The Venetian walls and fortifications that surround the historic town stand today as a superlative example of Renaissance military architecture. They were built between 1495-1564, incorporating the existing medieval Lusignan walls and towers, which were dramatically reduced in height, remodeled and strengthened. The great bastion of the Land Gate – also known as Limassol Gate – was one of two original entrances to the walled city (the other, the Sea Gate to the northeast, offers access from the port). It is protected by the impressive ravelin, inside which is a labyrinth of ramps, steps and rooms. The Land Gate was renamed Akkule or the 'White Bastion' by the Ottomans, as it was from here that the Venetians waived the white flag of surrender at the end of the siege of 1570-71.
It is said that in 1571, after weeks of battling and tunneling under the walls, the Ottomans finally managed to gain access to the ravelin. The Venetians, determined to withstand the advance, blew up their own secret passage under the walls, burying a thousand Ottoman soldiers in the rubble, as well as 100 of their own men.