Myrina Castle

Lemnos, Greece

There has been an ancient acropolis of Myrina since the 13th century BC. The medieval castle was first built by the Byzantines in the beginning of the 12th century. A lot of materials came from the acropolis which disappeared.

Following the dissolution and division of the Byzantine Empire after the Fourth Crusade, Lemnos was apportioned to the Latin Empire, and given, in 1207, as a fief to the Venetian Navigajoso family.

During the last centuries of Byzantium, Lemnos played an important role in the recurring civil wars of the 14th century. Following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the island was added to the domain of the Gattilusi of Lesbos, but following the fall of the Despotate of the Morea, Sultan Mehmed II conquered the islands of the North Aegean too and gave Lemnos as a domain to the brother of Thomas, last legitimate Despot of Mystras (and his ally) Demetrios Palaiologos, in 1462.

The island then fell under Venetian control. In 1476, the Venetians and the island's Greek inhabitants successfully defended Kotsinos against a Turkish siege, but the island was ceded to the Ottomans by the 1479 Treaty of Constantinople which ended the First Ottoman-Venetian War.

During the Sixth Ottoman-Venetian War, after a major victory in Dardanelles over the Ottoman fleet, the Venetians captured the island again on 20 August 1656, but the Turks recovered it barely a year later, on 31 August 1657, after a siege of 36 days. In 1770, Kastro was besieged by Count Orlov during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, during the so-called Orlov events. The walls of the castle were severely damaged in that siege.

In 1780, Hasan Gatzi pasha repaired the castle and equipped it with 150 canons.

On 8 October 1912, during the First Balkan War, Lemnos became part of Greece. The Greek navy under Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis took it over without any casualties from the occupying Turkish Ottoman garrison, who were returned to Anatolia. Lemnos became a forward anchorage for the Greek fleet, which enabled it to keep watch on the Dardanelles and prevent a foray by the Ottoman Navy into the Aegean. It was a crucial factor in the victory in the Balkan Wars.

Lemnos was the main military base of the allied forces in the ill-starred Gallipoli campaign against the Turks in WW I.



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Kida 26, Myrina, Lemnos, Greece
See all sites in Lemnos


Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Spencer (13 months ago)
It's absolutely free to explore this extensive fortress. Layered with history, it's been in the hands of many empires, from the Byzantines, to the Ottomans, and Germany during the second world war. Incidentally, the place is honeycombed with tunnels, some of which you can still access and walk around in. And the views are amazing. Just keep in mind, it can get extremely windy.
miran bradeško (15 months ago)
Beautiful place..deserve too visit
dimitris papadopoulos (15 months ago)
Be prepared for many steps in a high altitude castle. The view pays off though, amazing panoramas, architecture and if you are lucky, you may see some deers from 50 meters away!
dimitris lelekis (15 months ago)
Be prepared for many steps in a high altitude castle. The view pays off though, amazing panoramas, architecture and if you are lucky, you may see some deers from 50 meters away!
Ssuko (15 months ago)
Easy climb. Took 25-30 mins with 6 y old kid.
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