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Gardikiou Castle


At the south-western part of Corfu there is the Byzantine castle of Gardiki. Gardiki, Aggelokastro and Kassiopi are the three Byzantine castles of Corfu that still remain standing and played a crucial role in the island’s defence. The castle of Gardiki was probably built in the 13th century by Michael I Angelos Komnenos. Its walls create an octagon, with eight towers. There are also elements of an older structure that have been incorporated in the castle’s walls.

The castle of Gardiki is one of the three castles that defended the island of Corfu prior to the arrival of Venetian rule. Along with Aggelokastro and the castle of Kassiopi they constituted the line of defence. It is located at the south-western part of Corfu, close to the village of Agios Matthaios.
It was most probably constructed in the 13th century by Michael I Angelos Komnenos, sovereign of the Despotate of Epirus who wanted to protect the borders of his territory both from pirates and aspiring conquerors. On one hand, the castle offered protection to the inhabitants, and on the other hand it reflects the new social and demographic development of the area, which was based on agricultural production.
The castle of Gardiki is located on a hill and has an octagonal shape with eight towers and three gates. Remains of murals have been found in one of the towers, which shows it was once turned into a chapel. In the masonry of the castle there are integrated parts and materials from antiquities of the region. The castle had two main gates, but nowadays only the south gate is used as the main one. Excavations in the surrounding area have revealed findings from the Palaeolithic period.
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