Mytilene Fortress

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/01/16/020
Level Item
Place Castle Mytilini
Dates before 1913
Creator Hasluck, Dr Frederick William
Scope and Content Close view of the towers. This is a Hellenic Society photograph (H.S. 2914). It is initialed (F.W.H.) and annotated in pencil at the back.
Further information The fortress of Mytilene, located on the north-east side of the modern city on the island of Lesvos, was built on the ruins of the ancient acropolis.
The earlier phase of the monument has been dated to the 6th century while very few surviving parts belong to the Byzantine period. In 1355 Lesvos was bequeathed to the Gattelusio family who in 1373 drastically restored it. However, it suffered severe damage during the 1403 earthquake and was partly reinforced in the 15th c.
In 1462 the Ottomans besieged Lesvos and the castle was repaired in 1501 by the Sultan Bayezid and again in the middle of the 17th c. Last repairs took place after the 1765/6 earthquake and the castle was inhabited until the Second World War.