The Culture Ministry announced on Wednesday that restoration works will be carried out inside the Castle of Zakynthos to preserve and promote the buildings and structures of the eras of Venetian and British rule. The ministry said the studies for the restoration works were approved by the Central Antiquities Council.
“The Castle of Zakynthos is a very significant Byzantine and Medieval monument due to its historic importance and architectural value. Our aim is, after the restoration works, to highlight its historic and archaeological value as well as the further operational development as visitable site,” stated Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.
The exact date when the Venetian Castle was first built is not known with certainty, but it is believed it was in 1480, soon after the Venetians occupied the island. Under the Venetians, the Castle was the capital of Zakynthos. Soon after it was built, the castle was destroyed by invading Turks.
In 1514, it was repaired, again by the Venetians. The strong earthquakes that have frequently struck the island destroyed the fortifications so often that they had to be constantly rebuilt. The construction of the walls and the Fortress defensive system, which are still preserved today, was completed in 1646 when proveditor general da mar was Iohannem Battista Grimani. An important program of conservation of the Castle was carried out by the English in 1812 while they were in control of the island. The sewage and water supply systems were created in that period. Recent excavations at the Venetian Castle have found monuments from the Byzantine period, including a church dating back to the 12th century.