New Castle of Pylos

Pylos, Greece

The fortress of New Navarino is an Ottoman fortification near Pylos. It is one of two castles guarding the strategic Bay of Pylos, on which it sits; New Navarino is located in the southern entrance of the bay, while the northern entrance is guarded by the 13th-century Old Navarino castle, built by the Crusaders of the Principality of Achaea.

The fortress was built by the Ottoman Kapudan Pasha, Uluç Ali Reis, in 1572/3, shortly after the Battle of Lepanto. In 1645, Navarino was used as a base for the Ottoman invasion of Crete during the opening stages of the Cretan War. During the Morean War, the Republic of Venice under Francesco Morosini captured both fortresses at Navarino in 1686, defended by Mustafa Pasha and Djafer Pasha respectively. Along with the rest of the Peloponnese, the fortresses remained in Venetian hands until 1715, when the Ottomans recaptured the entire peninsula.

The fortress was captured by the Russians on 10 April 1770, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 and the Russian-inspired Orlov revolt in Greece, after a six-day siege, and the Ottoman garrison was allowed to evacuate to Crete. Russian control was brief: already on 1 June 1770, the Russian fleet abandoned Navarino, which they destroyed in part, to the Ottomans.

After the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in March 1821, the Greeks besieged the fortress for several months. The garrison surrendered in the first week of August 1821 after being assured of safe passage, but were all massacred. The fortress remained in Greek hands until captured by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt in 1825. The Ottoman-Egyptian garrison remained in the fortress until it was handed over to the French troops of the Morea expedition under General Nicolas Joseph Maison in october 1828.

In 1830, the modern town of Pylos was founded outside the fortress walls. The fort was abandoned and its citadel used for a long time as a prison facility.


In contrast to the medieval Old Navarino castle, New Navarino incorporates the lessons of gunpowder warfare, and follows the trace italienne style with thick and sloped walls, and strengthened with bastions. The two most important bastions face towards the sea and cover the harbour. The fortress also featured a citadel, which was protected by an additional dry moat, six pentagonal bastions, and almost 60 guns.



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Pylos, Greece
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Founded: 1572
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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User Reviews

Daniel Ziemer (Instagram: daniel_ziemer) (7 months ago)
Greece, a splendid example of sixteenthcentury military architecture. It was built by the Turks in 1573, two years after their defeat by the Christian allies at Lepanto, the last great sea-battle in which oared ships were involved. To build Niokastro the Turks brought in European engineers and architects. They complied with all the specifications required for the castle to be defended from landward, and still more from seaward and for it to have withinits circuit a group of dwellings and a reinforced citadel. The castle’s walls were enlarged to eight and a half metres in height and three metres in breadth. This castle was a reinforcement for the south-west top of the Ottoman Empire, and the Turks thereby obtained safe harbourage against a seaborne foe.
C. Pine (7 months ago)
Beautiful panoramic views and within walking distance from the city square. This fortress/]palace was built centuries ago. Exhibits of ancient settlements discovered underwater made for an interesting tour.
Johan (8 months ago)
A typical Venetian castle, but offering fantastic views from a green park, including three small but great musea. The archeological museum gives a concise view on the Mycenaean culture in the region.
Haralambi Kalev (9 months ago)
Close to the city center, where you can take a drink and go for a walk, well preserved walls, which you can walk all around the castle.
Irene Panos-Evert (2 years ago)
We went early in the morning to avoid the heat. We spent a little over an hour and a half here exploring the ruins and museums. Very nice views with just a little effort climbing stairs/walking around the castro. Great value for just 6 euros an adult. Vending machine available for cold drinks. They are closed Tuesdays.
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