Chlemoutsi Castle History
Chlemoutsi Castle is located in Elis, Greece.
Designed to dominate a vast province of Frankish Greece, Chlemoutsi was built between 1220 and
1223 by Geoffrey II de Villehardouin.
It was the first building on the site in historic times. Never
besieged, Chlemoutsi became less important under Venetian and Turkish rule, and it was
abandoned in the early 19th century and fell into ruin.
Chlemoutsi is one of the best preserved Frankish castles in Greece.
Built of limestone on the summit of a low hill, it is in two parts, the main castle being
flanked on its vulnerable west side by an outer bailey with walls and posterns.
The Chlemoutsi Castle is
an irregular hexagon round an open courtyard. It was built in two phases but not substantially
altered. There is no donjon.
The hexagon comprises a series of large, two-storey rooms with pointed
barrel vaults and windows with segmental arches. The lower storey was subdivided with a double
range of vaulting; the vaults of the upper storey had transverse arches on engaged shafts.
The entrance on the north side originally had two square towers and a
passage containing at least two doors. The apsed room over the entrance was probably the
On the exterior there was a crenellated walkway, but only two, semicircular,
towers; the finely mortared roofs were designed to channel rain-water into several cisterns,
and the interior was fitted up for comfortable living, with a kitchen and with chimneys in
The plan of Chlemoutsi emphasizes connections between western Europe and the
Crusader kingdoms, paralleling contemporary works of similar design at Krak des Chevaliers in
Syria or the Boulogne Castle in France.
Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:
View Larger Map