THE BYZANTINE AGES STRONG FORTRESS THAT PROTECTED CORFU FROM THE OTHOMANS AND PIRATES !!
Angelokastro (Greek: Αγγελόκαστρο, English translation: “Castle of the Angel[s]” or “Angelos’s castle”) is one of the most important Byzantine castles of Greece. It is located on the island of Corfu at the top of the highest peak of the island’s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa (Greek: Παλαιοκαστρίτσα, English translation: “Old castle place”) and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 1,000 ft (305 m) on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
The origin of its name is not completely clear, with some historians mentioning that in 1214 Michael I Komnenos Doukas, Despot of Epirus, sometimes called Michael Angelos, annexed Corfu to Epirus and following his death, Michael II Komnenos Doukas, often called Michael Angelos in narrative sources, further fortified the area and named it after himself and his father: Angelokastro. The Despots were related to the Komnenoi dynasty of Byzantine emperors. Today foreign language tourist signs in the area refer to it, wrongly, as St. Angelo’s castle.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Byzantine Corfu. It forms an Acropolis, translated as city on the edge, that surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and therefore presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle. The engineering of its construction at such a remote and forbidding location is remarkable by any standards, not only medieval.
After 1071, when the Byzantine Empire was forced to retreat from Southern Italy, the castle took a new role becoming the new Byzantine frontier bastion to the West.From 1387 until late in the sixteenth century, Angelokastro was the capital of Corfu and, in early sixteenth century, became the seat of the Proweditore Generale del Levante, the commander of the Venetian fleet which was stationed in Corfu and governor of the Ionian islands.
Angelokastro was instrumental in repulsing the Ottomans in three sieges of Corfu; in the first great siege of Corfu in 1537, in the Siege of 1571 and the second great siege of Corfu in 1716