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Author Topic:   Gravures and Books for Castles in Greece.
Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 06-25-2005 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
* Books and gravures from Castles in Greece

I have created this topic in order to ask for some informations about books and gravures of Castles in Greece and general.

I am interesting for gravures of European castles in general(but most of all from castles in Greece) and about books, in English, for castles of Greece. I have a well- informed library about the Castles here in Greece and, if I will not face any problem through this summer, I will publish a book about the Greek castles(the first after 25 years).

So, after a research for months of the internet I didn't find any book about greek castles or gravures about them(but I had seen some gravures of Greek castles from Europeans painters that had been published to some newspapers).
If you know anything about what I have asked you, books or gravures of greek castles, you will be a great asset to my research.

I hope for a fast reply.

With respect,
Koumartzis Nikolaos.

(Sorry for my poor English :-) )

posted 06-26-2005 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message

great to have some one of Greece aboard. It is very difficult to find books about Greece castles, so is great to hear that you will publishing book about them. Hope you will inform us when it arrives.

As you already mention the most well known books in english are those of alexander paradisis.

But I have found out that there should be some other book in English. From the website of Methoni I derive that there is a book about the castles of the Pelopennosus published in 1993 in Athens.

Also from the website of Princeton I derive that a certain Nikolaos Kontogiannis has written a or several books about castles in (parts of) Greece

I will have another look this week on the net, when I have more time.


Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 06-26-2005 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you very much ipflo for the help, your information are a great asset to my research.
What ever you need about Castles in Greece I can probably help you. My most important problem is that I haven't found yet any gravures or old drawnings of them.
I will search these 2 links that you gave me and I hope that I will fing what I am looking for.

With all respects,
Koumartzis Nikolaos.

posted 06-26-2005 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
the small book I mentioned does have quite a few old pictures, paintings and maps in there.

Senior Member
posted 06-28-2005 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJR     Edit/Delete Message
I work for the Greeks - great to have one here in CQ.

posted 06-28-2005 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Nikolaos,

Will your book really be one of the first in 25 years. Could you tell something more about it, and how is it possible that there is then so little literatur about the subject. Almost everywhere you can find castles and fortresses in Greece?


bent one
Senior Member
posted 06-29-2005 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bent one     Edit/Delete Message
there are castles in greece? that's interesting. whenever you publish that book I need to grab me a copy. what are the castles like in greece? do they look anything like the ones in europe?

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 06-30-2005 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Approximately yes, for 20-25 years there is nothing about the castles(as a complete work). Of course there are some books for specific castles, such as the castles at Mystras and at Rhodos.
The last complete work it was the “Castles and travel, history and myths” from Gikas with five volumes. These cover the majority of the castles, but with limited information about its one. Is more like small novels about the experiences of the writer at those places.
The books of Alexander Paradeisis have only history about the castles and nothing about the myths and the legends. So, in the book I am writing, my intensions are to combine History, Myths & Legends and information about the remains of each castle. Apart from that, every castle will have approximately 8-10 photographs, a gravure of his initial form, and a map of his buildings.
I am trying to focus on the 3 basics Medieval societies of the Greece which are Peloponissos, Corfu and Rhodes. In addition, there will be a chapter for the White Tower of Thessaloniki, well-known globally, and some other unique castle of the Greece.
Unfortunately, the book will be published only in Greek(for the beginning).

At this time I have complete the research of the historical origins of the Castles, of their myths and legends, I had visited each one of them and I have taken photographs. The only thing that remain is to find gravures for all of them(I have some for specific castles).

