Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Koroni, Pylos - Nestor, Messenia,Peloponnese

Castle of Koroni

  
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Castle of Koroni
Location:
Koroni, Messinia, SW Peloponnese
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Peloponnese
Messenia
Municipality > Town:
City of Pylos - Nestor
• Koroni
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 25 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
end of 13th century  
VENETIAN
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Fortress-state  
Relatively Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A castle with impressive fortifications at the southwestern end of Peloponnese which existed since the 7th century AD and was completed and reconstructed by the Venetians in the 13th century. The city flourished in the following centuries, but it was constantly in the middle of the long conflict between Venetians and Turks.


History

An ancient acropolis existed at the location of the castle since before the Trojan war. Its name was Aisini and it was one of the 7 cities offered by Agamemnon to Achilles to ease his anger according to Homer.

In the 6th or 7th century AD, the Byzantines built a fortress there.

As many castles in Peloponnese, the city became important and flourished after the 13th century and the Frankish occupation.

Following the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, a Venetian fleet under Premarini and the son of Dandolo occupied it in 1206, and converted the port into a provisioning station "where all passing ships could receive a month's rations", a custom maintained, we are told, when the place became a regular Venetian colony.

Since 1205 Koroni belonged to the Frankish Principality of Achaea. In 1209, the ruler of Achaea Geoffroi de Villehardouin I had no choice than to cede officially the castle-city to the Venetians.

The Venetians made a major reconstruction and expansion of the castle which finished around the end of that century.

The fortress and town were captured by the Ottoman troops of Sultan Bayezid II, who led personally the operation, in 1500.

In 1532, the Habsburg emperor Charles V ordered the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria to attack Koroni as a diversion to the Turkish campaigns in Hungary. Doria managed to capture the city, and to lay waste to the surrounding coast.
In spring 1533, the Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent sent 60 galleys to retake the city. They blockaded the harbour, but they were defeated by Doria, highlighting the weakness of the Ottoman Navy at that time. An Ottoman land army however was successful in laying a siege around the city, forcing its surrender on 1 April 1534. The weakened Spanish garrison was allowed to leave the city unharmed

In 1685 the Venetians under general Morozini returned and stayed until 1715. But the golden age of the city was not revived.

After that, Koroni remained under Turkish occupation. The fortress suffered serious damages after a heavy bombardment during the Orlof events in 1770. In the Greek revolution, the Greek fighters were unable to capture the city.

Koroni was liberated in 1828 by the French General Nicolas Joseph Maison, after the battle of Navarino.

A couple of families still live in the castle today. There is also a nunnery.


Sources

  • Website Messinia - Koroni Castle

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Road map to Castle of Koroni

Access
Approach to the monument:
Easy access from the town of Koroni.
Entrance:
The entrance is free but it is not possible to visit some areas all the time.

Timeline
  • Before 1000 BC.: Ancient Acropolis of Aisini
  • 6th or 7th cent.: Byzantine fortress
  • 1205: Part of the Frankish Principality of Achaea
  • 1209: Under Venetian rule
  • End 13th cent. Recontruction of the castle
  • 1500: Capture by the Turks
  • 1532: Capture by Spanish forces under Andrea Doria
  • 1534: Recapture by the Turks
  • 1685: Under Venetian control again
  • 1715: Return of the Turks
  • 1770: Serious damages during the Orlof events
  • 1828: Libaration by the French general Maison



Other castles around
Vigla at Finikounda
Kapetanaki tower
Tower of Kapetanakis
Ketseas tower
Vigla at Memi
Fort of Pera
Wall of Verga
Kastraki of Vounaria