Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Ampelakia, Tempi, Larisa,Thessaly

Castle of Oria

  
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Castle of Oria
Location:
Ampelakia, mount Kisavos, overlooking Tempi valley, Thessaly
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Thessaly
Larisa
Municipality > Town:
City of Tempi
• Ampelakia
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 210 m 
(Relative Height≈140 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
Unknown  
BYZANTINE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle  
In Ruins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the middle of the valley of Tempi, at the side of mount Ossa and above the spring of Aphroditi, there is a castle, the "castle of Oria".

It was, once, an important castle. It controlled the strategic passage of the valley, the only route to south Greece through the mountains of northern Thessaly.

The remains on the high rock above the valley is not tha actual castle. It is only a part, a bastion of the original. The main castle which was lower, near rthe river, was demolished when the road was constructed.


History

The Vale of Tempi (Greek: Tέμπη, Témpi) is a gorge in northern Thessaly, located between Olympus to the north and Ossa to the south. The valley is 10 kilometres long and as narrow as 25 metres in places, with cliffs nearly 500 metres high, and through it flows the Pineios River on its way to the Aegean Sea. In ancient times, it was celebrated by Greek poets as a favorite haunt of Apollo and the Muses. On the right bank of the Pineios sat a temple to Apollo, near which the laurels used to crown the victorious in the Pythian Games were gathered.

The Tempe Pass is a strategic pass in Greece since it is the main route from Larisa through the mountains to the coast. Though it can be bypassed via the Sarantoporo Pass, the alternate route takes longer. Because of this it has been the scene of numerous battles throughout history.

Due to its strategic importance, the valley was fortified since antiquity. There are traces of defense structures inside the valley and at both entrances. The Byzantines founded there an important castle named "Lykostomion". It is very possible -but not certain- that Lykostomion is the "castle of Oria".

"Castle of Oria" means castle of the Fair Lady. The story of the origin of the name goes back to the 15th century when the Ottomans attacked. The castle was under siege for 12 years. At the end, the Turks got it and, according to the legend, the daughter of the Lord of the castle, the Fair Lady, killed herself after leaping from the rock.


Sources

  • Information by Mr.Reinold de Vries

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Road map to Castle of Oria

Access
Approach to the monument:
Access from the NR parking area at the middle of the valley of Tempi. From there, a path leads to the castle after climbing for 2 hours.
Entrance:
The entrance is free but going there requires time and effort.


Other castles around
Platamon Castle