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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 214

Bodonitsa was the medieval guardian of Thermopylae, but now the security
of the hills was preferred to the coastal plain and the castle is built on
a spur of Mt. Callidromon, guarding the ancient track leading inland from
the coast. With a wide view over the Gulf of Lamia and beyond to the hills
of Euboea, it has been given by nature and history as romantic a site as
could be wished for (fig. 13; pl. 
13. Plan of Bodonitsa 
LXIb). Granted by Boniface of Montferrat to Guy Pallavicini, the fief remained
in the hands of that family till in 1335 the Vene tians established a new
line, the Zorzis, who held it till it was taken by the Turks in 1410. 7 The
castle has survived its Turkish conquest and escaped the common fate of constant
rebuilding, and even the punitive burning of the village below in the second
world war. Based on Hellenic substructures and reusing many ancient stones,
it is still today an example of Frankish work, of which it must always have
been one of the most impressive monuments. The plan is that of a central
keep and two curtains: an outer curtain wall, running for the most part half
way up the slope of the hill, but coming close to the main enceinte at the
northwest point, where the hill falls more abruptly, polygonal in form and
enclosing an area some 1,000 feet long; and an inner enceinte 460 feet long
by 125 feet at the center, in shape an irregular oval with remains of three
7. William Miller, Essays on the Latin Orient (Cambridge, 192i), pp. 245-260.

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