The castle town of Koroni will forever be an indisputable testimony to the area’s long history. This castle also belongs to a long line of impressive fortress constructions, which can be found scattered all over Messinia. It continues to stand proud and imposing on top of a hill, despite the fact that it has endured many destructions since the period of its prime, sometime between the 13th and the 17th century.
The castle initially fell into the hands of the Franks, after they invaded the Morea, but quickly passed into the hands of the Venetians, who slowly conquered almost all of the Messinian coasts. Serving the interests of the Venetians, the castle town of Koroni entered a period of great prime, and became famous for its craft industry. Within the castle dwelled both Venetians and Greeks, and life followed the fast pace of a productive and prospering town.
The prosperity of Koroni has also been recorded in the chronicles and travelogues of the many travelers who passed from the area during their journeys. What followed was a tumultuous period, during which Koroni was constantly being passed from one conqueror to another, each one leaving their strong mark on the castle, evident in the many interventions to its form.
The fortress takes up a relatively large area of space, is almost triangular and has impressive square towers. Almost every corner includes a vault, which served as a powder magazine. In the interior we can still see plenty of graves hewn into the rock, a Turkish bath, Venetian cisterns, the ruins of the church of Haghia Sophia, an early-Christian Byzantine three-aisle basilica, probably dating to the 7th century, and in the same area the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo.
Nearby there is the church of Aghios Charalambos, which was sadly destroyed by the great fire in 2012, the old calendarist women’s Monastery of Timios Ioannis Prodromos, which was built in the beginning of the previous century, as wellas the cemetery. In the middle of an enclosed area within the castle, there is the so-called Resalto, a marble column erected in memory of the Greeks who met a tragic end on February 28, 1824, when they tried to seize the castle from the Turks.