Under the shadow of today's modern construction of Rion-Antirion bridge, quietly lies the Fortress of Rion. Surrounded by ferry docks, heavy basis and columns of the bridge, huge parking area full of trucks waiting to board the ferry and many kantinas serving souvlakia and coffee, the fortress is almost invisible. To be honest, I do not remember when I saw it myself, but for sure it was not the first time I passed there! And even after “discovering” it, it took me almost half a year to finally visit it. As I found some basic info in internet, mentioning free entrance on Sundays, the choice of the day of visit was simple. It seems, not many tourists visit the fortress, as even the guard was surprised to see me. Anyway, I got a feeling that any day would be free :-P
Together with opposite Fortress of Antirion, The Fortress of Rion was built to control the western entrance to the Corinthian Gulf. Sultan Bayezid II, ordered the construction in 1499 and it was ready within just 3 months. At that time, it was strategic fortification in war between Ottomans and Venetians. After many turmoils and suffered destructions in its history, in 1687 it was taken by the Venetians, and later in 18th century repaired and improved to its current status. Todays shape is a “combination” of Ottomans basis and later Venetians improvements, with complex of three round towers, octagonal building serving as gunpowder magazine, main gate from the land side to the south, two powerful bastions from north and west side together with second gate from the sea. One of the towers was later adapted as a church, where nowadays young couples are getting married.
It’s an interesting landscape today, an old historic fortress lying just next to huge modern bridge – the contrast of aged stone walls and steel-concrete construction. But somehow it’s not that bad :-P Actually it looks pretty impressive!
Photo1: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/9, 1/400s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software
Photo2: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/9, 1/640s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software