Me Loves Me Some Castles

The castle at night

Yes I do.  I love old ruins and I especially  love castles.  And where better to see castles but in Europe.  When I was on Lemnos Island the other week, as I mentioned in my earlier posts, there was this great ruin of the fortification in the town of Myrina.  Basically this castle is situated on the mountain called Castro.

Mount Castro - Look closely and you can see the walls and some of the buildings

I finally found some information about the history of the castle at http://en.lesvos-chamber.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=29

Walking up the old cobble stoned road to enter the castle grounds

 

The castle of Myrina is known as Paleocastro, which in Greek means “the old castle” in order to be distinguished from the one in Kotsinas. It was built in 1186 by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos Komninos, who used principally Venetian workmen. This is why often the castle is considered to be Venetian. It was constructed on older sections of walls, probably archaic ones. These older sections – excellent pieces of Cyclopean walls – are visible exactly opposite the main entrance, as well as in the interior.

Castle walls

Architectural remains of older buildings were used in many spots as buildings material. The castle we see today was constructed during the Ottman Empire, but if someone looks closer, he will see the sections built by Andronikos.
One can enter by the side of the harbour, which is the main entrance. An impressive paved road brings to a terrace, where the ruins of a mosque are preserved. The second entrance, from the side of Romeikos Gialos, called Mavrochani, is hardly visible from a distance.

Looking across the top of the mountain at ruins and old buildings

Along the length of the walls, strong bastions, some of them still in a quite good condition, reinforce it.  The many reconstructions of this castle no doubt indicate its importance for the defense of the island and generally the control of N.E Aegean Sea. During 1207-1214 the Great Duke of Limnos Filocalo Navigajiosi repaired it, in 1361 Georgios Sinadinos Astras, who was Governor of the island at that period, in 1470-1477 Francesco Pasqualingo…

Simon contemplating the view ... or not! :)

One of the last times the castle was used was in 1770 when Russian army under A. Orlof tried to conquer it in order to liberate the island from the Turks.  This was impossible, so the Russians raised off the siege and left the island without offering any kind of help to local population. Today the only inhabitants of the castle are about 200 deers.

Heading out the main entrance ... bye

So there you have it – pretty cool eh?