Villehardouin's Castle

Mystras, Greece

Mystras, the ‘wonder of the Morea’, developed down the hillside from the fortress built in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William II of Villehardouin, at the top of a 620 m high hill overlooking Sparta.

The Principality of Achaea was one of the three vassal states of the Latin Empire which replaced the Byzantine Empire after the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It became a vassal of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, along with the Duchy of Athens, until Thessalonica was captured by Theodore, the despot of Epirus, in 1224. After this, Achaea became for a while the dominant power in Greece.

The Franks surrendered the castle to the Byzantines in 1262, it was the centre of Byzantine power in southern Greece, first as the base of the military governor and from 1348 as the seat of the Despotate of Morea. Captured by the Turks in 1460, it was occupied thereafter by them and the Venetians.

Today impressive ruins of Villehardouin's Castle still remain.



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Unnamed Road, Mystras, Greece
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Founded: 1249
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Magdalena Reszke (2 years ago)
Very nice walk up the hill (not a short one). Amazing how big it was. A must see. Beautiful views. 12€ entrance.
Remy (2 years ago)
Insanely large place with gorgeous views, it is a bit maze like though, and you better wear good shoes and are in good shape.
Greg Charalambopoulos (3 years ago)
It is a great place, which needs lots of time to cover it all. Visitors mat start either from entrance A, at the bottom, or B, on top. Entrance fee of €6-12, depending on the season, where kids are free. From entrance B onwards should also visit the castle, which is further 10' walk. Of great historical value, definitely a must.
maria teresa (3 years ago)
Amazing walking. If you want to look for bysantine the best one!
Ronald Luiten (Rumsmurf) (3 years ago)
Site was really a revelation. Beautiful place with lots of nice views and visits. Best wear good shoes.
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