If there are castles all over the Greece; Of course. Except the Medieval structures that were builded from Byzantines, Latins, Normands, Orders of Knights and Venetians there are castles from the Ancient Greece too.
Some of them have the form of the castles of the West World, such as those of Pelloponisos and Rhodes because they had been build from Latins or the Order of Knights of St John of Jerusalem(the richest Order of the Medieval world, after the fall of the Templars- the Order of the Temple of St John).
So, there are big and small castles. Most of them near the sea, with tall and strong walls, with towers in each corner(at the biggest castles there are a lot of towers across the walls). In the centre, most of the times, there is a palace etc..
Where ever you go at Greece there is a castle too, sometimes big sometimes only the remains of it. But, every place has a medieval story to tell you.. with knights and dragons(i.e. the Dragon of Rhodes, that has historical origins too).

posted 06-30-2005 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
It sounds very good Nikolaos. Although the book is in Greek, I hope you will tell us when the book is published, and when it is possible I would like to buy book (I hope I am not to premature). I don't mind that the book is in Greek (I have several books in mine library, of which I don't understand the language(a castle lexicon of Poland and a castle book of Finland), but love to look in thx to pictures and so). I would love to enlarge my books on Greece and Graecian Castles and palaces, as on the moment I only have/ are wellknown with the books of Paradisis on the subject.


posted 11-05-2005 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Nikolaos,

How is the book going?

In Germany the "club for fortress researching" has pubished a journal (nr 26/ 2005) devoted to the Venetian fortresses in the Ionian Islands and the Greek Mainland. You can see the front of the journal on http://www.burgenwelt.de/frameset.htm and you can order it through to http://www.festungsforschung.de/


Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 11-05-2005 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for asking ipflo,

I have already finished 10 chapters from the 16 and I have collected almost every gravoure that I need(except of two castles).
So, I hope that until the end of this year I will manage to finish it and until Eastern it will propably be on the stores.

I will let you know when it will be published.

With respect,
Koumartzis Nikolaos.

posted 04-04-2006 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message

Everything is going well with your book?



posted 01-29-2007 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Nikolaos,

Were you lucky to get the book printed?


Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 04-24-2007 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Ipflo,

I am sorry that I didn't answer sooner in your question. I have some good news about my book. It will be published at 7 May of this year, which mean aproximately in 2 weeks, and it will be available in every bookstore in Greece.

It will contain 17 chapters, which means 17 castles from all over the country (Rhodes, Corfu, Thessaloniki, Mystras, Crete, Platamonas, Ioannina, Samothraki, Methon, Coron, etc.).
Unfortunately, the book will be in greek. The good is that every castles will have some uniques photos, gravoures, timelines with the most important events of every castle history, some information about the access to it, etc.

Soon, I will have the book's cover. Moreover, I will try to translate the Index and the Introduction. When I have all the above, I will make a big post in order to inform you.

I have already some orders from no greek readers, I suppose for the photos and the gravoures, so I am thinking to translate the information of all photographs too.

Thanks again for the interest, from all of you.

Best Regards,
Nikolaos Koumartzis.

posted 04-24-2007 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Nikolaos,

Congratulations with the publication of your book. I will be looking forward to your big post. I am very curious how many pages the book will count, how the front looks like, how many photos the book will count, etc. Will the book also include plans of the castles?

kind regards,


Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 07-05-2007 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Dear ipflo and the rest of the members of "castles on the web",

after a long (personal :-) ) waiting my book have been published before 1-2 months. I manage to translate the Introduction of the book, some infos about the structure, the price, the chapters, the castles that it covers, etc.
Moreover, I publish to internet some of the photos of the book and manage to translate some information about them.

All the above you can find in this link:

A new post is coming with the Introduction and some infos..

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 07-05-2007 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message

“Are there any castles in Greece?”

“Are there any castles in Greece?” some English co speakers asked me a couple of years ago in the most visited worldwide forum concerning castles, the “castles on the web”. This specific question was, as you might have guessed, a bit of a shock for me…

Greece is one of the few countries around the world which can confront England, Scotland, Germany or Spain as for the number of castles it has. There are more than 600 castles scattered in the Greek inland the maintenance of which varies from excellent to worse in certain cases.
Even in those cases that ruins is all that’s left in place of some Greek medieval fortresses, still they have left their mark and have played an important role in the shape of the history of our country. The castle-kingdom of Corfu is an excellent example of a place where 2 centuries ago castles and fortresses were scattered all around the area but unfortunately today nothing stands in its place to bring the reminisce of the past that’s long forgotten.

