|Neratzia Castle (Greek: Κάστρο της Νερατζιάς) is a massive sea fortress located on the harbor of Kos, on the Greek island of the same name. The castle was built in the late fourteenth century to the early sixteenth century by the Knights Hospitaller Order of St. John , also known as the Knights of Rhodes from their retreat on the island of Rhodes for this reason we also called Castle of the Knights (Κάστρο των Ιπποτών).|
Castle Neratzia was the largest fortification Hospital on the island of Kos , but they also possessed castles Pyli on a high rocky peak in Antimahia and Kefalos .
Like other fortresses of the defensive system of the Knights of St. John, Kos Castle was to ensure the safety of Christian pilgrims and travelers en route to the Holy Land, against the Ottoman attacks and hacker attacks.
|The name Neratzia, sometimes spelled nerantzia, which applies to Kos Castle in Greek means "bitter orange" (Νερατζιά,Neratzia) or sour orange, the fruit, bitter orange and bitter orange, is called Νεράτζι,Neratzi. The term refers to the time when many bitter orange trees growing in the vicinity of the castle. Neratzia the name also applied to the city and the island of Kos.|
At the time of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, the castle and the town was called Narangia, a Latinized form of Neratzia, close to the Spanish "naranja" and the Italian "arancia."
|The austere castle Neratzia is the first building you see when you arrive by ferry to Kos: it lies to the east of the port of Mandraki (Λιμάνι Mανδράκι) to Kos, on what was to Originally a rocky island. The castle was originally separated from the island of Kos by an arm of the sea, he communicated with the medieval city, known as the "Hora" by a drawbridge defended the access to the castle. This arm of the sea was turned into a wide boulevard during the Italian domination of the island of Kos in the early twentieth century, it is now the Boulevard of the Palm-trees (Λεωφόρος των Φοινίκων).|
The fortress is situated in a strategic location at the entrance of the Gulf of Keramos (Κεραμεικός κόλπος), the Gulf of Ceramic or today, Turkish, Gökova Korfezi. In association with the Castle St. Peter of Halicarnassus on the coast of Asia Minor (now Bodrum in Turkey), located about 20 km north-west of the castle controlled the straits between Kos Kos and Halicarnassus and the sea route between Constantinople and Alexandria.
Neratzia fortress was located about 128 km northwest of Rhodes , the seat of the Knights of St. John . Cos Castle was the largest defense advanced Rhodes.
|Visit the castle Neratzia will be surprised to discover a second fortress within the fortress. The inner fortress was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the late fourteenth century to defend the island against Turkish attacks of the Sultan Bajazet I. (Bayazid I,Yıldırım Bayezid in Turkish). The inner chamber is rectangular with four circular corner towers: the south-west tower (No. 8 on the map), the northwest tower (9) and the south-east tower (7), incorporated in the outer wall, remained in good condition, the north-east tower has disappeared. We entered the fortress through a gate, called Carmadino Gate (11) protected by a tower defense (10).|
After the attacks of the Turks against Kos Castle in 1457 - under the magisterium of Jacques de Milly - and in 1477 - at the beginning of the Magisterium of Pierre d’Aubusson - the first fortress was reinforced Kos, including the construction of earth- full.
After the first siege of Rhodes by the Ottomans in 1480 - where the Turks used cannons gunpowder - and the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1493, the Knights of Rhodes decided to strengthen Kos Castle building a second enclosure on three sides of the initial fortress. This outer wall was built, starting in 1495, under the Grand Masters Magister Pierre d’Aubusson (1476-1503) and Emery d’Amboise (1503-1512), and completed under the magisterium of Fabrizio del Carretto (1513-1521 ).
The two enclosures were separated by a wide gap sec (5). They passed from the outer to the inner fortress by a bridge that crossed the ditch slope. Access to the castle was through a single door (6) which led to a drawbridge. The entrance was protected southwest by a powerful stronghold, stronghold Carretto (8). Northwest another bastion, the polygonal bastion Aubusson (3), guarded the entrance to the harbor.
For the construction of the fortress, the Knights Hospitallers made use of local stone, but also materials taken from the ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman city of Kos , and the ruins of the Asclepeion , a sanctuary located on a hill neighboring Kos destroyed. This produces a curious mixture of ancient inscriptions and medieval shields.
