The Venetians built their powerful castle above the ruins of ancient Mothoni, which was located here. According to Pausanias, the rock upon which the fortress of Bourtzi was built was called “Mothon Lithos.” In Homeric times the town was called Pedasus, and the surrounding area must have had plenty of vines, that is why Homer called it “ampeloessa” (ampeli = vine).
In the Second Messinian War, in the 4th century BC, it was renamed “Methoni,” a name it has since retained. After you cross the castle’s main gate, you will see the ruins of Venetian mansions, Turkish baths, Byzantine churches, and a large monolithic granite column, on top of which once stood the winged lion of Venice. Crossing the gate of the sea, which is formed by square towers 16 m. tall, you will arrive at the small stone bridge above the shallow waters with the white rocks and the many urchins. In front of you rises the imposing and much-photographed Bourtzi, the final tower of the castle. It is a two-storey, octagonal structure, which during the Turkish rule operated as a prison, and an execution area.
If you visit late in the afternoon, you will witness one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece!
During your visit to the castle, following a circular course, you will enter a large, open area that features the so-called Morosini’s Column, and you will also see the ruins of the Turkish baths, the residence of Ibrahim, the church of Haghia Sophia, as well as the famous church of the Transfiguration of Christ.