Despite the fact that in the medieval history of Western civilizations Greece did not exist as a geographical and political state and therefore not being mentioned, it did hold the place of one of the most important provinces of the Byzantine Empire with its geographical position being in the centre of the crossroad that united Jerusalem, Holy Land, Constantinople or Rhodes. And in that period of time, many were the Western visitors interested in one way or another to reach any of the above mentioned places.

Let me just remind you of the Crusades for the deliverance of Holy Land, the fact that Constantinople was believed for the westerns to be an utopian City, covered with gold (a belief which in a great sense lead to the disaster of the 4th crusade) and moreover, the fact that castles of Rhodes, Lindos and Monolithos formed the basis of perhaps the most powerful western Order, those of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem (well-known as Knights Hospitaller), in the most bright shade of its era.
Moreover, Mediterranean Sea played a key role in that period of time in the growth of every military or commercial activity for all the empires stated in its coastal. That fact alone places Greece and its harbors in the middle of this activity due to Greece’s geographical position. The harbors of Methoni (Modon) and Koroni (Coron), depicted the power of Most Serene Republic of Venice (medieval kingdom of Venice) in the East, the harbors of Crete and more specifically the harbors of Heraklion were at the target of Byzantine, Saraceans (general term referring to Arabs and Muslims), Turkish, Venetians and even Greek forces not to mention the unbending harbor and castle of Monemvasia.

Many of the castles of Greece were inseparably connected with the most important and legendary personalities of the medieval history such as Skiathos and the well-known pirate Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa (famous as Barbarossa), hereafter admiral of the Othman Empire, Samothrace with the family of Gattilusi which indirectly made an effort to gain the name and the power of the empyreal family of Palaeologus, Kalamata with William II of Villehardouin of the well known family, the castle-kingdom of Mystras with the last emperor of the Byzantine Empire Constantine Palaeologus also known as the Marbled King of Constantinople.
However, even on the shade of the Byzantine Empire when it was taken over by the Ottoman Empire, on its grounds many of the most powerful Turkish castles were build, which were eventually connected with two Ottoman Pashas who wanted to become independent of the Othman Empire. Among them is Mehmet Ali from Kavala who was Pashas of Egypt, as well as Ali Pashas of Ioannina (Epirus).

They asked me if there are any castles in Greece and I wonder how come they have never heard of the White Tower of Thessaloniki (Tower of Blood until 18th century), one of the most famous fortresses of modern Greece and the “tomb” of the most powerful eastern (Muslim) order of Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire.
On the other hand, how could they not have heard of the castle of Platamonas (also spelled Platamon); the only castle in Greece which is impossible not to have seen when traveling on the most frequently used road of our country, the National Road of Athens-Thessaloniki? Or perhaps the Frangokastello of Crete (on the south coast of the island) and the myth of Drossoulites (also known as dew shadows) which fame has traveled all around the world as one of the few authentic modern mysteries?

The castles in Greece are neither just a part of a forgotten past nor just fortresses that have lived glorious moments in the medieval history so that their ruins to be silently left behind as happens to many other countries in Europe. On the contrary, as modern history proves; our castles have been on the centre of international European political and military stage for more than once.

Take for example the castle-kingdom of Corfu to which Napoleon himself brought 1000 cannons in order to establish one of the most powerful fortresses of his army, in Corfu where constant fortifications by Englishmen, German and Italians formed her into the mightiest fortress in the world and in order for the union of Corfu with Greece to be implemented the most essential term was the castle-kingdom of Corfu to be torn totally to the ground. Until today no Greek military camps are allowed to be set according to the pact signed between Greece and England for the union of the Ionian Islands in 1864.
Not to mention of course the blood that has been shed during the plenty Greek revolutions. Blood not only shed by Greeks but also by Turkish, German and Italian soldiers. Still, the specialty about Greek castles lies in the number of people and nationalities that have fought in the shadow of their battlements which includes even soldiers of New Zealand during the 2nd World War.

