Megisti, Megisti, Dodecanese,South Aegean
|Kastellorizo, on a rocky hill above the port of Megisti|
|Region > Prefecture:|
|South Aegean |
|Municipality > Town:|
|City of Megisti |
|Elevation ≈ 10 m |
|Time of Construction||Origin|
A medieval castle on a rock dominating the port of Kastellorizo.
Kastelorizo is located 1.5 mile off the coast of Turkey, 72 miles east of Rhodes. It is the he easternmost point of Greece.
The island was colonized by Dorian Greeks, who named it Megiste which means “the biggest” , although it is a small island. Obviously because it is the largest in a group of small deserted islands in that area, close to the coast of Asia Minor. Inscriptions found at the foot of the Knight's castle confirm that during the Hellenistic period the island was ruled by Rhodes.
In 1306 the island was taken over by the Knights of the Order of St. John Hospitaller of Jerusalem, headed by Folques de Villaret. They were on their way from Cyprus to Rhodes, which was conquered three years later, becoming the centre of their Crusader State.
The knights restored the castle, which was thereafter used as prison for disobedient knights.
The castle was built on a red rock which gave its name -“Castello Rosso”- to the castle and later to the whole island.
In 1440 the island was occupied by Sultan Djemal-el-din of Egypt, who destroyed the castle. Ten years later it was conquered by Alfonso V of Aragon, king of Naples (and an ally of the knights), who rebuilt the castle and dispatched a governor. Naples retained possession of it until 1523, when it was conquered by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I.
On 22 September 1659, during the war over Crete, the island was conquered by Venice and the castle was destroyed again, but the Ottomans were able to regain it again soon after.
- Video by Nicos Lygeros (YouTube)
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