castles of Greece






View from the battlements at Parga.

Castle at Parga, view from the battlements.

History/Description: Parga is situated on a high rock overlooking the town. Possibly there was a Norman presence here in the 14th century, but the Venetians were invited to hold the fort in 1407. They held it (apart from a few temporary incursions) until 1797, as 'the eyes and ears of Corfu'. With the end of Venice, the French took over. The Parganiotes resisted the assaults of Ali Pasha (apparently hoisting the Russian flag during an attack in 1800 as they had a fleet in those waters). In 1814 the French were disarmed, and the town handed to the English. They sold it to Ali Pasha two years later as part of a bigger deal with the Turks, and the town was evacuated, the inhabitants taking the bones of their ancestors with them it is said. This shameful event was described by contemporaries:

'an arrangement more ungenerous, cruel and unjust to those who were the objects of it, and at once more dishonourable and injurious to those who conducted it, cannot well be imagined ... one of the most flagrant instances of impolicy and oppression of which history has preserved any record' [12].

Some loss of proportion here, but you can see his point.

Paradissis reckons a medieval town lay a little to the N. of Parga, the inhabitants moving to the present site some time after the 12th century; if he means Butrinto, that was still inhabited in 1453 when Cyriacus of Ancoa stayed there.[18, p.417] ).

Directions: The castle at Parga is a pleasant stroll from the town, and some solid towers and walls remain. Parga is opposite Corfu and is a deservedly popular package tour resort. There is another castle or fort a few miles N., apparently built by Ali Pasha to keep an eye on Parga. Now a peaceful spot, it is a simple, solid square structure, topped with a small platform where a rusting cannon lies half-buried in wild flowers and clouds of butterflies.


The battlements at Parga.

Castle at Parga

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Unless otherwise stated, the text, images and design of this site are (c) the author. This page last updated 7 Jan 2007