Κάστρο της Μεθώνης

( Methoni Castle )

The Castle of Methoni is a medieval fortification in the port town of Methoni, Messenia, in southwestern Greece. The castle of Methoni occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. Its north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat separates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians built on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.

The Bourtzi is dated back to the period after 1500 and has been used in various instances as a prison. It has a two-floor octagonal tower. The tower finishes in a round dome. On the lower floor there was a cistern and the whole works, with small defensive value, and is dated during the first period that the Turks occupied the fortress.

The west part of the walls is not as well constructed as the others. It was here that during the Second World War, after an explosion, parts of well constructed stones from the ancient walls of Methoni were found. In the interior of the walls, ruins of Turkish military establishments are preserved.

The east side of the walls also reached initially to the sea. Nowadays, a long strand of beach lies in front of a large part of it. Parallel to the east wall, up to the Bourtzi, there was a pier and this is where the small fortified harbor was formed (mandrachio), while the big one was to the northeast where ships could be pulled. The long east side has suffered many repairs, performed on the initial venetian battlements of the 13th century, mainly during the second Venetian occupation and the Turkish occupation. In one of the towers parts of the Byzantine fortification are preserved.

On various parts of the fortification there are Venetian emblems with the winged lion of St. Mark and inscriptions. This is the case on the north part of the Loredan battlement, where there is an inscribed plaque from the time when general Loredan was in command in the Peloponnese. On the north wall, on the right of the main entrance, there is also a plaque with the coat of arms of the families of the Foscarini, Foscolo and Bembo, to which the inscription denotes the construction of the Bembo battlement, just before 1500.

Photographies by:
Maju603 - CC BY-SA 4.0
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