Castle of Geraki

Evrotas, Greece

In 1209, the French baron, Guy de Nivelet, built on the rock of the ancient Mycenaean city of Geronthi, the castle of the village Geraki, in order to be able to control his protectorate. In 1262, it was passed, along with the other castles of Mani, to the Byzantines. During the Byzantine Period, the area experienced a dramatic growth and it was decorated with beautiful churches. Geraki in the following years was inhabited by Turks and Venetians. Today, the castle is an open-air byzantine museum with ten byzantine churches that date back to the years between the 12th and the 15th century. The most noteworthy of those are: Saint Sozon and Saint Athanasius, the cross-roofed church of Saint Paraskevi, the monocline church of Zoodochos Pigi and the cross-roofed church of Taxiarchs, in the second peak of the Castle. Nowadays, Geraki, filled with legends and traditions reminds of the mystical atmosphere of the medieval times, before the visitor’s eyes unfolds narrow alleys, stone manors, ruins of churches and the domed gates.

The Castle of Geraki constitutes an open-air Byzantine museum, as it consists of ten scattered stone churches that date back to the 11th until the 15th century. On the highest level of the hill stands the Temple of Agios Georgios (11th century), with noticeable Frankish characteristics. Moreover, the shrine depicts the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus on the left hand, and the marble shrine of Agios Georgios with the heraldic and chivalric symbols that are special and unique. One of the most remarkable monuments is the cross-roofed church of Agia Paraskevi with 13th century murals in three levels, and the church of Agios Sozon. The most beautiful murals, with a vivid white color, can be found in the church of Zoodochos Pigi. Agia Theofania, the church of Prophet Elias and the one of Agios Dimitrios should also not be forgotten. At the second level of the hill, the visitor can see the church of Taxiarchs with the rare mural depicting the fall of Jericho by Jesus of Navi. Near the end of the settlement stands impressively Agios Athanasios, while 20 more churches are scattered outside the castle area.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Evrotas, Greece
See all sites in Evrotas

Details

Founded: 1209
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rui Santo (9 months ago)
The castle as some interesting church's and an amazing view. Also the lady working there is very nice and will guide you through the castle.
Philip Rieseberg (10 months ago)
The site is supposed to be impressive, the overview is amazing. Unfortunately it is poorly run and not managed. We tried to go there for 3 times over the years, despite being declared open in advance it NEVER was. Sometimes there are construction works sometimes the entrance staff is on spontaneous holidays. If you are still willing to test your luck and are not successful in visiting the castle take a drink on the nearby beautiful town square which is the only reason why this place deserves more than one star.
Laura Porro (15 months ago)
A spectacular large site spread over a mountain. The remains have an interesting history and are decently preserved. The views of the valley from the top are breathtaking. At the entrance there is a welcome place with toilets. The paths to the castle are easy and paved with large rocks. The paths to the outside churches are rocky and challenging. For the latter, proper boots would be better than trainers. The walk to the outside churches takes about 15/20 minutes. The walk to the castle takes about 10. Free entrance!
Phil Coles (2 years ago)
Hidden ancient gem with modern visitor centre and friendly staff
Georgios Lytsioulis (4 years ago)
An interesting archeological castle, it needs some additional work but still recommended to visit. The stuff are very positive and eager to answer any question.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.