Die Gipfel

The Castle of Platamonas

Some history

The place occupied today by the "Kastro" was used by the city Heraklion (Iraklion) in pre-Christian times. Not only on the top of the castle hill, but also at the foot of the hill, there were settlements which are associated with this ancient city. Around 360 BC Skylax of Karyandar described the place as "the first Macedonian city behind the river Pinios". The Roman historian Titius Livius has a more accurate position determination. "Between Dion and Tembi lying on a rock," he described the place, which is identical with the position of the Kastro. But even earlier, since the Bronze Age, a settlement of the castle hill has been demonstrated. In 430 BC, the Athenians conquered the place, to control the Thermaeic Gulf from here to their possessions on the Halkidiki. At the same time, the country's most popular north-south link ran along the hill. At the beginning of the 3rd century BC, the city and the now established port were destroyed. By what is not exactly known. A short time later the region was conquered by the Romans. Of course the outstanding strategic importance of the hill was not hidden from them. Probably from this time comes the Acropolis, the upper town, which was surrounded by a low wall. From the time around Christ's birth to the middle Byzantine epoch, in the 10th century AD, little evidence was found of the events at this time. The name Platamon for the close vicinity of the hill emerges for the first time. Homer's name for a rock surrounded by the sea. In the 12th century, the city of Platamon is described and the castle as such is mentioned for the first time.

In 1204, Franconian knights founded the kingdom of Thessaloniki in the course of their conquest of Constantinople, which also included the castle of Platamon. They finally dismantled the bulwark, but had to clear it again in 1217 to make way for the Comnenes, a Byzantine aristocracy. The further history of the place remains changeable and the castle always finds new masters. At the end of the 14th century the Turks came and were replaced by the Venetians in 1425. They remained until the 400 years of the Turks in Greece began. In World War II New Zealand troop,s who had moved into this area, were bombed.

The Kastro

A footpath leads from the parking lot to the gate of the castle. It is open on all weekdays between 08:30 and 15:00. If you walk up in the spring, you go through a sea of ​​thousands of anemones, which adorn the entire south side of the hill.

What we know today as a castle of Platamonas, once encompassed the city of Platamon and the actual castle. The extensive area is designed as a polygon and had worm towers at irregular intervals. At the foot of the hill, to the left and right of the land, which extends into the sea, are two smaller towers. Only the main tower, which is surrounded by its own wall, is located in the western part of the complex. Unfortunately he is not to be visited. Here, in fighting, was the last retreat for the inhabitants. For strategic reasons, there is only a relatively narrow gate that can be defended well. Many ground plans of churches, houses, a smithy, a pottery and other buildings testify to the lively life of the past. Partially well-preserved guns served in the later Middle Ages the defense of pirates and the general defense of the fortress. In order to ensure the water supply during a longer lasting siege, there are several cisterns on the site.

The walls have a height of 7.50 to 9.50 m and have a thickness between 1.20 and 2 meters. In the course of the centuries, they have been continually increased, and the individual sections of the building can still be seen today. Except for the destroyed upper part of the defense route to the east, they are well preserved. The wall is accessible in several places for visitors and invites you to enjoy the fantastic view of the surroundings.

On clear days the view goes from Thessaloniki to the north reaches over the Halkidiki with Mount Athos, up to the Pilion mountain in the south. The view is rounded off by the constantly snow-capped peaks of Mount Olympus in the west.
Originally, the territory of the castle was surrounded by another lower wall. It formed the first line of defense in an emergency. The only intact building is the small church Agia Paraskevi. It is, as it is for a Greek Orthodox church, richly adorned and offers space for about 30 believers.
Paradoxically, the construction of a railway tunnel a few years ago through the castle of the plant from the viewpoint of archaeologists has used more than harmed. During the construction, further ground plans of buildings were discovered which are assigned to the historical city of Heraklion.
Today, the Acropolis serves as one of the venues for the Olympos Festival. In the open air, with good acoustics, theatrical performances and concerts take place here.


    Greek Ministry for Culture: http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/gh352.jsp?obj_id=7961
    Book: Loverdou-Tsigarida, Katia (2007), The Castle at Platamonas,
    Greek Ministry for Culture, ISBN 978-960-214-605-7

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