The village of Castro de Beiro, in the rural perimeter of Ourense, receives its name from an old pre-Roman settlement (castrum) on a promontory that would allow its inhabitants to have an advantageous position against attacks. On this promontory is the parish church of St. Andrew in Beiro, from which magnificent views of the surroundings can be seen. The temple falls within the so-called “classic” type of Galician Romanesque, from the early 13th century.
The gate of the main façade consists of a slightly pointed semicircular arch with checkered decoration. A tree and five birds are represented on a capital, while its opposite contains vegetal decoration. On the tympanum, despite not being complete, a part of a cross is still distinguished. On the gate the eaves are adorned with balls and supported by several corbels with vegetal motifs.
Both the southern and northern façades are arranged in a similar way: a gate with a pointed arch and a smooth tympanum. The cornice is supported by corbels adorned with geometric shapes.
The apse is centered by the semicircular window in whose capitals vegetal motifs are represented. Cornices are supported with geometric corbels and in the metopes there are variations of 4-petal flowers.References:
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.