All the above come truly to justify, to my belief, the fact that the Castles in Greece are praised by so many -not only Greek but foreigners as well- historians, poets and travelers as Minotos, Evliya Çelebi, Noucios, the anonymous writer of the Chronicle of Morea, etc.
By tracing back the names that characterize the Greek castles over the centuries we can understand the importance that they have hold on the consciousness of the people: Key-holder of Macedonia and Thessaly for the castle of Platamonas, Hot Gates of Thrace for the castle of Kavala, Gibraltar of East for the castle in Monemvasia , Tower of Blood for the White Tower of Thessaloniki, the Heretic Fortress of Lindos and many more.

To these Castles in Greece the present book wishes to address attribute, to narrate their stories, to listen to the myths that embrace them, to morn for the blood that has been shed, for the sieges and invasions that they have lived and to transfer the grief and despair but the joy and yearning that people have sensed inside and in front of their walls.
But most of all, to let us go back in time, to be guided to a number of the most glorious representatives of the Greek castles, to be spoken about their specialty and uniqueness. Through this book we can learn to recognize their value and above all to learn to love our past…

So, in the question “Are there any Castles in Greece?” I can only think of one answer:
“Yes there are...and notably some of the most important around the world!”

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 07-05-2007 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Infos about the book "Castles and Legends in Greece"

The article is the Introduction from the new book of Nikolaos Koumartzis titled "Castles and Legends in Greece", published by Arcetypo Publications in May 2007. For more information about the book, its chapters and structure, please contact with the author via email ( solonaimonas@yahoo.gr ) or with the publisher via telephone ( +30 2310 226 166 ) and email ( archetypo@metaekdotiki.gr ). Shipping outside Greece is possible.

[Book infos:]
- 288 pages, 16.7 euros, text in Greek, full color cover, b/w inside.
- 17 Chapters about the castles of Platamonas, Skiathos, Kavala, Corfu, Rhodes, Lindos, Monolithos, Thessaloniki, Samothrace, Koroni, Methoni, Mistra, Monemvasia, Kalamata, Frangokastello (Crete), Heraklion and Ioannina.
- Moreover, there is a Prologue about the book's structure and the research that has concluded to the publish of this book, an Introduction, Bibliography, Indexes, etc.

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 07-05-2007 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
For the photos I mention above, please visit the link I gave in a previous post (http://www.metafysiko.org/index.php?module=writeit&action=read&id=32).

I would like to post them in this topic too, but the procedure needs a lot of time.
I hope that the above information is on your interests' field.

Dear ifplo, and the rest of the moderators in this forum, it is "ok" if I (or you) make a new topic about the book where we can gather all the information about it?

I am looking forward to read your opinions about the book and the photos.

Kind Regards,
Nikolaos Koumartzis.

posted 07-05-2007 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Maria   Click Here to Email Maria     Edit/Delete Message
Wow, Nikolaos, great news, congratulations! Looks like a great book - maybe you can get a contract with a publisher and have it translated in English (or maybe Romanian -we're closer...)
Yes, better start a new topic

P.S. Now I'm going to be really mean - the guy who asked if there are castles in Greece would probably be surprised if you pointed out Greece is in Europe...

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 07-06-2007 05:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for your interest Maria. Yes, we are very close.. as for the English/Romanian/etc. publisher, why not? I will be very gland to see my book translated on another language, even in one I can't read (for example Romanian).. :-)

As for "best one", the guy who asked if there are any castles in Greece, he gave me the right stimulus to write my introduction.
So, no offense.. :-)

I will start an new topic when I find the time, I hope soon..

Kind Regards,

Koumartzis Nikolaos
posted 06-28-2010 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Koumartzis Nikolaos   Click Here to Email Koumartzis Nikolaos     Edit/Delete Message

Just a quick notice for those who shown an interest here for English book about castles in Greece.
I've just created a new topic in castlesontheweb.com about my new work titled "Castles in Greece", which can be found both in English and in Greek.

You can find more info, photos and preview a part of the book by visiting its official website here:


Thanks again for your initial interest (it played its part in motivating me to put together this book in English too) and hope for your comments and maybe help to reach the people who may be interested in its topic.


[This message has been edited by Koumartzis Nikolaos (edited 06-28-2010).]

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