Niokastro or Navarino Castle
The older castle of Navarino, called Palaiokastro or Palaionavarino and the more recent castle, called Niokastron. Niocastro is the one which is actually inside the town of Pylos.
Niokastro was built in 1573 by the Turks, and in 1686 was captured by the Venetians. It came again under Turkish domination in 1715, along with the castles of Koroni and Palionavarino. In 1821, in the first months of the Greek Revolution, it was captured by the Greek fighters. In 1825 it was captured by Ibrahim Pasha and remained under his control until 1828 when it was liberated by the French general Maison. After 1830, it was used as a prison until 1941. During the Second World War it was used as the headquarters of the Italian and, later, the German forces.
Structure, Fortification & Buildings
The Castle is divided into two main sections:
1. Enceinte-Lower Castle; the larger of the two sections occupies the slope of the hill and is built of ashlar limestone blocks.
2. Upper Castle: hexagonal fortress with massive battlements and projecting bastions which protect five of the six corners of the walls.
The most important buildings:
1. Church of the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration): Cross-in-square domed church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. It was used as a Moslem mosque and was later converted into a Christian church.
2. General Maison's building. Rectangular, two-storeyed stone building erected in the 19th century. It has been reconstructed and now houses the Museum and the offices.