Venetian Castle of Parga
The castle of Parga is situated on a fortified hilltop dominating the entrance of the harbor of Parga and the nearby enormous beach of Valtos. In this place the Venetians built a castle during the last years of the Byzantine Empire. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt many times each time a new conqueror occupied it. The ruins you can see today is what the Venetians built in the 17th century. There are also several additions made by Ali Pasha of Ioannina who bought Parga in 1818. The castle of Parga was impregnable throughout the administration of Ali Pasha.
History of the Castle
When they were on war against Ali Pasha, the fighters of the nearby villages of Souli used the Venetian Castle of Parga as a refuge. It was where they could stock up supplies of food and ammunitions. After the Souli villages were occupied by Ali Pasha, all the Suliot fighters fled to Parga, which at the time was under the British possession. In 1818, the British commander of the Ionian Islands, Maitland, sold Parga to Ali Pasha and the Suliots were uprooted again. In the following years many of them participated in the Greek Revolution and became National Heroes.
Up to the Castle
There are two ways to go up to the castle of Parga. One drives you by narrow streets and steps from the port of Parga and the other is a paved road from Valtos Beach. If you cannot climb the hill, you will find the alley that leads you 50m from the entrance. The uphill stairs may be a little bit tricky, but there are many stores on your way up to stop by and by the time you’re at the top, you won’t understand how you climbed up there. The view to Parga Harbor and Valtos Beach from the Castle is amazing. There is also a cafeteria for those who want to visit early in the morning for a coffee or at night for a romantic drink. It is a good idea to avoid climbing the stairs during the hot summer mornings especially in August. The evening hours would be a better time. The whole city seems to be at your feet and it is the best spot to take photos. If you prefer the late afternoon hours the lights in the harbor are on and with the sunset colors, your photos could look just like the ones shot by professionals.
Definitely a place to visit while you will be in Ammoudia!