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 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.
Copyright 1977 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the hardcover book, see: http://www/wisc/edu/wisconsinpress/books/1735.htm