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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume IV: The art and architecture of the Crusader states

VI: The arts in Frankish Greece and Rhodes,   pp. 208-250 PDF (15.7 MB)

Page 217

century. The keep, which forms the southwest redoubt and is built on a point
where the natural defenses are at their strongest, follows the plan of Bodonitsa,
two courts with the tower on the dividing wall. About a mile away, on the
conical hill opposite Acrocorinth's main western defenses, can still be seen
the fortress of Mont Escové, now called Pendeskouphi, which was built
by Othon de la Roche as a base from which to conduct his siege of the citadel
in 1 205, and which is one of the earliest examples of the medieval keep
and outer wall that remain in Greece.10 From Corinth the routes branch south
to Argos or east over the rough country between the coast and Mt. Cyllene
and Mt. Chelmos into Achaea. On these wild defiles stood the castle of Kalavryta,
given to Othon of Tournai in 1208. Now completely ruined, it can still be
seen to have had an outer and inner enceinte, the former built amongst the
rocks of the hillside, with a keep at the highest point. 
 Patras, the main town of Achaea, was an ancient fortified site and has consistently
remained a port of some importance. William l'Aleman built a castle here
in the early part of the conquest, and the fortified enclosure with rectangular
projecting towers, dominating the plateau above the city, may preserve some
of his work, but for the greater part the ruins of Patras are Byzantine or
Turkish. South of Patras was the castle of Chalandritsa belonging to the
Dramelay family, but even its site is today uncertain. 
 It was in the Morea that the great strength of the conquest centered. The
northern corner of Elis, the base of the Villehardouin power, was one of
the wealthiest and most enduring parts of the Frankish occupation. Andravida,
with its four churches, was the capital; Glarentsa, the port, with a circuit
of walls round the town, and a castle, now only a confused mass of rubble;
to the south Beauvoir (or Pontikokastron, above Katakolon) controlled the
other arm of the shallow bay, and now also lies in ruins, a mass of foundations
with the base of a tower still visible. Inland from Glarentsa the castle
of Clermont (Khloumoutsi or Castel Tornese) is better preserved. Situated
on a hill commanding a wide view of both sea and land, with a comparatively
gentle slope to the west whereas the southern and eastern sides are steep
and rocky, it consists of a hexagonal strong point on the summit with an
outer enceinte 
 10. R. Carpenter and A. Bon, The Defences of Acro-Corinth and the Lower
Town; vol. III, pt. 2 of Corinth: Results of Excavations Conducted by the
American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Cambridge, Mass., 1936);
Andrews, Castles of the Morea, pp. 134-145, and for Patras, pp. 116-129.

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