Buffavento: Defier of the Winds

“Buffavento Castle is in the Kyrenia mountain range…Its name is Italian and means, “Defier of the Winds”, reflecting that the winds at its location at 950 metres (3,120 ft) above sea level can reach quite a high velocity. The castle is irregular in shape as it makes use of the mountain itself for its defense. Since 1974 the castle is within the occupied side of the island.

Buffavento stands between St. Hilarion Castle to the west and Kantara Castle to the east, all of which were built as a defense against Arab raids. As both of the other castles are visible from Buffavento, it was used to pass signals between them. It also controlled an important pass through the mountains. It was used as a prison in the 14th century.”1

Buffavento: Fragmentation and Fall

“The lowest part of the castle was probably built by the Byzantines in the 11th century.”2

“The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, originally founded as Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.”3

Buffavento: Comnenus and the Lion

“In the 12th century A.D. [Cyprus] became a target of the crusaders. Richard the Lionheart landed in Limassol on 1 June 1191 in search of his sister and his bride Berengaria, whose ship had become separated from the fleet in a storm. Upon her arrival, the ruler Isaac Comnenus of Cyprus requested that Berengaria deboard, which she refused, and upon her own refusal was denied supplies from Comnenus. Richard took this as an insult and attacked the island which was easily subdued.”4

“[A]fter his defeat in 1191, [Comnenus] was forced to hand over this castle and others to Richard the Lionheart.”5

“Comnenus was bound to lend aid to Richard in his crusade against Saladin, an oath which he later broke, and Richard had him bound in silver chains (as he swore not to bind Comnenus in iron) and kept prisoner till his death in 1194 or 1195…Richard married Berengaria in Limassol on the 12th of May 1192. She was crowned as Queen of England by John Fitzluke, Bishop of Évreux.”6

Buffavento: Simplex et minus Astutus

“The army of Richard the Lionheart continued to occupy Cyprus and raised taxes. After local revolts he decided to sell the island to the Knights Templar, who were unable to hold the island because of further hostility among the local population due to tax raising. A rebellion which took place on April 6, 1192 made the Templars sell the island to Guy de Lusignan (1192–1194) who established himself in May 1192…The crusaders described him as “simplex et minus astutus”, though he did set the foundation of Cypriot society in the Lusignan period.”7

“The Lusignans expanded the castle in the 14th century. During the Venetian control of the island, Buffavento fell into disuse as the Venetians saw the coastal castles of Cyprus, such as Kyrenia and Famagusta, as more important.”8

Buffavento: DEAR VISITOR

“DEAR VISITOR This castle was captured and bestowed to Cyprus Turks by a paratrooper platon [sic] (42 per) leaded [sic] by Sec. Lieut. Ali Sencer Zenkai with a kind of surprise attack that helped to decieve [sic] the defenders on July 1974 [sic]. The operation had begun at 04:00 am and ended at 12:15 pm. Turan Erdem Major 3rd Para.Bat.Com.”9

Buffavento: Holding Us Together

“If you want to see a black hole tonight, just look in the direction of Sagittarius, the constellation. That’s the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and there’s a raging black hole at the very center of that constellation that holds the galaxy together.”10

Michio Kaku


This website hosts a collection of photographs titled “Centre of the Universe: An exploration of Cyprus’s place in space and time”.

The collection is comprised of twenty photographs which seek to investigate Cyprus’s place within its broader cosmological context. By juxtaposing features of its landscape with the milky way galaxy and other celestial objects, the series attempts to explore the island’s size and age relative to its cosmic surroundings. Through this exploration the series aims to confront viewers with fundamental questions about their relationship with the island, its people and its conflicts, both present and historical.

The photographs were shot between 2014 and 2016 and are accompanied by various captions derived from publicly available sources. The original text can be accessed via the captions’ footnotes.


Αυτή η ιστοσελίδα φιλοξενεί μια συλλογή φωτογραφιών με τίτλο: “Κέντρο του Σύμπαντος: Εξερευνώντας την θέση της Κύπρου στον χώρο και τον χρόνο”.

