castles of Greece

Castle of Khlemoutsi ('Clermont'; 'Castel Tornese')





View of the keep.

Castle of Khlemoutsi, Greece: the keep

History/Description: Khlemoutsi was built by Geoffrey I Villehardouin in c.1219 to 1223, largely with funds expropriated from the Latin church, for which he was excommunicated. It is apparently an advanced design for the period and unlike other Frankish castles in Greece on that account. There is a large bailey, with the hexangonal keep built into one side of it. The great halls built into the walls of the keep are very impressive. Ferdinand of Majorca, then (supposedly) leader of the Catalan Company (as part of a series of dynastic moves to gain the Principality of Achaia), held it from 1314 until he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Manolada on July 5, 1316 by Louis of Burgundy and Byzantine troops from the Despotate. (The Catalan Company didn't arrive in time to support Ferdinand). It was siezed by Constantine Palaeologos in 1427; Ibrahim Pasha wrecked parts of it 1826. (The remains of the castle of Glarentza are nearer the coast, but very little is visible).

The castle towers over the village of Kastro, and although it does not seem very high, there are fine views from the lofty battlements, and in fact the castle is on a low hill which can be seen for miles.

Directions: The castle dominates the country around the village of Kastro and is a few minutes walk.


View of one of the vaulted walls making up the sides of the keep.

Castle of Khlemoutsi, Greece: one of the halls

View from the east, Khlemoutsi in the distance.


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