Castles of Greece


Petres, Florina, West Macedonia

Fortress of Petres

or Kale of Petres  
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Fortress of Petres
On a hill north of lake Petres, between the villages Agios Pandeleïmonas and Petres in Western Macedonia
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
West Macedonia
Municipality > Town:
City of Florina
• Petres
Elevation ≈ 695 m 
(Relative Height≈120 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
Various periods  
Castle Type   Condition
In Ruins

Few remains of a fort which has been an ancient Macedonian stronghold and was in use throughout the Byzantine period, until the Ottoman conquest when it was destroyed.

Location & Strategic Scope

The ruins of the fort are on a low hill named “Kale” above the Petres lake, south of Florina in Western Macedonia. Apparently, the name «Kale» derives from the fort.


It is believed that this was an ancient Madedonian fortress which was repaired during the reign of Justinian in the 6th century AD.

It was used by the Byzantines as a fortress and possibly as a fortified settlement or monastery. Around the 10th century, it must have been held for several decades by the Bulgarians. In the 13th century, after 1218-1219, belonged to the Despotate of Epirus. In the middle of the 14th century it was occupied by the Serbs of Stefan Ducan.

It is believed that this is the place referred as “Castle of Petriskos” by Ioannis Skylitsis. Petriskos probably is the modern village Petres (“Petarsko” in Slav). If this is true, then here is the place where Gavriil Rodomir, the son of the Bulgarian Tsar Samouil was murdered in 1015 by his cousin Vladislav, who after that became the Tsar of the Bulgarians.

The Ottomans conquered the area either in 1385-1386 or in the middle of the 15th century. After their conquest, they destroyed all the castles in the area. The fortress of Petres, most probably, was among the destroyed castles.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The ruins we see today are all from the Byzantine period. The relatively best preserved building is a basilica 12.30x13.70m which must have been the chapel of the fort. It was built before the 11th century.

Ruins are scattered on the hill from various buildings, the use of which is not known.

The surrounding wall of the fortification is still visible in several parts, but at low height.

The satellite image reveals a fort with a perimeter of external walls around 700m and an area ca. 25,000 sq.m.


  • Photographs and information by Mr. Sotiris Nastos
  • John Skylitzes, Synopsis of Histories , Bas2+Const8.38

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Road map to Fortress of Petres

Approach to the monument:
Free entrance

Other castles around
Tower of Grammatiko
Castle of Setina