The Santa Margherita Ligure fortress is located at the foot of a hill on which the Villa Durazzo-Centurione now stands. It was built following a resolution by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa in 1550, and it was meant to defend against raids from the Barbary pirates. It was designed by Antonio de Càrabo, who was also responsible for the construction of the Castello di Rapallo.
Construction began in 1550 and it was completed by September of the same year. Various structural interventions and armament upgrades took place until the early 17th century. After pirate attacks ceased in the 18th century, the fort lost its military importance and only some repair and maintenance works were undertaken.
In the 19th century, there were plans to demolish the building twice: first to build a new municipal building after Rapallo was established as an independent municipality, and then to enlarge the adjacent Calata Vittorio Emanuele. It was restored after World War I and it was dedicated in the memory of the fallen in that war.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.