Castle City of Ioannina
The fortified old town
At the southeastern end of the city of Ioannina, a unique castle city is preserved until today, a reference point of the city, inextricably linked to the rich history of the region. It is the oldest Byzantine castle in Greece, with an uninterrupted history as it is one of the few castles in Greece that is still inhabited to this day.
Pass the Grand Gate with the coat of arms of Ali Pasha, and move on to another era, when the castle was the largest administrative center of the whole area. Here the Greek letters were developed, here the great teachers of the Nation taught, here the great chiefs studied the art of war. Here lived Ali Pasha, this emblematic and enigmatic figure of the Ottoman Empire with his great love with the lady-Basilica but also the murder of Mrs.-Frosini, his son’s mistress.
According to historical testimonies, the imposing castle of Ioannina was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian I, in 528 AD, as part of the plan for the fortification of the Byzantine state, an ambitious event of the state Byzantine Empire. The current form of the Castle is for the most part a work of the Ottoman Empire, with integrated older Byzantine building phases. The area within its walls is about 200 acres.
The museums of the castle city
– Τhe Byzantine Museum, on the citadel of Its Kale, with very important collections of coins, sculptures and relics
– Τhe Municipal Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina, which is located in the mosque of Aslan Pasha. The visitor has the opportunity to see the Ottoman baths and the library with great written monuments, as well as local costumes, the damask sword of Karaiskakis and collections of silver and gold.
– The Fotis Rapakousis Museum, opposite the Aslan Pasha Mosque. It is mainly a museum of war history, with great exhibits from the pre-revolutionary period until the Balkan Wars.
– Silversmithing Museum. A museum made with the modern techniques of museology dedicated to Ioannina’s traditional craft.