Once upon a time in a great castle, a prince’s daughter grew up happy and contented, in spite of a jealous stepmother. The skin of the girl was delicate and fair, and so she was called Snow White. A magic mirror, a poisoned apple, a fake death and a kiss later, everyone (or at least everyone nice) lived happily ever after. We all know the story, but do you also know where Walt Disney found the inspiration for the design of Snow White’s castle? In northern Cyprus!
Shakespeare found his muse in the north of Cyprus when he laid eyes on the old Venetian fortress at the harbor of Kyrenia. The fort, the main gateway to the city in earlier times, became the decor of one of his plays: Othello! Four centuries later, Northern Cyprus was a muse for another great creative mind: Walt Disney. Or at least that is how the story goes! Saint Hilarion Castle, on top of the Kyrenia mountain range, is said to be the inspiration for the fairytale castle of Snow White and the seven dwarfs. I have to admit that the resemblance is quite poor compared to that other building they say the castle is based on (the Neuschwanstein in Germany), mainly because Saint Hilarion is more of a ruin than a castle (it was built somewhere in the 10th century). But with a strong imagination you’ll recognize the small steeples of the Disney castle and the narrow pathways inside also seem to come straight out of a fairytale. But whether the rumors are true or not: make the climb anyway because the views are stunning!