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Castle of Kalamata

COUNTY: Messinia MUNICIPALITY: Kalamata

Clear
21ºC

Century of Construction

13

Architectural Style

Frankish

Current Condition

Bad Condition

The castle was initially built by the Byzantines, but it was rebuilt by the Franks in the beginning of the 13th century. It sits on a rocky hill, on the northwest from Kalamata, over the Nedontas river. The castle is considered Frankish, not only due to its architecture, but also because of its importance since it was the seat of the Barony of Kalamata and the house of Geoffrey of Villehardouin. The castle remained in the hands of the Franks until 1322.

In 1293, 600 Greeks took control of the castle in the name of Andronikos II Palaiologos, but it was later given back to the Franks by the Chief of Cavalry of Mystras, named George Sgouromalles through a ruse. In 1381, the knights of the Navarrese Company conquered it, and then in 1396, it was taken by the Turks. In 1410, the castle passed to the Byzantines of the Despotate of Mystras, but in 1459 it was taken again by the Turks. In 1464 it was seized by the Venetians, who blew the castle up so that it wouldn't fall in the hands of the Turks, and later retook it and repaired it, though it fell in Turkish hands in 1715.

In 1821, after the Greek Revolution begun, the Greeks took control of the castle, along with the city of Kalamata, and in 1825 it was heavily damaged by the Turkish forces. During World War II, the castle fell in the hands of the Italians, and later the Germans.

The acropolis was founded a long time before the castle was built, in the year 1500 BC. It was initially named Farai or Farais and the name it holds today is due to the picture of Panagia the Kalomata (one of the names of Saint Mary) that is held in a temple built in her name, in the 6th century. The castle is Byzantine in its design, with an inner courtyard that defended the east side.

Today, the castle is in a ruined state, with the battlements of the walls destroyed. Access, however, is easy.