(1900 Times Atlas of the World)
|Key dates (due to the lack of historical records some dates are based on evidence related to nearby Egina and Napoli di Romania):|
XIVth century: Venice acquires the island which in ancient times was called Pitiousa: the island is renamed Spezzie or Spezzia, maybe a reference to spezie (spices)
1540: the island is ceded to the Ottomans
1687: the Venetians reoccupy Spezzia
1715: Spetse returns to the Ottomans
The island of Spetse is located just a few miles off the coast of Morea (Peloponnesus) at the entrance to the gulf of Napoli di Romania (Nauplia).
View of Kastelli, the site of the Venetian town
Today the town of Spetse stretches for a couple of miles along the eastern coast of the island: in the past the inhabitants lived on the eastern coast but on a low hill protected by walls and by the ravines caused by two small streams. The site was (and still is) called Kastelli after the It. castello (castle).
A remaining section of the old walls
In 1770 (in the context of the Russian - Ottoman war) the inhabitants of Spetse made an attempt to drive out their rulers, but the revolt failed and the Turks set fire to Kastelli, so today very little is left of the Venetian fortifications.
Old churches of Kastelli: Taxiarches and Ayia Triada
After the 1770 fire the site was almost entirely abandoned and the inhabitants moved towards the natural harbour to the south of Kastelli: today the majority of the buildings have a relatively modern appearance: there were many churches in Kastelli: only a few still exist.
Animal life in Kastelli
While just half a mile away modern Spetse has a very cosmopolitan appearance with luxury hotels and cafés, Kastelli has a very rural appeal. At times one feels he is visiting a farm.
Tower near the old harbour
The Venetian system of defence was completed by towers at key points of the island for the early detection of enemies.
Spetse played a key role in the Greek fight for independence: a lady from Spetse, Laskarina Bouboulina, led the Greek fleet in the successful blockade of the Malvasia fortress.
Introductory page on the Venetian Fortresses in Greece
List of the fortresses
|Geographic area||Location||Ionian Islands||Corfù (Kerkyra) Paxo (Paxi) Santa Maura (Lefkadas) Cefalonia (Kephallonia) Asso (Assos) Itaca (Ithaki) Zante (Zachintos) Cerigo (Kythera)||Greek Mainland||Butrinto (Butrint) Parga Preveza and Azio (Aktion) Vonizza (Vonitsa) Lepanto (Nafpaktos) Atene (Athens)||Peloponnese (Morea)||Castel di Morea (Rio), Castel di Rumelia (Antirio) and Patrasso (Patra) Castel Tornese (Hlemoutsi) and Glarenza Navarino (Pilo) and Calamata Modon (Methoni) Corone (Koroni) Braccio di Maina, Zarnata, Passavà and Chielefà Mistrà Corinto (Korinthos) Argo (Argos) Napoli di Romania (Nafplio) Malvasia (Monemvassia)||Aegean Islands||Negroponte (Chalki) Castelrosso (Karistos) Oreo Lemno (Limnos) Schiatto (Skiathos) Scopello (Skopelos) Alonisso Schiro (Skyros) Andro (Andros) Tino (Tinos) Micono (Mykonos) Siro (Syros) Egina (Aegina) Spezzia (Spetse) Paris (Paros) Antiparis (Andiparos) Nasso (Naxos) Serifo (Serifos) Sifno (Syphnos) Milo (Milos) Argentiera (Kimolos) Santorino (Thira) Folegandro (Folegandros) Stampalia (Astipalea)||Crete||Grambusa (Granvousa) Castello (Kasteli/Kissamos) La Canea (Xania) Souda Candia (Iraklion) Rettimo (Rethymno) Spinalonga and Castel Mirabello Castles on the southern coast Sittia and Paleocastro|
You may refresh your knowledge of the history of Venice in the Levant by reading an abstract from
the History of Venice by Thomas Salmon, published in 1754. The Italian text is accompanied by an English summary.