The appearance of the castle Neratzia is not as spectacular as other fortresses built by the Knights Hospitallers, started a little later than the Castle St. Peter at Halicarnassus , and on a smaller scale, Kos Castle is However, a superb example of the defense architecture of the Order of St. John.
|Neratzia fortress was connected to the main island of Kos by a bridge 33 m long arm who crossed the sea using the castle moat. The northern part of the bridge was a drawbridge, so that in case of attack on the land side, the castle could be completely cut off from the main island.|
Under Italian rule moat of seawater have been filled and turned into the boulevard, Boulevard of the Palm-trees. A fixed bridge now connects the Plane-tree Square at the entrance of the castle.
|The entrance to the fortress (6) opens up a square tower which surmounts the south wall of the fortress.|
In the urgency of completing the work of fortifications, the Knights Hospitallers of ancient materials used it: over the door - lintel marble - is a great frieze Hellenistic festooned with masks and bulls’ heads; these probably come from a theater because these masks were commonly used in the ancient theater. Above the frieze is the badge of the Grand Master Emery d’Amboise .
|The Outdoor Enclosure|
|The outer is a good example of the expertise that the Knights of Rhodes had gained from the work of fortification after the siege of Rhodes by the Turks in 1480. Its implementation meets the technical development of artillery made during the second half of the fifteenth century to resist attacks with guns, rectangular outer enclosure is very thick with massive artillery bastions at the four corners and doorways for guns on the ramparts.|
|Previous fortification has been preserved inside the new enclosure and maintained in an operational state, but the new fortification had quadrupled the fortified area. Path round the outer wall, there is a beautiful view of the inner enclosure planted badges of Knights and out of the city, the port and the Turkish coast.|
The construction of the outer fortress was started by Pierre d’Aubusson in 1495, pursued by Emery d’Amboise and completed by Fabrizio del Carretto in 1514 with the southwest bastion that bears his name.
|Bastion Polygonal Aubusson|
|Pierre d’Aubusson, knight of the Language of Auvergne, was Grand Master of the Knights of St. John for 27 years (1476-1503) during this long teaching he organized the first building of the ancient fortress of Kos, but from 1480 he began the construction of the new stadium. It is possible to identify the improvements he made after 1489 because that year he was appointed cardinal, and after that date, his arms includes the cardinal’s hat.|
The polygonal bastion Aubusson (3) - north-west - was probably the first to be built bastion. Work began in 1489 with the intention of protecting the north side of the castle and the harbor entrance.
|Bastion of Carretto|
|The bastion of Carretto (2) (Προμαχώνας του del Carretto) is located at the southwest corner of the fortress artillery stronghold that controlled access to the city by land and south of the port of Mandraki. It is the last bastion of Kos to be built in 1514.|
The Bastion is a stronghold of Carretto powerful round, very similar to Carretto bastion of the fortifications of Rhodes also built under the magisterium of Fabrizio del Carretto (1513-1521). The crest Carretto is sealed into the wall of the bastion.
|Bastion Square Aubusson|
|The square bastion Aubusson is a bastion located in the eastern part of the exterior wall. It has a square peripheral corridor on the ground floor with nine cannon embrasures and ventilation shafts for ventilation and a stone staircase leading to the battlements of the outer enclosure.|
|On three sides (south, west and north), the inner chamber was separated from the outer wall by a wide dry moat (5) - formerly deeper today - as you cross a bridge slope located on the south ditch, which is still the bridge on which people visitors to enter the inner enclosure.|
In the north ditch is an old building built by the Knights Hospitaller and restored during the Italian domination of Kos. It is now used as a museum of architecture where you can see votive altars, various sculptures and inscriptions, and architectural elements found in the area. The gap itself has an open-air exhibition.
|The Inside Enclosure|
|The Knights Hospitallers, who took possession of the island of Kos from 1313, did not start building a fortification at the end of the fourteenth century after the attacks of the Ottoman sultan Bajazet I(Yıldırım Bayezid) against the island Kos. The first written mention of the existence of this fortification is the notary Nicolas Martoni Italian (Nicolò da Martoni) in his "Relation of pilgrimage to Jerusalem," from 1394 to 1395. He described the castle as an impregnable fortress Kos surrounded on three sides by the sea and on the fourth by a lake.|
This ancient castle was completely destroyed to make way - from 1451 - the inner fortress we see today. The construction of the inner wall was built under the Magister of Jean de Lastic (1437-1454), the Italian count and Brother Hospitalier Fantino Querini Stampalia Count (Astypalaia), being the Venetian governor of the island of Kos (1436 -1453), then under the magisterium of Jacques de Milly (1454-1461).
