Castles of Greece


Therma, Samothraki, Evros,East Macedonia & Thrace

Fonias Tower

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Fonias Tower
River Fonias, at the northern coast of Samothrace island in North Aegean
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
East Macedonia & Thrace
Municipality > Town:
City of Samothraki
• Therma
Zero Altitude
Time of Construction   Origin
After 1431  
Castle Type   Condition

An isolated tower located at the north-eastern side of the Samothrace island, on the beach, by the river "Fonias" (meaning "Murderer"). It is a rectangular building, around 12m tall.


This is a Genoese Castle. The Gattilusi (singular Gattilusio) were a powerful Genoese family who controlled a number of possessions in the northern Aegean from 1355 until the mid 15th century.
Francesco Gattilusio gained the favor of Byzantine Emperor John V Palaiologos by helping him oust a rival to the throne, John VI Kantakouzenos, in 1354. As reward, Gattilusio was given lordship of the island of Lesbos (and its stronghold, Mytilene) from July 1355, as well as the hand in marriage of the emperor's sister, Maria. The Gattilusi possessions grew to include, among others, the islands of Imbros, Samothrace, Lemnos and Thasos, and the land city of Aenos (modern Enez in Turkey). From this position, they were heavily involved in the mining and marketing of alum, useful in textile production and a profitable trade controlled by the Genoese


  • Κόμβος "ΟΔΥΣΣΕΑΣ", ΟΠΕΠ, Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού, Πύργος Φονιά, http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/2/gh251.jsp?obj_id=1611&era=3&group=3

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Road map to Fonias Tower

Approach to the monument:
Like most isolated and neglected towers, the access to the surrounding area is free but the entrance inside is difficult and dangerous.

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Castle of Samothraki