Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Minthe, Zacharo, Elis,West Greece

Araklovo Castle

or Voutsaras Castle or Avlaina’s castle or Bucelet  
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Araklovo Castle
Location:
Summit Chrysouli, east of Minthe village, West Peloponnese
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
West Greece
Elis
Municipality > Town:
City of Zacharo
• Minthe
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 1200 m 
(Relative Height≈500 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
12th century (?)  
BYZANTINE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle  
In Ruins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A small and ruined castle on a the summit Chryssoulli of mount Minthe above the village Minthe. Despite its small size and bad condition, once upon a time, it was one of the most celebrated castles of Peloponnese.


History

Araklovo was a Byzantine fortress. It was one of the ten castles of Moria that the Byzantines did not abandon when the Franks invaded Peloponnese led by Guillaume de Champlitte and Geoffrey I Villehardouin in 1205.

It was defended by the legendary Byzantine general Doxapatris Voutsaras. The Franks took it after 5 years, around 1210.

In 1289, it was in the possession of Isabella, ruler of the Principality of Achaea. It is recorded in the lists of fiefs of 1377 and 1391.

Around 1430 it must have been occupied by the Greeks of the Despotate of Mystras and in 1460 by the Turks.

After the 15th century Araklovo disappears from the sources. Obviously, it was abandoned and not in use during the Ottoman period.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

Only a few ruins remain today from the once great castle of Araklovo.

At the lower part are traces of a fortified wall.

The top of the castle is a triangular plateau 50m✖30m surrounded by an inner wall. Because of the dense vegetation, this wall is not clearly visible and its condition can not be estimated. At the top there are the remains of two cisterns. One of them is in relatively good condition. It has a height of 2 meters, a width of 3.40 and a length of 8 meters and a large part of its surface maintains the coating layer. Usually such tanks in citadels were the bases of towers.

On the north side of the castle, outside the plateau of the top, there is a third tank. From the rest of the settlement does not survive almost anything. Only stone piles. A part of the castle has precipitated down the eastern steep cliff. In two or three points some debris can be identified as remnants of buildings. Outside the castle, to the southeast, according to the Chronicle of Morea existed a burgo (settlement outside the castle). Here lie the ruins of four churches and several other buildings.


Sources

  • Antoine Bon, 1969, La Morée franque. Recherches historiques, topographiques et archéologiques sur la principauté d'Achaïe (1205-1430), Editions de Boccard, Paris, 1969, pag.370,648
  • Konstantinos Kourelis, 2003, “MONUMENTS OF RURAL ARCHAEOLOGY MEDIEVAL SETTLEMENTS ΙΝ ΤΗΕ NORTHWESTERN PELOPONNESE”, Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, σελ.259-261
  • Ουΐλλιαμ Μίλλερ, 1909, Ιστορία της Φραγκοκρατίας εν Ελλάδι (1204-1566), (William Miller, The Latins In The Levant: A History Of Frankish Greece, 1204-1566) μετάφρ. Σπυρ. Π. Λάμπρου, μετά προσθηκών και βελτιώσεων, Εν Αθήναις Ελληνική Εκδοτική Εταιρεία, 1909-1910, σελ.239-241
  • «Chronicle of Morea», 114, 557-575

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Road map to Araklovo Castle

Access
Approach to the monument:
You can reach the castle only by climbing. It’s difficult.
Entrance:
Like most remote, ruined and neglected fortifications, entrance is not an issue. The difficult part is to approach the castle and walk around inside.


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