Acrocorinth, Greece

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Prise le 16/08/2009
Courses of roughly dressed polygonal masonry allow us to suppose that the Acrocorinth was fortified as early as the time of Kypselid tyranny (late 7th c.-early 8th c. BC). The surviving parts of the ancient fortifications, however, which are at many points beneath the medieval enceinte, belong mainly to the 4th c. BC. In 146 BC, Mummius ( ) destroyed the fortifications of the lower city and acropolis. The destroyed sections were subsequently reconstructed from the same ancient material in Late Roman times.

During the Middle Ages, the Acrocorinth was of prime importance for the defence of the entire Peloponnese, and held out against the attacks of the barbarians. The Byzantines sporadically repaired the walls, especially aftre hostile raids(by the Slavs, Normans and others) and added new fortifications on the west side of the fortress.

In 1240, after a five-year siege, the Acrocorinth was captured by Otto de la Roche ( ) and Geoffrey I Villehardouin ( ), and was incorporated in the Frankish principate of Achaea. In the middle of this century, William Villehardouin ( ) extended the fortifications of the fortress, to be followed in this by Angevin prince John Gravina ( ) at the beginning of the 14th c. In 1358 the Acrocorinth passed to the Florentine banker Niccolo Acciajuoli ( ), and in 1394 to Theodoros I Palaiologos ( ), despot of Mystras. Apart from a brief occupation by the Knights of Rhodes ( ) from 1400-1404, the fortress was to remain in Byzantine hands until 1458, when it was captured by the Ottoman Turks. The Venetians made themselves masters of the Acrocorinth from 1687 to 1715, after which it reverted once more to the Turks, until the Greek Uprising ( ) of 1821.

The approach to the fortress is from the west side. The walls have an irregular shape, which was dictated by the form of the terrain and remained the same in general terms from Classical period to modern times. Three successive zones of fortifications, with three imposing gateways, lead to the interior of the fortress. The fact that the same material was used for extensions or repairs to the walls frequently makes it difficult to distinguish the building phases or assign a date to them.

Within the third enclosure wall on the Acrocorinth are to be found monuments of all periods: at the highest point, the sanctuary of Aphrodite with an early Christian basilica on its ruins (not visible from here), the fountain of Ano Perien, Byzantine cisternes, the Frankish tower, a Venetian church, mosques, Turkish houses and fountains.

It is citation from tourist leaflet obtained at the entrance.

The easiest way to reach the Acrocorinth is to take taxi from modern Corinth (13 euros).
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Andrew Varlamov
Distinguish Silver

Latitude: 37° 53' 29" N, Longitude: 22° 52' 15" E see »

Localisation: Corinth, Greece

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