Bourtzi of Poros

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Location: Town

On the eastern edge of the entrance to Poros Port, you will find a small island with a castle on top. Though not as well known as the other castle of the same name in Nafplio, Bourtzi Castle of Poros has often found itself in the heart of historical events.

The first fort was built during the Byzantine period, as the island is known to have served as a naval base since the 7th century AD. For example, during the 800s, the admiral Nasar used it to launch his attacks against the Saracen pirates. There are also indications that a Venetian fortress was also constructed on site, presumably by the Doge of Venice Francesco Morosini at the height of the Great Turkish War, around 1687-1693. However, the edifice we can see today was erected in 1826 by the Bavarian Philhellene and military officer Carl Wilhelm Von Heideck, while he was chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the new Greek State, to ensure the protection of the port.

A few years later, Bourtzi played a key role during the armed conflict between Admiral Andreas Miaoulis and Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias, which led to the Greek fleet being partly destroyed. In the 20th century, it was used as an ammunition depot both by the Greeks and the Germans. Its elaborate gateway is truly remarkable.

Today, it has been declared a historic listed monument, and you can see the ramparts, as well as some of the towers and gates. You can easily reach it by boat, or even swim to the islet if you feel up to it.

Bonus info: The word ‘Bourtzi’ derives from a Turkish word meaning a fortress built near the coast, on a cape, or an islet, hence its use for more than one location.



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