The Castle of Androussa stands on a hill, close to the village of the same name in the prefecture of Messinia. It was built circa 1250 AD under the supervision of the Frankish prince William of Villehardouin, when he became head of the principality of Achaea, with the purpose of guarding the west part of the Messinian valley. Other important castles of the wider region were also built at William’s initiative. According to testimony, the prince built it with the money he collected by selling the lands of Byzantine landowners, using the residents of Androussa and the surrounding villages as workers.
During the 14th and 15th centuries the castle grew into an administrative centre of the principality, which is an indication of its important role. During the Venetian period, it was one of the most important castles of Peloponnesus, more important even than Kalamata’s castle. Nevertheless, it did not avoid the shared fate of most castles of that period, which constantly changed occupiers over a period of several centuries, until they were eventually left to go to ruin. This castle changed owners many times, until it became an object of contention between the Turks and the Venetians, who were actively claiming it up until the period of the Greek Revolution.
The castle is trapezoid-shaped and is surrounded by four towers of various shapes. The style of one of them, the polygonal one, shows that it is possibly a Byzantine or Turkish creation. A little further away, in a lush green field, stands the turret, which bears the indelible marks of relentless time.
The Castle of Androussa, despite being one of the most important of the region, is not one of the best preserved. For this reason the decision to reconstruct various parts was pleasant news. This project, which was included in the National Strategic Reference Framework, principally includes the restructuring of the castle’s wall on its north, south and eastern part, while it also provides for the restoration of the south-east, north-east and north tower. These works will be accompanied by detailed recording and photographing of all procedures with the purpose of further investigating the information that will arise.
This effort will significantly contribute towards “reviving” the castle and the surrounding region, which has rich historical information and a number of natural gems to offer.