Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Pylos, Pylos - Nestor, Messenia,Peloponnese

Niokastro

or Navarino Castle  
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Niokastro
Location:
Pylos, Messinia, Peloponnese
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Peloponnese
Messenia
Municipality > Town:
City of Pylos - Nestor
• Pylos
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 20 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
1573  
OTTOMAN
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  
Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pylos: the older castle of Navarino, called Palaiokastro or Palaionavarino and the more recent castle, called Niokastron.

Niocastro is the one which is actually inside the town of Pylos.


History

Niokastro was built in 1573 by the Turks, and in 1686 was captured by the Venetians. It came again under Turkish domination in 1715, along with the castles of Koroni and Palionavarino .

In 1821, in the first months of the Greek Revolution, it was captured by the Greek fighters.

In 1825 it was captured by Ibrahim Pasha and remained under his control until 1828 when it was liberated by the French general Maison.

After 1830, it was used as a prison until 1941.

During the Second World War it was used as the headquarters of the Italian and, later, the German forces .


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The Castle is divided into two main sections:

1) Enceinte-Lower Castle; the larger of the two sections occupies the slope of the hill and is built of ashlar limestone blocks.

2) Upper Castle: hexagonal fortress with massive battlements and projecting bastions which protect five of the six corners of the walls.


The most important buildings:

- Church of the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration): Cross-in-square domed church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. It was used as a Moslem mosque and was later converted into a Christian church.

- General Maison's building. Rectangular, two-storeyed stone building erected in the 19th century. It has been reconstructed and now houses the Museum and the offices.


Sources

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Road map to Niokastro

Access
Approach to the monument:
Easy access from the town of Pylos located 65 km southeast of Kalamata.
Entrance:
Open: Tuesday-Friday, 8.30-17.00 and May to September 8.30-19.00, Saturday-Sunday 8.30-15.00.
Ticket 3€.

Timeline
  • 1573: Construction by the Ottomans
  • 1686: Capture by the Venetians
  • 1715: Recapture by the Turks
  • 1770: Short occupation by Russians
  • 1821: In Greek hands after the Greek Revolution
  • 1825: Siege and capture by Ibrahim pasha
  • 1828: Surrender to the French general Maison
  • 1830-1941: Prison
  • 1941-1944: Military headquarters of Axis forces



Other castles around
Castle of Debridge
Vigla at Finikounda
Methoni Castle
Palaiokastro
Tower at Limni Papa
Fort of Pera