Kelefa Castle

East Mani, Greece

The castle of Kelefa is located about halfway between the current village of Kelefa and the Bay of Oitylo. It was built in 1679 by the Ottomans, in order to contain the Inner Mani region. Some years later, in 1685, the Maniots besieged the castle. They sent messengers to Venice so the Doge could send a fleet to help them capture the castle. The Venetians were currently at war with the Ottomans so they agreed and sent a fleet under Francesco Morosini. As soon the fleets bearing the symbol of St Mark the Ottoman garrison surrendered. A year later the Ottomans returned with a strong force and laid siege to the castle but were driven back. Along with the rest of the Peloponnese, the castle remained in Venetian hands for about 30 years, but in 1715 the Ottomans recaptured the Peloponnese. Around 1780 the Ottomans abandoned the castle, which became derelict.



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Kelefa, East Mani, Greece
See all sites in East Mani


Founded: 1679
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mary Kikikis (11 months ago)
Dramatically located ruined castle, providing marvelous view. Open to explore, but full of thick prickly plants making access difficult in summer. Kastro Kelefas was built in 1679 by the Ottomans, captured in 1685 by the Maniots, with assistance from Venice. The castle remained in Venetian hands for about 30 years; in 1715 the Ottomans recaptured the Peloponnese. Around 1780 the Ottomans abandoned the castle, which became derelict.
Zoltan Toth (2 years ago)
Walked up the road from the beach. We saw a turtle on our way. The fort is not well maintained, so watch your steps. Good view from the bastion.
Olga Gillavgud (5 years ago)
It is not suitable to visit with kids, but views are spectacular from the tower in middle. If you want to explore you need to wear trousers and trainers as a lot of prickly plants.
Ubik 360 (6 years ago)
Perched high above the bay of Neo Itilo (Νέο Οίτυλο), Kelefas Castle (Κάστρο Κελεφάς) is an Ottoman castle built in the 1670s to control the Inner Mani region of the Peloponnese. The castle is best approached from the south from Stereos (Σταυρός) as this gentle approach is contrasted with the steep ascent/descent from/to Neo Itilo. The castle itself is in poor repair (after being abandoned about 100 years after it was built). You can still see the scale of the castle - although it is in disrepair and there are plenty of loose parts of it lying around amongst the flora. Is it worth going to? In my opinion yes; but don't make a big detour.
Arnold de Jager (7 years ago)
Unspoiled ruin with amazing views (and sunset) from the remaining towers. Beware of the thorny bushes and garden gnomes!
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