Η συλλογή αποτελείται από είκοσι φωτογραφίες που εξετάζουν την θέση της Κύπρου εντός του ευρύτερου κοσμολογικού της πλαισίου. Αντιπαραθέτοντας χαρακτηριστικά του Κυπριακού τοπίου με τον γαλαξία στον οποίο βρισκόμαστε και άλλα ουράνια αντικειμένα, η συλλογή εξερευνά το μέγεθος και την ηλικία της Κύπρου σε σχέση με το κοσμολογικό της περιβάλλον. Μέσω αυτής της εξερεύνησης η σειρά έχει ως στόχο να φέρει τους θεατές της αντιμέτωπους με θεμελιώδη ερωτήματα που αφορούν την σχέση τους με το νησί, τους κατοίκους του και τις διαμάχες του, τόσο παρελθοντικές όσο και παρούσες.

Οι φωτογραφίες τραβήχτηκαν μεταξύ 2014 και 2016 και συνοδεύονται από διάφορες λεζάντες που προέρχονται από δημόσια διαθέσιμες πηγές. Οι πηγές αυτές είναι προσβάσιμες μέσω των υποσημειώσεων.


Bu websitesinde “Kainatın Merkezi: Kıbrıs’ın Uzay ve Zamandaki Yeri” başlıklı fotoğraf seçkisini bulabilirsiniz.

Seçkide Kıbrıs’ın kozmolojik olarak yerini sorgulayan yirmi fotoğraf yer alıyor. Ada coğrafyası Samanyolu ve göksel cisimlerle yan yana getirilerek Kıbrıs’ın onu çevreleyen evrene kıyasla büyüklüğü ve yaşı sorgulanıyor. Seçki bu vesileyle izleyenleri gerek günümüzdeki gerek tarihteki ada, halkı ve çatışmaları hakkında temel sorular sormaya davet ediyor.

2014-2016 döneminde çekilmiş olan fotoğraflar açık kaynaklardan elde edilmiş muhtelif yazıyla takdim ediliyor. Orjinal kaynaklara dipnotlardan ulaşılabilir.






I received a lot of help from a number of people in the planning, shooting and editing stage of these photos. I wanted to acknowledge their contribution and offer my gratitude to:

Loizos for his sage advice, willingness to always listen, supreme navigation skills, encyclopaedic knowledge of Cyprus, company in the dark and for generally putting up with the madness over the entire period of production,

Lambros for being the co-pilot on my very first “mission” to collect photons from a galaxy far far away and for getting me to point the camera in the right direction,

Suleyman for going beyond the call of duty and way outside his driving comfort zone in order to ferry the team up a mountain and assuage its collective Greek Cypriot paranoia,

Eliana for not letting me let it slide, for giving me the confidence that this work was worth sharing and for schooling me on the importance of hashtags,

Arda for taking time out from saving lives to sort out a last minute translation,

Alex for making the website design process painless and for coming up with some amazing ideas on how to present it all,

Andrew for introducing me to Alex and for his infectious can do attitude,

All the family and friends who offered encouragement, comments, feedback and ideas along the way and who are far too many to mention individually,

The good people at Canon, Sigma, Manfrotto, Adobe and Photopills whose amazing equipment and software makes photos such as these possible,

All the other astrophotography geeks out there who took the time (and had the kindness) to share their techniques and tips online,

Cyprus, its people and its history,

And finally to Constantinos who gifted me the ability to collect light and without whose incredible act of kindness none of this would have ever happened.




Canon EOS 5DSR
Canon EOS 6D
Canon EOS 1DX
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM Art
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM IS

Manfrotto befree & 190 series tripods
Hähnel Giga T Pro II Remote Release
Photix Aion Remote release


Adobe Lightroom CC (OSX)
Adobe Photoshop CC (OSX)
Ralph D. Hill LLC Starry Landscape Stacker (OSX)
Photopills (iOS)



  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra_tou_Romiou
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  5. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/briangreen551427.html


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stavrovouni_Monastery
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_history_of_Cyprus#Christianity
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysostomos_II_of_Cyprus#cite_note-3 
  4. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/im-atheist-stephen-hawking-god-space-travel-n210076


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  5. http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DA/DA.nsf/0/5EECD7DFA89F888EC2257276003CDF4C?OpenDocument
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  9. http://bit.ly/2lMUnIB
  10. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/michiokaku523311.html


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panagia_tou_Sinti_Monastery
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Nostra
  3. http://www.europanostra.org/what-we-do/
  4. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/davidhume389827.html


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foinikas,_Cyprus
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/08/peace-cyprus-cypriots-conflict-talks \
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/24/hopes-high-about-once-in-a-lifetime-chance-to-reunify-cyprus
  8. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/richardpf151727.html

Proof of concept