward had a courtyard with further royal apartments. The Queen's Window, one of the intact Gothic windows, is said to be where Queen Eleanor viewed her kingdom. The wards are connected with steep steps, which require sturdy footwear and a head for heights.

Stronghold in life

While the stronghold of St. Hilarion gave protection and defence in former centuries, it now lies in ruins and is defunct in its purpose. There is one stronghold in life, however, which will never crumble or fail. The Bible says:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

When we call on God's name, the protection He affords us is like that of a strong tower or fortress. This defence will never be ineffective in the spiritual sphere while we live on earth.

The Bible also states that our eternal salvation is secure when we recognize our defenceless position and call by faith on the Lord's name:

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ... for whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10/13

One day God will pour out His righteous wrath on the earth. Deep in our souls we long for justice and an end to the evil atrocities of mankind. However, what about our own hearts?

The Bible teaches that we will all be judged by God's standard after death. We all fall short but are offered His eternal redemption and regeneration on the merit of Christ's atoning death on the cross.

Let us not stand defenceless on Judgement Day, but by placing our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and by calling on His name today, we will be saved.


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