The castle at Pythio, one of the most important and best preserved examples of military architecture in Greece. It is set on a low mound at the north-eastern edge of the village Pythio, near river Evros, very close to the Turkish borders.
The castle was founded by John Kantakouzenos (later an emperor) around 1330-1340. It served as residense and stronghold during the civil war against the emperor John III Palaiologus. The usage of the castle by the Byzantines did not last long. It was one of the first forts captured by the Turks when they invaded in Europe. Later a village developed around the castle.
The place became known later, in the years of the Greek Revolution, because Patriarch Kyrilos VI who was executed by the the Turks in Adrianople in 1821, was buried here.
The central tower still stands: it was built at the heart of the fortress and dates back to 1331. Another, smaller, tower of the same shape but built at a later date, and the wall between the two towers, have also survived, forming the arched gateway of the main entrance which led to the interior courtyard, with a number of makeshift facilities for the guard or sentry. The larger tower appears to be identical to those in Paleapolis (in Samothrace island) and in Adrianoupolis, as well as those to be found in the area around Constantinople.
The second tower, which was built purely for defense purposes, had three floors and could be reached by stairways and points of access from either the courtyard of the main tower. On the northern boundary of the natural angle of elevation, which was severed by the laying of a railway line and a road, there may well have been a third tower. Part of the exterior fortification of the fortress can be seen in the modern settlement of Pythio today. Besides being a work with a military and defensive purpose, the fort was also built as a splendid monumental facility for the Emperor.References:
The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.
Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.
The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.