The inner fortress was a rectangle with circular towers at the corners, that among these towers, those of the south-west (8), Northwestern (9) and Southeast (7) are well preserved, the latter being almost incorporated in the outer wall, and the north-east tower was completely destroyed, and the next section of wall.
On the upper part of the masonry, we can see many patches of Grand Masters of the Order of St. John of the fifteenth century.
June 3, 1457, the island of Kos was attacked by an Ottoman army of 156 ships and 16,000 soldiers, after 23 days of siege, the Ottoman army left the island for reasons unknown. In 1480, during their generalized attack against the Knights of Rhodes, the Ottomans failed to conquer the fortress Kos.
|The Gate Carmadino|
|The entrance to the inner enclosure was by the door called Carmadino. This gate is named after the Genoese governor Edoardo di Carmadino (1471-1495) which will improve access to the fortress in 1478: his name is engraved on the lintel of the door, but the door is prior to the mandate of the governor.|
The ceiling of the corridor door consists of ten columns of basalt placed transversely; these columns probably came from the ruins of the early Christian basilica port (Βασιλική του λιμένος) destroyed by the earthquake of 469, then the 554 .
|Defense Tower of the Carmadino Gate|
|After crossing the bridge inside, you see, on the left, a circular tower whose role was to defend the entrance to the fortress. Tower defense Carmadino door is probably the oldest building in the castle of Kos. It has established a set of heraldic shields of the Grand Masters of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem under the Magister which was built inside the enclosure (two knights of the Langue d’Auvergne) than left Jean de Lastic (1437-1454), to the right of his successor Jacques de Milly (1454 - 1461), and in the middle of the shield with the Order Cross, the emblem of the Order.|
|Tour the Southwest|
|Tower of the Northwest|
|Tower of the Southeast|
|The south-east tower of the inner wall was built in the wall of the new enclosure.|
|Kos, once an outpost of Venice, was acquired by the Knights of St. John in 1315, under the magisterium of Fulk de Villaret (1305-1319), but was firmly acquired by the Knights in 1336. It is in 1377, under the magisterium of Juan Fernandez de Heredia (1376-1396), began the construction of a castle.|
In June 1522 the Sultan Suleiman besieged Rhodes also sent troops to Kos Castle and St. Peter (Bodrum), mainly to ensure that these fortresses could not send aid to the main fortress of the Knights . At the end of December 1522, the Knights of Rhodes capitulated and also had to withdraw all their other fortresses they left Kos in January 1523.
During the Ottoman occupation of the island, the castle housed a Turkish garrison, shops and a magazine, it was also the residence of the Ottoman governor of the island. Much of the castle was damaged in an explosion of the powder magazine March 17, 1816.
In May 1912, Kos was freed by Italian troops at the end of the Italo-Turkish War. During the Italian domination of the island, the castle was garrisoned then it was restored and traces of Turkish influence were removed to enhance the character of the medieval castle.
|In 1968, German filmmaker Werner Herzog turned into ruins of Neratzia one of his first films: Lebenszeichen (Signs of Life).|
|The entrance to the castle is a stone bridge, from the place of Plane (Πλατεία του Πλατάνου), which crosses the BBoulevard of the Palm-trees|
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 am to 14: 30 pm (closed on Mondays).
Telephone: 00 30 224 202 8326
Fee: € 3.
|Filiation of the topics|
|More detailed topics|
Kos Town, Kos Island - Interactive map|
Kos Town, Kos - The Greco-Roman city
Kos Town, Kos - The Byzantine city
Kos Town, Kos - The medieval town
Kos Town, Kos - Castle Neratzia
Kos Town, Kos - The Ottoman city
Kos Town, Kos - The Italian town
The village of Platani, Kos
The village and hot spring Empros, Kos
The island of Kos - Interactive Map
The city of Kos or Cos, Kos
The site of the Asclepion of Kos, Kos
The town of Asfendiou, Kos
The town of Pyli, Kos
The town of Antimahia or Antimachia, Kos
The town of Kardamena, Kos
The town of Kefalos, Kos
The island of Kos in the Aegean - The history of the island