Castles of Greece


Garbia, Karystos, Euboea,Central Greece

Fortress of Karystos

or Castello Rosso or Kokkinokastro  
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Fortress of Karystos
Karystos area, between villages Garbia & Myli, in southern Evia island
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Central Greece
Municipality > Town:
City of Karystos
• Garbia
Elevation ≈ 350 m 
(Relative Height≈200 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
Castle Type   Condition
Not Good

The castle, "Castello Rosso" (Red Castle) of Karystos dominates the foothills of Mt Ochi. It is four kilometres from Karystos, between the villages Grabias and Myloi.


The hanging hill where the present-day castle now stands was first fortified by the Byzantines in 1030. The medieval Castello Rosso was constructed on Byzantine foundations by the baron Ravano dalle Carceri a Lombard lord to whom the feud of Karystos was granted, between the years of 1209 - 1216.

In 1276, the Byzantines returned for a while in Evia. The knight Liccario, a Frank adventurer in the service of the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Paliologos, captured the castle and the rest of the island, except Chalkis.

The Franks took back the castle with Bonifacio da Verona in 1295. After his death in 1318, his son in law, the Catalan Alfonso Fadrigo di Aragon, became the lord of Karystos and its castle.

The Venetians, who always wanted this place, bought it from the son of Fadrigo for 6000 ducats in 1359 and stayed there for 104 years. Under the Venetian admisnistration however, Karystos declined gradually. In 1470, the Venetians, being under pressure by the Turks and having no serious interest anymore there, left quietly and the Ottomans occupied the area.

During the 1821 Greek War of Independence, many attempts were made by the Greeks to take the castle. Odysseus Androutsos, Nikolaos Kriezotis, known as the “lion of Evia”, and the French Philhellene Fabvier, all lay fruitless siege to it. It was only after the liberation, in 1833, and the departure of the Turks from southern Greece that the castle gates were opened to the Greeks.


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Road map to Fortress of Karystos

Approach to the monument:
From Karystos follow the direction to village Myloi (4km) from where an uphill dirt road lrads to the ruins of the castle.

  • 1030: Construction of the original fort by the Byzantines
  • 1209-16: Construction of the castle by the Lombards
  • 1276: Capture by the Byzantines ubder knight Liccario.
  • 1295: Recapture by the Francs ubder Bonifacio da Verona
  • 1359: Purchase of the city by the Venetians
  • 1470: Departure of the Venetians. Turkish occupation
  • 1833: Departure of the Turks. The castle is Greek.

Other castles around
Castle of Aktaion
Castle of Armena
Fylagra Castle
Bourtzi of Karystos
Kastri of Tsakeoi