Traveling almost all over the country you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful castles of Greece, which in the distant past were one of the most important parts of cities. Sometimes preserved in great condition and other times preserved only as ruins, all the castles you will meet have interesting stories to tell you. Let's discover five of the most emblematic castles you will see in Greece.
Moving on the east side of Nafplio, less than three kilometers from the heart of the city, you will find the fortress of Palamidi. Built on a hill with a height of more than 200 meters, Palamidi takes its name from the lost hero of the war of Troy, who had Nafplio as his father. Its construction dates back to the late 17th century, led by the Venetians, with its construction completed at the beginning of the next century. Eight bastions make up the final plan of the castle, which were used either for defensive or offensive purposes. Apart from its fortification function, Palamidi is also found to serve as a prison, with a number of prisoners imprisoned in its facilities. The Old Man of Moria, Theodoros Kolokotronis, was even found there accused of being a traitor in 1833.
Castle of Pylos, Messinia
After the defeat of Ottoman power in the naval battle that took place in Nafpaktos, in 1573, the castle of Pylos was built, which you will see otherwise called Niokastro. The aim of its construction was none other than to achieve full control of the movement of commercial activity and not only, in the bay of Navarino. For less than fifty years the jurisdiction of the castle passed to the Venetians, only to change hands again, ending up with those of the Russian Orlov brothers. The next conquerors came from Greece, with Ibrahim becoming owner for only 4 years until the battle of Navarino. Thick walls, six bastions, and about sixty cannons compose an extremely imposing castle, which also functioned as a prison. Today, inside you will find the remains of old residences, as well as the church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ, which served in the past as a mosque.
Castles of Greece: Frangokastello, Chania
You will find the medieval-type Frangokastello, at a distance of 12 kilometers from the center of Sfakia, in the prefecture of Chania, Crete. The name that the Venetians had baptized was Agios Nikitas, but it prevailed to be called Frangokastello since the natives called any foreign resident "Franks". The castle was built in the middle of the 14th century by the Venetians and was a means of suppressing pirate attacks. Legend has it that every night during its construction, everything built in the morning was demolished by two locals, who were eventually led to death for their actions. Over the centuries, Frangokastello has been abandoned and repaired several times either by the Ottomans or by the Greeks who rebelled during the revolution. Part of its emblematic history is due to the phenomenon of Drosoulites observed on the beach of Frangokastello, who are mythically believed to be the souls of dead warriors, who died in 1828, defending the castle under the chieftain Dalianis.
Castles of Greece: Platamonas Castle, Pieria
The castle of Platamonas spreads a stone's throw from the mountain of Olympus and excites every visitor with the excellent condition that is preserved today, within the boundaries of the homonymous community. The place where it is built is the one where ancient Heraclea extended and it is believed that it was very close to another castle of the Byzantine era. The historical conjuncture of its construction is that it was built during the Fourth Crusade in the early 13th century and given to Boniface Montferrat. Its central tower, a sign of its medieval origins, stands imposingly on the National Road, approaching 20 meters in height, supervising the land and sea passages. During its lifetime, the castle changed conquerors between Venetians and Ottomans, with the church of Agia Paraskevi, inside having also served as a mosque. Its emblematic walls reach ten meters high and functioned as a defensive means in pirate raids. Today you will have the opportunity to enjoy in its wonderful place events, held under the auspices of the Olympus Festival.
Castles of Greece: Koroni, Messinia
The Castle of Koroni stands proudly just above its homonymous city on the top of the hill southwest of the geographical region of Peloponnese. In the 13th century, it was the Venetians who decided to rebuild and expand the already existing castle of the area since the 7th century, strengthening to an even greater extent the part of the fortification. In order to achieve the construction of this imposing building, stone was used as the first material. The castle of Koroni in the early 16th century changed hands, passing to those of the Ottomans, who were the conquerors of the entire region. Inside the castle, you will see burial monuments, underground cisterns, and two sacred temples preserved in the now
The castles of Greece stand imposingly over the years, witnesses of their long turbulent history. All that remains is to visit them, to discover them.