The Castle of Ioannina is one of the Oldest Castles in Greece!

An imposing presence impressing every visitor! Standing proudly through the ages the Castle of Ioannina is one of the oldest in Greece. A place to be admired! A harmonious blend of thousands of years of history and today’s life since the old city of Ioannina is still existent and vibrant behind the Castle’s walls.

The castle of Ioannina is one of the oldest castles built in 528. In 1082, the Norman Bohemund from Taranto added two citadels to the ruins of the Byzantine fortification and dug a fortification trench starting from the church of St. Nikolaos Kopanon.

Castle of Ioannina © Nicholas V. K.
Ioannina © Nicholas V. K.

The Lords of the Despotate of Epirus and the rulers on added new fortifications until 1430, when the city surrendered to the Turks. The Franks left it ruined, until 1788 when Ali Pasha took over command. Ali rebuilt the fortification walls and built a second internal wall to protect his palace and his Command Center. The walls (2.000 meters long and up to 10 m. thick), the 250 cannons, the polygonal towers and the renewal of the trench ensured that the castle was impenetrable.

From the original fortification, only the tower of the Despot Thomas and a small part of the North West acropolis are today preserved.

Visiting Ioannina without exploring the Castle will be a loss…