Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Upper City, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia

Eptapyrgio

or Yedi Koule  
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Eptapyrgio
Location:
Thessaloniki
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Central Macedonia
Thessaloniki
Municipality > Town:
City of Thessaloniki
• Upper City
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 220 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
14th century  
Late-BYZANTINE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle  
Relatively Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Eptapyrgion (Ἑπταπύργιον), also popularly known by its Ottoman Turkish name Yedi Kule (Γεντί Κουλέ), is a Byzantine and Ottoman-era fortress situated on the north-eastern corner of the acropolis of Thessaloniki in Greece.


The Name of the Castle

The Greek name of the castle -Eptapyrgion- means "seven towers" but the castle has actually ten.


History

Eptapyrgion is located in the north-eastern corner of the city's acropolis. Although the urban core of the city essentially dates from its foundation by Cassander in 316 BC, the walls that defined the medieval and early modern city, and that are still visible today, date to the late Antiquity, when the Roman emperor Theodosius I (r. 379-395) fortified the city anew. The five northern towers of the Eptapyrgion, along with the curtain wall that connects them, forming the northern corner of the acropolis, probably date to this period.

The southern five towers and wall were built likely in the 12th century, thus forming a fortified redoubt in the interior of the city's citadel. This fortress was then maintained and rebuilt in the Palaiologan period, in the 14th century.

The castle, together with the rest of Thessaloniki, was captured by the Turks in 1430.

During the 1890s, the fortress was converted into a prison. This conversion entailed the removal of all previous buildings in the fort's interior, of which no trace now survives. However, the fortifications themselves were only little modified.


Sources

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Road map to Eptapyrgio

Access
Approach to the monument:
Easy access by car from the center of the city of Thessaloniki.
Entrance:
Open to the public: Tuesday-Sunday, 8.30-15.00 and from May to September 8.00-19.00
The entrance is free.


Other castles around
Tower of Agios Vasileios
Lefkos Pyrgos
Castles of Thessaloniki
Fortress of Vardari
Tower of Vasilika