Avantas, Alexandroupolis, Evros,East Macedonia & Thrace
|On a hill above the village Avantas in Alexandroupoli, NE Greece|
|Region > Prefecture:|
|East Macedonia & Thrace |
|Municipality > Town:|
|City of Alexandroupolis |
Elevation ≈ 180 m
(Relative Height≈100 m)
|Time of Construction||Origin|
A difficult to spot castle on a rocky hill, 100 m from the village Aavntas and around 10km north of Alexandroupolis.
From a distance, the most impressive element is the rock rather that the castle itself which is not easily visible.
To castle is not known from historical sources. Neither the original name is known.
The construction has no chronological phases. The masonry does not help in dating. Various surface finds, however (shells) come all from the 14th century.
The castle has not been systematically investigated, but it is certainly not built by the Genoese rulers Ghatelouzi. So if it was indeed of the 14th century, it should be classified as Late-Byzantine.
It is very close to the other castle of Avas, castle Potamou. The two fortresses controlled the passage to the interior of Thrace and the Rhodope mountain. The location is also on a passage to Constantinople, alternative to Egnatia Road, which is south, closer to the sea.
Having two strong castles in such close proximity is a bit unusual. Perhaps the passageway was a very important in a period and one castle was considered not enough. Another (arbitrary) explanation is that perhaps the castles have been competitive and belonged to different local rulers.
Interestingly, while foreign and Turkish travelers mentioned the castle of Potamou, they make no mention of the castle of Avas (to our knowledge) although the fortification is by no means negligible. Perhaps, even in the past, it was well concealed by the dense vegetation.
Structure, Fortification & Buildings
The fort consists of a wall of approximately 140 meters, parallel to the contours and a second, about 40 meters, almost perpendicular to it. The fortified area is of a generally oblique rectangular shape and is slightly less than 10 acres. The fortification is developed on the slope from which it is possible to rise on the hill, while the rest is not protected by walls because the rough terrain is enough.
The fortification was reinforced by four rectangular towers. There were two gates: one at the end of the wall protected by a tower and one in the middle of the wall, between two towers. There are no architectural remains, which might testify residential occupation. The oldest construction elements are some massive domes that have been used in various parts of the fortification which might indicate an older fortification.
- Website Summer Hotels> Αλεξανδρούπολη
- Konstantinos Tsouris-Athnasios Brikas,BYZANTINE FORTIFICATIONS IN EVROS (in Greek), Thessaloniki 2006 (source was given by the archaeologist Mr. Kostas Ketanis)
|Google search inside the site|
|Approach to the monument:|
|The castle is on a rocky cliff 100m north of the village Avantas. The access to the castle from the bottom of the rock is difficult.|
|20 min uphill walking is needed from the foot of the cliff until the gate of the castle through a difficult path.|
|Other castles around|
|Castle of Potamos|