Castles of Greece


Drepano, Nafplion, Argolis,Peloponnese

Fortress of Drepanon

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Fortress of Drepanon
At the entrance of the bay of lake Chaidari (or Drepanon) at Argolis in W.Peloponnese
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Nafplion
• Drepano
Zero Altitude
Time of Construction   Origin
beginning of 18th cent  
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  
Not Good

A small coastal Venetian fortress on the western side of the entrance of the bay of Drepanon in Argolis.


The fortress was built in the beginning of the 18th century, before 1714.

During the second Venetian period of Peloponnese (1688-1715) the Venetians built some new fortresses (a notable example is Palamidi). One of them was the fortress of Drepanon.

In a 1701 report, the Provveditore Generale Francesco Grimani informed the Venetian Senate on the unique position of Drepanon bay (Porto Trapano), urging the need to secure the harbor.

The initial plan was to build a 3-points system of fortification based on either side of the bay’s mouth and on the island of Platia opposite. From this plan, only the fort on the western side was built.

In 1714, the Provveditore Agostino Sagredo mentions in his report the building of a fort big enough for 28 pieces of artillery to protect ships undergoing dry-dock repairs.

The Ottomans, who recaptured Peloponnese in 1715, probably never manned the fort, but might have used it occasionally.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

Drepanon is a sickle-shaped inlet stretching 2km parallel to the sea behind a long arm of land, entered by a narrow mouth at the eastern end.

The fort stands at the tip of the western arm. Six gun enbrasures face east across the bay’s mouth and four on the side of the open sea.

It is built on a slope of rock directly over the water. On the east and south are the two embrasured flanks, built with battering walls. A cistern is built against the wall on the east, providing a gun platform reached by steps from a lower level behind it.

The upper section of the fort is a platform built on the higher level of the rock , held in by a battering retaining wall. Near the top is a square pyramidal-roofed chamber resembling a vardiola. Probably it was a watchtower.

The upper apex of the fort is occupied by a small irregular platform from which descends a wall, battering both inside and out, with parapet and chemin de ronde in the line of a Z to another round platform on the water, facing the interior of the bay.


  • Kevin Andrews, Castles of the Morea, 1953

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