The Castle at Platamonas

At the southeast foot of Mt. Olympus, set on a hill beside the sea and dominating the shortest route between Macedonia and Thessaly, there rises the castle of Platamonas, that is, the walled medieval settlement of Platamonas. The castle, one of the most beautiful and best preserved in Greece, "moves us with its silent presence, connecting specialists with the past, but giving each of us the message of its essential nothingness and future desertion", as the most important student of its history, the late Apostolos Vacalopoulos, notes.
It was inevitable that the position of the castle on the hill controlling the road to the entrance of the Vale of Tempe, the strategic passage to southern Greece, did not go unnoticed in antiquity, particularly during the Byzantine period, which was so disturbed by population movements. But in the post-Byzantine period, particularly after the establishment of the use of gunpowder and the gradual perfecting of firearms, the castle's importance diminished and became limited to that of defense against Aegean pirates and attacks by the "klephts-armatoloi" (groups of insurgents from the mountain regions of Greece). In the early 19th century Turkish military advisers pointed out that the castle "is dominated by nearby heights, from which it could successfully be attacked". But these observations did not prevent it from playing some role in the turbulent history of the region down to the present time.

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