Exploring the Venetian Castle of Parga
Perched atop a fortified hill, commanding the entrance of Parga’s harbor and overlooking the vast expanse of Valtos Beach, stands the magnificent Venetian Castle of Parga. This historic site bears witness to the intricate tapestry of conquerors and conflicts that shaped its existence. Initially constructed during the twilight years of the Byzantine Empire, the castle has endured destruction and subsequent reconstruction by various conquerors throughout its tumultuous history. The remnants we see today predominantly reflect the architectural contributions of the Venetians in the 17th century, while notable additions were made by Ali Pasha of Ioannina after his acquisition of Parga in 1818. The castle of Parga, renowned for its impregnability, stood as a symbol of power throughout Ali Pasha’s rule.
Unraveling the Castle’s History
During their resistance against Ali Pasha, the valiant fighters from the neighboring villages of Souli sought refuge within the protective walls of the Venetian Castle of Parga. It served as a vital stronghold where they could replenish their supplies of food and ammunition. After the occupation of the Souli villages by Ali Pasha, the Suliots, warriors of Souli, sought sanctuary in Parga, which was then under British possession. However, in 1818, Parga was sold to Ali Pasha by the British commander of the Ionian Islands, Maitland, leading to another displacement of the Suliots. In subsequent years, many of these resilient individuals played pivotal roles in the Greek Revolution, becoming revered as national heroes.
Ascending to the Castle
There are two enchanting paths to reach the summit of the Parga Castle. One route winds its way through narrow streets and steps from the port of Parga, while the other is a well-paved road originating from Valtos Beach. If ascending the hill presents a challenge, fear not, for there is an alley located just 50 meters from the entrance that provides an easier access point. The uphill climb may pose a slight challenge, but along the way, you’ll encounter numerous shops where you can take a break. As you ascend, you’ll soon find yourself marveling at the breathtaking views of Parga Harbor and Valtos Beach from the castle’s vantage point. For those seeking a moment of respite or a romantic drink, a cafeteria awaits atop the castle’s grounds. It is advisable to avoid climbing the stairs during the scorching summer mornings, especially in August. The evening hours offer a more pleasant experience, with the city sprawled beneath you, and the opportunity to capture stunning photos. As the sun sets and casts its warm hues, the harbor lights up, creating a picturesque backdrop reminiscent of professional photographs.
Undoubtedly, a visit to the Venetian Castle of Parga is an experience not to be missed during your time in Ammoudia!
Share Your Castle Adventures
We invite you to share your own experiences, photos, and impressions of the Venetian Castle of Parga. Have you explored its historical depths and admired the panoramic views? Feel free to comment below and join in the conversation. Let’s celebrate the captivating allure of this remarkable landmark together!