The picture above is of Larissa Castle above Argos.


Archangelos, Polichni

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The Castle of Archangelos is a castle on a hill above the village Polichni, 10 km from Meligalas, overlooking the plain of Upper Messinia.

The location has been identified as the Archangel Castle, which, according to sources, is linked to the Acciaioli (Acasolioli) family of Florentine bankers.

As the name Acciaioli appeared in the history of the Principality of Achaia in the middle of the 14th century, in that year the castle must have been established.

Because of the pre-existing Byzantine temple on the site, the Latins gave the castle the name of Archangel Michael.

In 1418 it was reported that it was captured by the Byzantines of the Despotate of Mystras. About 1460 it was occupied by the Turks and was used during the following centuries.

The walls are built of small stones with blocks of bricks.

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The western side wall has been completely destroyed.

In aerial photographs, the line of the old castle walls are clearly seen, reaching low into the foot of the hill. It is noted that the tower is not like the usual defensive towers that exist in Greece, but a remnant of a normal castle.

In the middle of the ruins of the castle is the church of Agios Taxiarches.

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The highest part of the wall of the castle, on which two building phases are discerned is preserved to the east.

The southern side wall is severely destroyed and has an almost square tower adjacent to a two storey building.

The village of Polichni can be easily accessed from various reference points: Kyparissia, Kalamata, Meligalas, Megalopolis

At the centre of the village there is a road sign to the church of Taxiarches. The road is asphalt up to the castle, where the views are wonderful.

Krebeni, Melpia

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Named the Castle of Melpeia or Castle of Krebeni or Dimatra castle. The ruins of a Frankish settlement and castle on a hill northeast of Lower Melpia, Messinia.

It dates back to the second half of the 13th century on the basis of archaeological and historical data.

A wall section on the north side is preserved, while the remaining sides may have had no fortifications as they protected the steep rocks. It is a fortress complex from which ruins of walls, towers and buildings are preserved on an area of about 50 acres.

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Blind arches are formed on its surface, most likely for the rotor support. The other sides of the enclosure might not have been reinforced, as they were steep. Within it are many ruins of buildings, a cistern and a church.

The inner enclosure, on a much higher level, occupied the northwest top of the rock. There are traces of the wall that protected it on the north side, while the rest are naturally steep.

To the north is the square tower-retreat (acorn or donjon), while in the southeast there was a large rectangular building and an oval-shaped stern that is partly in the rock.

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This photograph is of the village of Melpeia taken about halfway up the mountain!!

The local villagers have reecently made the castle accessible by way of a footpath signed from the bottom of the road near to Stavropolous Taverna. I parked the car and climbed the track, visiting the waterfall and lakes on the way.

The castle is signed off the track and I ventured along it. It was quite hard going in places and very narrow. However, I reached the river to find that the track had been washed away by winter storms and I could not go any further.

I shall have to go back to the village to see if the path has been repaired.


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Larissa is one of the ancient castles of Greece. The site was fortified since prehistoric times and remained a powerful fortress through the classical period and the Middle Ages until the 19th century.

To the north of the town of Argos, there are two hills, one is Aspis and the other Larissa, the taller of the two at 289m. In antiquity, there was another castle on Aspis which did not survive. There was a wall between the two castles for the protection of the city from the north.

A castle was built here in the 6th century BC. but there has been a fortification here since prehistoric times.

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The medieval castle was first built by the Byzantines in the 10th century and during that period the fortress was of strategic importance. In 1203, it came under the control of the archon of Nauplion, Leon Sgouros. In 1212 it was captured by Othon de la Roche, the Bourgoundian Duke of Athens, and was controlled by the Franks until 1388.

In 1397, following a short occupation by the Ottomans, Larissa was destroyed and abandoned. The Venetians returned to the castle but it eventually came under Ottoman rule from 1463 to 1686, when it was re-taken by the Venetians under Admiral Morosini.

In around 1700, an explosion destroyed the castle's central cylindrical tower, which was used as a powder store, and the bastion that has survived to the present was built in its place.

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In 1463 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822. The site was liberated by the Greeks in 1822.

The inside of the castle was not accessible when I visited in February 2106 as there is a tremendous amount of renovation and archaeological work being undertaken. Photographs show the renovations in progress. The drive up to the castle is very beautiful and the views are tremendous.

The hill of the castle is about 2 km from the city of Argos. The road is paved and there is a spacious parking lot close to the entrance. Entrance to the castle is free.


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Mila is a medieval castle north of the village of Mila in Messinia. It is at a strategic location for the control of the north plain of Messinia and can be clearly seen from the road from Tsakona to Kyparissia .

It was built during the Frankish rule in the Peloponnese during the 12th century to protect the residents of the area and control the mountain passes to Arcadia.

This was most likely the Chateaunef castle that the Frankish Princess of Morea Isabelle Villehardouin (1297-1301) founded in order to repel the attacks of the Byzantines of the Despotate of Mystras.

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The castle is not easily accessible, as when we visited we parked near the village and walked up the hill to it. The site is very overgrown and it is quite difficult to get around the outside and the inside of the castle. However, it was well worth the effort.

Starting from Meligalas follow the road to Neochori and to Mila. Before Mila turn right to Vrachopanaitsa (there is a road sign). Soon afterwards is the settlement Kastro. You can now see the castle which is reached after a 5min walk.