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 THE CASTLE OF ACROCORINTH

Castle on the steep rock of Acrokorinthos, which rises SW of Ancient Corinth. It was the fortified citadel of ancient and medieval Corinth.

The fortification is ensured by a system of three enclosures, separated from each other by walls, reinforced with towers and bastions. Three imposing pillars lead to the interior, where there are ruins of buildings of all times. Parts of the wall of classical antiquity can be seen. Reconstruction and additions of new fortifications of the Byzantine period, extensive fortifications during the Frankish and Venetian periods. Interventions mainly inside were carried out during the Turkish occupation.

The first fortification of Acrokorinthos dates to the end of the 7th-6th century BC. in the years of the tyranny of the Cells. Extensive sections of classical masonry date back to the 4th BC. ai. From 338 BC. passes into the possession of the Macedonians, who were expelled by Aratos and the city became a member of the Achaean Confederation.

After the destruction by L. Mommios (146 BC), the wall was rebuilt with the same ancient material by Julius Caesar (44 BC). The first Christian phase that can be seen in the repair of the classical wall belongs to the years of Justinian (6th century). Reconstruction and additions of new forts were carried out in the early Byzantine and mid-Byzantine period (7th-12th century).

In 1210 the castle is occupied by the Franks (Othoma de la Roche & Gol. Villeordouino). The lord of Nafplio Leon Sgouros commits suicide, on horseback from the walls. In the middle of the 13th c. extensive repairs of the walls are made. At the beginning of the 14th c. the castle is ceded to Prince John Gravina and later to N. Acciajuoli who repaired the old fortifications and added new ones. In 1395 the owner of the castle became Theodoros Paleologos, who for financial reasons sold it to the Ioannites, knights of Rhodes, who hold it until 1404, when Paleologos won it again. In 1458 Sultan Mohammed II overcame the resistance of the Byzantine commander Matthew Assan and occupied Acrocorinth, inside which four mosques were built.

In 1687 the Venetians occupied the Castle and carried out fortification works that were completed in 1711. In 1715 Acrocorinth was surrendered to the Turks after a siege. In 1823 Corinth was liberated and Abdullah-bey handed over the castle to the Greek troops.

The castle of Acrokorinthos is a typical example of fortress architecture, with construction details and decorative elements of all times of its history. The walls follow the natural line of the rock, are built in three defensive rows and are reinforced with bastion towers, ramparts perforated with loopholes and cannons. In front of gate A there was a moat with a wooden movable bridge. Cobbled cobbled path leads to the three consecutive gates. Gate A is arched and returns with a blind arch, where a Byzantine marble slab is preserved, the second is an impressive tower-like two-storey structure. Inside the stone staircase leads to basement vaulted rooms. The third gate is decorated with a blind horseshoe-shaped arch and is framed by two strong towers.

Inside the castle are preserved ruins of temples (St. Demetrius, three-aisled Venetian basilica, mosques with minarets) fountains, underground Byzantine tank with pillars and arches of plinths, source of Ano Peirinis with two underground vaulted spaces, temple of Afro4 BC . ai.) with subsequent successive constructions etc.

On the SW side of the castle stands the two-storey Frankish tower-observatory with a stepped base and a window-loophole. The lower floor was a reservoir.

At the northern foot of Acrokorinthos hill, are the ruins of the Agora of the ancient city of Corinth with monumental buildings (sanctuaries, fountains, conservatory, theater, shops, the paved Lechaiou street, the imposing archaic temple of Apollo and the Museum.

By the time of the Peloponnesian War, the hetaerae of Korinth fled to the temple in fear of the Monger, a thug and a member of the Cult of Kosmos who sought to control them. Around the same time, the Spartan misthios Kassandra visited the Akrokorinth in search of information about her mother’s whereabouts. Alkibiades told her to look for a hetaera by the name of Anthousa. Reaching the temple, Kassandra met with thugs threatening the worshippers, though she dispatched them quickly. She then talked to some of the worshippers about the location of the hetaerae, and information on the Monger. The worshippers pointed her in the direction of the Spring of Peirene.

Around this point in time, Alkibiades also visited the temple, and met Kassandra there, asking her to deliver a package to a man named Bardas at the nearby fort.

When Kassandra found the Spring, she met Anthousa. To Kassandra’s surprise her friend Phoibe was also there and told Anthousa of the misthios. Moving away from prying eyes and ears, Kassandra asked Anthousa for information on her mother, though Anthousa needed a favor done first. Her hetaerae needed help in dealing with the Monger once and for all. Kassandra talked to the hetaera Damalis who asked for help in finding out why one her regular clients had changed their demeanor. Kassandra agreed and headed to their residence in Korinth.

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