According to some historical sources, Dragonara Castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. In the second half of the 14th century, the castle, to ensure the safety of the fishing village of Camogli, was repeatedly reinforced, receiving the necessary weapons from the Republic of Genoa.
In the 14th century, the Dragonara Castle was attacked several times. Well documented are the assaults made by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, and the one made by Nicolò Fieschi in 1366.
Between 1428 and 1430, the castle was considerably enlarged and reinforced, especially the adjacent watchtower. In 1438, the Duchy of Milan besieged the castle, destroying its walls. A few years later, the inhabitants of the seaside village built new walls around the castle.
In 1448, due to a conflict between Camogli, Recco and Genoa, the Republic demanded the immediate destruction of the castle. The castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt again only six years later and given to the Doge of Genoa.
In the 16th century, the castle was abandoned as a defensive post, and it was used as a prison.
In the seventies of the 20th century, after decades of neglect, the building was recovered and converted into an aquarium, hosting specimens of the marine fauna typical of these waters. At the closing of the aquarium, the fish were transferred to the Genoa aquarium.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.