Medieval castles in Sardinia

Castelsardo Castle

The town of Castelsardo originates from the castle built in the 12th or 13th century by the Doria family of Genoa. The castle and the village which gradually formed round it where the seat of the Doria"s fiefdom in the island called Castel Doria or Castelgenovese, until it was conquered by the Aragonese in the 15th century (1448), and named Castillo Aragonés (Castel Aragonese). Later it became the seat of the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castelsardo, Italy

Pedres Castle

Located at 89 meters in height, the Pedres castle was built between 1296 and 1322 during the Pisan-Aragonese domination period during the ascent of the Visconti family. It is characterized by two squares, one upper and one lower, surrounded by polygonal walls, reachable through stairs built with large granite boulders. Its position allowed to control the territory up to the Gulf of Olbia. In 1339 the castle was entruste ...
Founded: 1296-1322 | Location: Olbia, Italy

Balaiana Castle

The Balaiana Castle is situated on Mount San Leonardo, at 299 metres above sea level, dominating the surrounding valley. You can walk through a staircase carved between granite rocks where the start path is located in the parking area, just 5 km from the village, on the road to Arzachena. The castle"s unique architecture, with features such as the special interlocking blocks of granite corners, dates back to the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Luogosanto, Italy

Goceano Castle

Castle of Burgos was built in 1134 by the Giudice of Logudoro Gonario II of Torres. Later it was in the hands of Genoese and Pisa armies and finally Aragonese left it to decay.
Founded: 1134 | Location: Burgos, Italy

Casteldoria Castle

Casteldoria Castle was built around the 12th century by the Genoese Doria family, and passed from the Genoese dominion to the Aragonese, then to the Arborea Giudicato and lastly to the Malaspina family. Only a few ruins remain of the fortress: parts of the walls, the remains of a chapel and a large cistern that was probably used to collect and store water. The famous tower, on the other hand, is well-preserved, and is an ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santa Maria Coghinas, Italy

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Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.