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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 216

this wealthy town something of true French civilization seems for a time
to have taken root. But in 1331 the Catalans destroyed the castle "for fear
that the duke of Athens should by any means take it and thereby recover the
duchy." Only one tower remains, which by its scale (44 by 52 feet, walls
nearly 10 feet thick) and by the solidity of its masonry and vaulting, though
still composed of reused and unequal stones, does something to justify the
praises of Raymond Muntaner (p1. LXIIa).8 In Athens itself a tall tower,
85 feet high, stood on the Acropolis till 1874, but who erected it remains
 Livadia, already partly built in the thirteenth century, achieved its greatest
importance under the Catalans. It is to them almost certainly that is due
the general scheme of the fortifications, a triple enceinte, the first entry
protected by a barbican. The ditch cut in the rock, where the spur on which
the castle stands joins the main hillside, may date from some earlier fortification.
Here there was little antique material at hand, and the masonry is mainly
of small blocks mixed with brick. In placing of the towers and general plan,
the Catalan castle, allowing for the difference of site, varies little from
the scheme of Bodonitsa. 
 The other main Catalan strongholds were Zeitounion, Neopatras, Siderokastron,
and Gardiki. Of Zeitounion there are considerable remains, and the building
is unusually homogeneous in masonry, except where some artillery bastions
have been made by the Turks. There is, however, nothing to date the existing
castle at all accurately. In type it is a single enceinte, following the
hillside, with a strong point at its northeastern end. Neopatras is a confusion
of ruined masonry, of which a round Turkish tower is the most distinctive
feature. Siderokastron has remains of walls on its rocky site. Gardiki, the
ancient Pelinnaeon, has walls and some towers, mostly of classical workmanship.
 Guarding the entry from Attica to the Morea was the great and ancient fortress
of Acrocorinth. The main fortress dates from many periods and combines Byzantine
work of the tenth and eleventh centuries with a Frankish keep and considerable
Venetian rebuilding from the period of their reoccupation in the late seventeenth
8. Bon, "Forteresses médiévales," Bulletin de correspondance
hellénique, LXI (1937), 
9. J. Baelen, La Chronique du Parthenon: Guide historique de l'Acropole (Paris,
p. 156; Setton, Catalan Domination ofAthens, p. 246; and G. Daux, "L'Athènes
antique en 1851: Photographies d'Alfred Normand," Bulletin de correspondance
hellénique, LXXX (1956), 619-624. 

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