Pythion Castle

Pythion, Greece

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.



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Pythion, Greece
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Founded: 1330-1340
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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User Reviews

Petr Kalager (9 months ago)
Rare tower ? builded by Katakouzinos, John the 6th, the Byzantine Emperor, between 1330-40ad. In the beginning it was his house and then his main castle ? from which he could watch every move in the Andrianoupolis countryside , where today is Edirne area and fight against the legal successor of the Byzantine, John the 5th Palaiologos. In front , you can see the train line in which Orient Express used to until through and arrive to the Pithios Station. The whole building consists of four same long 15 meters sides and three flours.
giorgos zaxarias (13 months ago)
The castle is very beautiful, unfortunately on Sunday when we visited it the entrance was locked even though during the opening hours it said that it would be open !!!!
george maratos (13 months ago)
We went from Patras on vacation to Evros two friendly couples. We went to Pythio 26 12 2021. EVERYTHING IS CLOSED. Pity. Not to mention the railway station of PYTHIOS. LEFT IN ITS LUCK. Pity...
dias n (2 years ago)
It is unacceptable to be Sunday and to be locked ... I went with my son to see it and the fence was locked, although it is supposed that the visiting hours were until 16:00, while we went at 12 ... Pity...
Nopi Panagiotidou (2 years ago)
The most beautiful Byzantine castle
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