CASTLE OF MYTILENE
Built on the top of a pine-tree hill, near the port of Mytilene, it is one of the largest castles of the Mediterranean.
Its construction began during the Byzantine era (483-565 AD), using ancient building material, and was completed in the years of the Genoese Genoese Hegemony (1355-1462). In 1373 a polypyrgos was built – with ramparts and trenches – by the first Gattelusen ruler Francis I ‘.
In 1384 a devastating earthquake destroys the castle and then rebuilds. It is then reinforced by defensive works (new battlements, dykes, cannons) until it was occupied by the Turks in 1462.
Even today, the palace of the Gattelouzes, a square stone tower with a built-in slab, is preserved with distinctly embossed figures, depicting the Gattelouz coat of arms and the representations of the Roman duels.
There is also a plaque on the outer gate with the coat of arms of Palaiologos. During the Ottoman domination, additional work was done and a Turkish Teaching School was built, a building that has survived to this day.
Inside the castle, there are underground arcades, which served as a shelter for the city’s women and children in times of war, as well as a 4,000-kilometer water reservoir. Today it is used as a venue for cultural events during the summer months.