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Castle of Nafpaktos

Last Update: Dec 2005
Castles & Fortresses, Cultural heritage NAFPAKTOS , ETOLOAKARNANIA , GREECE

Castle of Nafpaktos - Photo Gallery

Castle of Nafpaktos - Overview

   Several architectural phases are distinguished in the fortification walls of Naupactos, dated from the Greek antiquity until the Turkish occupation. Two walls run down the slope of the hill, starting from the top, one towards the east, and the other towards the west. Before they reach the coast, they form an angle and block the entrance to the harbour. Four transverse walls join these two, thus forming five sections. The enceinte is reinforced with rectangular and circular towers.
  The castle is built on the site of the ancient acropolis. Naupactos was destroyed by an earhtquake in A.D.553 and from the 8th century on, it became the capital of the fifth Theme of Byzantium. It remained under Greek control until 1204, when it was given away to the Venetians. In 1210, Michael Angelos Comnenos included the city in the properties of the Despotate of Epiros. In 1294 it came under the control of Philip d'Anjou and in 1360 was conquered by the Albanian leader, Ghino Buo Spata. From 1407 until 1444 it was occupied by the Venetians and then by the Turks, who kept it until 1687. From 1687 until 1699 it was again under the Venetian control and remained under Turkish domination until 1829.
  The site has not been systematically excavated. The trenches opened in 1980-81 to the north of the church of Prophetes Elias brought to light the remains of a Byzantine bath and a Byzantine church.
  Cleaning and consolidation work is conducted every year by the 8th Ephorate of Byzantine and Classical Antiquities. The crumbling sections of masonry are repaired and the foundations in all parts of the wall that present stability problems are restored.

As well, significant is the Clock Bell-tower:
   A square building made of dressed stone terminating in a cornice likewise of stone. On two sides hang the two round faces of the clock. Above it are four little pillars of brickwork, connected by semi-circular apses. It was built at the beginning of this century on the site of the Byzantine fortress (castro) of Naupaktos. The site is prominent and the bell-tower is a fine example of a particular category of architecture. In 1991 the clock was repaired.


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