Patras Castle

Patras, Greece

The Patras Castle was built around the mid-6th century AD above the ruins of the ancient acropolis of the city of Patras, on a low outlying hill of the Panachaiko Mountain. The castle consists of a triangular outer wall, strengthened by towers and gates and further protected originally by a moat, and an inner compound on the northeastern corner, also protected by a moat.

The first castle on the spot was built by Byzantine emperor Justinian I after the catastrophic earthquake of 551, re-using building material from pre-Christian structures. 

The fort remained in constant use thereafter, even until the Second World War. In the Byzantine period, it was besieged by Slavs, Saracens, Normans and many others, but it never fell. In particular, the successful repulsion of a great siege of 805 AD by the Arabs and the Slavs was attributed to the city's patron saint, St Andrew.

In 1205, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, it was taken over by the Franks, who strengthened it further, opening a moat on all three sides. In 1278, the Principality of Achaea pawned it to the local Latin (Catholic) Archbishop, while the Pope leased it to the Venetians for five years in 1408. The Latin Archbishop remained in possession of the castle until 1430, when it was taken by the Despot of the Morea and future last Byzantine emperor, Constantine Palaiologos, who made extensive repairs to its walls. The castle fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1458, and remained one of their main seats of power in the Peloponnese throughout the Tourkokratia. The Venetians took the castle in 1687 during the Morean War, and kept it until the Morea was retaken by the Turks in 1715, who called it Balya Badra.

Following independence, the castle remained in use by the Greek Army until after World War II. In 1973, the castle was turned over to the 6th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities. It is used nowadays for cultural events, especially during summer, and features a theatre with a capacity of 640 seats.



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Frouriou 58, Patras, Greece
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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

L Kai (5 months ago)
This castle is nice with well maintained grounds and incredible views of Patras. The admission is free!! It was definitely worth the walk.
Jeda Phuttharak (8 months ago)
Truly my favorite in Patras :) It was walkable from my place when I stayed in Patras for a month (May 2023). I came here every weekend haha. The view from the castle is breathtaking! I love when the sky is very clear and blue because it contrasts with the castle.
Mihai Alexandrescu (9 months ago)
Lovely historical castel of Patras. The place which defend now long time a go the Patras civilization that we see today. Good turning back travel to leave on the Castle Age. Furthermore we have the best view on the whole city area. Worth to see it.
Catalin Gaman (11 months ago)
A place full of history, but still in need of improvement. Very friendly and helpful staff. The view and the energy of the place remind us of the potential that humanity still has. Don't hesitate to visit it.
Vladimir Shnayderman (12 months ago)
The castle is located at the top of the hill and gives you a perfect view of the city. The entrance is free and there is a small very small parking lot at the front gate. I suggest to do it early in the morning since there is not much shade. It's worth visiting while you visiting Patras
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