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Angelokastro, Paleokastritsa

4.7
#7 of 33 in Historic Sites in Corfu
Castle · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Angelokastro (Greek: Αγγελόκαστρο (Castle of Angelos or Castle of the Angel); Venetian: Castel Sant'Angelo) is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu, Greece. 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 1,000 ft (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, along with Kassiopi Castle, Gardiki Castle and the two Venetian Fortresses of Corfu City, the Citadel and the New Fort.
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Angelokastro reviews

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495 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • There is a small car park, but it was possible to park on the road nearby. It is about a 15 min climb up the path to the castle, but was nowhere near as bad as it looked from the car park. The view... 
    There is a small car park, but it was possible to park on the road nearby. It is about a 15 min climb up the path to the castle, but was nowhere near as bad as it looked from the car park. The view...  more »
  • Amazing place deffinately worth a visit Steps to the top are not steap and the ruins are quite easy to get to. the views are amazing. 
    Amazing place deffinately worth a visit Steps to the top are not steap and the ruins are quite easy to get to. the views are amazing.  more »
Google
  • A must visit fortress mainly because of the stunning views from its superb location. Not a lot is left from the interior, so don't forget to go down the stairs to see the underground chapel as this is about the only interior location with great but faded frescoes (apart from the upper chapel that is over restored and quite dull). It takes some climbing on the stairs to enter and some sure-footed ness at the cliff side that is not guarded with railing.
  • Fascinating place to visit with beautiful views out to sea high above the coast and surrounding area. Views of the roads twisting down the steep hills to the village below. The old castle gives a strong and ancient presence on the hill and was a wonderful defence for the surrounding area at one time. Below, and in the grounds of the castle is a rock cave dug from the surrounding stone an astonishing feat. Above and near the front to castle walls is a tiny chapel built from the stone surrounds. Sweet and simple.

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