Akrokorinthos was the acropolis of ancient Corinth and its previleged position commands the view on all the routes to Corinth both by the land and by the sea. The hight is 575 meters and the circuit wall is almost 2,000 meters long.
Because of its particular position, Akrokorinthos's value outlived that of ancient Corinth itself; it was used as a fortress all through the ages until the Ottoman domination. While in Corinth there are scarce monuments date back after the Byzantine period, Akrokorinthos' most visible constructions belong to the Crusader and Ottoman period.
|Acrocorinth seen from Corinth site|
As ancient monuments, there are the ruins of Temple of Aphrodite, later converted into church, Fountain of Peirene, and one tower at the middle gate. The ancient circuit wall was mostly dismantled by the Roman army in the 2nd century BC. The walls and gates in the photo above mostly belong to the Venetian, Frankish or Ottoman period.
During the infamous Fourth Crusade, Guillaume de Champlitte besieged Akrokorinth between 1205 and 1208 and the assailed Leo Sgouros committed suicide in 1208. The fortress, however, did not fall even after this loss and was captured finally by Geoffrey de Villehardouin and Otho de la Roche when the defending Theodoros Angelos escaped to Argos in 1210. At this point, Akrokorinthos was incorporated into the Principate of Achaea. The fortification was reinforced by Guillaume de Villehardouin in the mid 13th century and by Giovanni di Gravina at the beginning of the 14th century.
The fortress passed to Niccolo Acciaiuoli in 1358 and to Theodoros I Paleologos, despot of Mytras, in 1394. After a brief occupation by the Knights of Rhodos (1400-1404), it was captured by the Turks in 1458 and occupied by the Venetians between 1687 and 1715 when the Turks recaptured it.