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Castles
Castle of Agios Donatos / Castle of Paramythia
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The castle of Agios (St) Donatos is located in the Prefecture of Thesprotia, and more specifically in the city of Paramythia, at the foothills of Paramythia mountains.
Because the castle was built on the foundations of the ancient Greek wall it was named after the guardian and protector of the region, St. Donatos.

The area of Paramythia satisfied the conditions for developing small or larger settlements from ancient times. Paramythia was a small town during the Byzantine era and was built around 1000 BC.
The advantages of this natural fortified position were perceived in antiquity, as they have been discovered Hellenistic ruins and fortifications. The valley in which the city is built is one of the largest and most important of the Prefecture.
The slopes of the Paramythia mountain (its second name is Korila, Gorilla or even Kourila, has its roots in the old Slavic word Gor, which means mountain), offer the ability to control physical crossings in the area.

There are three distinct phases in the construction of the castle. The first dates back to the Hellenistic era, the second in the Byzantine era and the third during the Turkish occupation.
References to the Byzantine castle are found from historians during the medieval era. The Byzantine castle is mentioned by historians of the Middle Ages, the Byzantine historian Prokopios as well as in the “Chronicle of Tocchi”, a work of an anonymous author who describes the events at the Despotate of Epirus under the sovereignty of the Tocchi family and covers the period from the 14th and 15th century.

The castle was built in the 6th century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian to ensure the safety of local residents. He also built other buildings and churches. The construction of the castle was considered imperative after the invasions of the Goths and Vandals and the devastation of the great earthquake of 551 AD. Still, another massive earthquake followed as well as looting all across the Prefecture of Thesprotia from the King of Italy, Totila.

The 2 meters high Byzantine walls and the fort itself were built on top of the external walls (polygonal shape) of the castle. The main entrance of the castle which was located in the west is almost ruined now. There are two more entrances, one in the east and one in the northwest. The north side is not a firewall and is inaccessible.

Nowadays, there are ruins of several buildings from the Ottoman period inside the complex of the St. Donatos castle.