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Castle of Mithymna

Castle of Mithymna, Molyvos, LesvosThe Castle of Mithymna sits above the town of Molyvos (Mithymna) and is one of the most impressive fortresses in Greece. It was built by the Byzantines but contains stones of an earlier castle which had been besieged by Achilles himself during the Trojan War. The Illiad takes place just a few miles away, across the straits that separate the island of Lesvos from ancient Troy. The castle and it's siege by Achilles is supposedly mentioned in both the Illiad and the Odyssey, but good luck finding it.

In 1128 the castle was taken over by the Venetians who held it until the 13th century when it passed over to the Catalans. In 1373 it became an important defensive position for the Genovese who been given the island of Lesvos when Francesco Gattelusi married the sister of the Byzantine emperor John V Palaiologos. The castle was strengthened during this period but eventually fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1462. The Turks added to the fortifications over the next several hundred years and what you see now is a result of that period.

Castle of Mithymna, MolyvosGetting to the castle from the center of Molyvos is easy. Just walk uphill and whether you follow the signs or not you will get there eventually. You can also drive there by following the road signs up the back side of the town. When you get to the top there is a nice cafe with a view of the sea and the Turkish coast.  On summer nights they have live music here and there are also performances in the castle by well known groups and orchestras.

Even if you care nothing about castles and medieval warfare or even Achilles and Odysseus you should still visit the Castle of Mithymna. The views from every direction are spectacular. Plus when you go home and show your friends all your photos of Molyvos the first thing they will ask you will be "Did you go in the castle?" And you can happily say yes instead of making up excuses about why you didn't.

Castle of Mithymna

Castle of Mithymna

Entrance, Castle of Mithymna

Castle of Mithymna

Molyvos Castle

Molyvos Castle

Molyvos Castle view

Castle of Mithymna, Molyvos

Castle of Mithymna, Molyvos

Castle of Mithymna

Molyvos and Mithymna Castle

Be sure to visit Matt's Molyvos Page and my Molyvos Photo Album

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