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Chlemoutsi Castle

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 chapel.

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 several rooms.

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.

Chlemoutsi Castle Map

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Chlemoutsi Photos

Chlemoutsi Castle
Chlemoutsi Castle

Chlemoutsi Castle on Pelopponese Coast
Chlemoutsi Castle on Pelopponese Coast

Chlemoutsi Castle Walls
Chlemoutsi Castle Walls

Chlemoutsi Castle Walls
Chlemoutsi Castle courtyard

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