Castles in Greece in danger

castles, castle, Greece, MethoniWhen people think of castles, they usually think of those in Western Europe such as Spain, France, and Germany. Eastern Europe, however, has just as many if not more.

Greece has some of the best, like the castle of Methoni photographed here by Wolfram Sinapius. Having been fought over by the Byzantines, Venetians, Crusaders, Ottomans, and many others, it seems every island and hilltop has its own medieval fortification. Many changed hands several times. The Methoni castle dates to ancient times and in the Middle Ages the Venetians built atop the old foundations. The conquering Byzantines and Ottomans added their own elements.

Now those castles are in danger, according to an article in the Greek Reporter. Time and neglect are taking their toll. Some are on remote clifftops or islands and hard to get to, so while they are at least spared the vandalism so common in other historical sites, they can’t be properly maintained or studied. Now Greek archaeologists are trying to raise awareness of Greek castles and hopefully get them better cared for. This will be a difficult task with the country’s financial crisis.

One castle at least will be preserved. It was recently announced that the Pylos Fortress will become home to the city archaeological museum. This will bring in more visitors and help raise funds to maintain the site.