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Angelokastro, Corfu

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Angelokastro

Situated in the outskirts of Krini with a dominating position looking down on the resort of Paleokastritsa, this is one of the most famous historic sites on the island; in fact it is one of the most important Byzantine fortresses to be found in the whole of Greece. The fortress has now been renovated and is well worth a visit even if it is just for the panoramic views over the west coast of Corfu.

This natural promontory which gave an excellent defensive position, due to the sheer inclines to the north, west and south, is thought by historians to have been further heavily fortified in the 13th Century by Michael Doukas and that the fortress was named after his father – literally Angelo’s Castle.

Over the course of the centuries it has played an important role in defending the area against a legion of attackers from the pirates that roamed the area to the Turkish. During these attacks the inhabitants of the local villages gathered within the walls of the fortress as there was enough room to hold them and their livestock and the nature of its location made attack almost impossible. The fortress also had large underground rooms that were used as cisterns to store water for periods of prolonged attack. During times of peace the area was used by the locals as an area for trade, commerce and worship.

During the time of the Venetian occupation of Corfu the fortress played an important role as it was used to monitor the traffic in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

Archeological digs have discovered artifacts dating to the early Byzantine periods between the 5th and 7th centuries which shows that it has always been an important feature in this area of Corfu.

There are two churches within the fortress. The church of The Archangels Michael and Gabriel was built on the site of an earlier three-aisle church and Aghios Kiriakis which was built by excavating into the rock. This cave-like church is decorated with 18th century frescoes. The remains of a cemetery have also been found where graves were carved out of the rock, although the dates of this cemetery are as yet unknown.

Could be combined with Theotoky Vineyard and Doukades.


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