Located at the top of the highest peak of the Corfu shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa (Greek: Παλαιοκαστρίτσα meaning Old Castle place) and built on particularly steep and rocky terrain, Angelokastro (Greek: Αγγελόκαστρο literally: Angelos’ castle) is one of the most important Byzantine castles of Greece and certainly of Corfu. Angelos, in modern or medieval Greek, is a male proper name but it also translates as Angel.
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.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Byzantine Corfu. It forms an Acropolis 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.
It played a pivotal role during the Great Siege of Corfu in 1571 when the Turkish attack on the northwestern flank of Corfu was successfully repulsed by the defenders of the castle.
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