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)
Ch. VI FRANKISH GREECE 219 Frankish sites are numerous in this neighborhood: Gastouni or Gastogne; Santameri, a corruption of St. Omer; Vlesiri or La Glisière; but it is not till Arcadia, the classical Cyparissia, that there are any considerable medieval remains. Here the eastern point of the castle hill is defended by a round tower built of small, rectangular stones, with a masonry batter sloping down to a smooth rock face. This seems to be Frankish work, following the capture of the castle by William of Champlitte in 1205, and is in marked contrast to the larger blocks of the earlier Byzantine square tower at the highest point of the hill. Inland in the hills the site of Siderokastron is marked only by fragmentary and much overgrown masonry remains, but farther south on the route from Arcadia to Kalamata, the castle of Androusa, the Druges of the Chronicle of the Morea, is well preserved. It is a large single enceinte, fortified with semicircular, polygonal, and rectangular towers, the largest of which, on the east, possibly served as a keep. On part of the standing walls, the platform walk is carried on an arcading of pointed arches, whose voussoirs are decorated with a brick pattern. Though the masonry is of small uneven stones, there are signs of unusual skill and workmanship in the whole building. The nearby church of St. George, of typical Byzantine bonded masonry, embodies a blocked-up Gothic door, whose moldings are of good quality. Little is known of this castle; its competence, in this remote southwest corner of the Morea, redeems some of the ruder works which elsewhere recall the medieval settlement (pl. LXIIIc). A short distance to the east of Androusa the fallen walls of Pidhima look out over the Messenian plain; "Le petet mayne," the castle of Messenia, is now an unknown site. Modon and Coron on either side of the Messenian peninsula are purely Venetian towns. The wild and rocky Mama, the other arm of the bay of Messenia, was guarded by Kalamata. It was here that William (II) of Villehardouin was born in 1218, and here that he died in 1278; the castle, much of which stands, may be Frankish work. When captured in 1205, the citadel was found to have been converted into a monastery, and it still includes a small Byzantine chapel. 12 Its outer court was repaired by the Venetians, who occupied Kalamata in the seventeenth century, and the third enceinte is clearly their work of that period. 12. A. Bon, "Eglises byzantines de Kalamata," Actes du VIe Congrès international d'études byzantines, Paris, 27 juillet-2 aoât, 1948, II (1951), 35-50, and "La Prise de Kalamata par les Francs en 1205," Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire offerts a Charles Picard a l'occasion de son 65e anniversaire, I [ = Revue archéologique, ser. 6, XXIX-XXX (1949)1, 98-104. William succeeded his brother Geoffrey II in 1246.
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