You may wish to see an introductory page with a map first.
After I had been at Constantinople I went from the Dardanels
to Tenedos. This island was called by the antients Calydna. (..) The antients say, that
it was five miles from the continent, but now it is computed to be nine; (..) it is five miles long and four broad.
(..) The Grecian fleet that came
against Troy lay here, but it was not then esteemed a good port.
Richard Pococke - A Description of the East and Some Other Countries - 1745
Views towards the harbour and the northern cove (Greek quarter)
The city of this island was reckoned among those of Aeolia, and it is
said to have had two ports, one of which, I suppose, is the port now
frequented, and the other is to the west of the castle close to the town,
which is exposed to the north wind. Pococke
Tenedo (Bozcaada) is a small island very near the Asian entrance to the Dardanelles. It played an important role during the War of Troy; after ten years of useless siege, the Greeks abandoned their camp and put their ships out to sea. According to the traditional account they left a gigantic wooden horse (in the image used as background for this page you can see that which was built for a movie) on the beach, an offering to Athena to gain her help in safely returning home. The Greek ships however had not sailed towards their towns; they had just hidden behind Tenedo; at a given signal from one of the men who had entered Troy (inside the wooden horse), Agamennon ordered the Greek ships to drive shoreward.
View from the southern harbour
was a temple here to Sminthean Apollo, which probably was in the fine
esplanade before the castle, where there now remain some fluted pillars of
white marble, which are about two feet and a half in diameter. (..) The castle is a large high building, on a little rocky cape between the two ports. Pococke
Several centuries after the war of Troy Tenedo was at the centre of another war: the War of Tenedo (1378-1381) between Genoa and Venice (also known as the War of Chioggia). The Byzantine Emperor John V imprisoned and blinded his own son Andronicus, who managed to escape with the help of the Genoese and to dethrone his father. In return for their services he bequeathed Tenedo to them: he disregarded the fact that six years earlier the island had become a Venetian base following an agreement between John V and Venice. The Venetian governor of Tenedo repelled the Genoese when they tried to enforce their rule on the island. The war was eventually fought in Italy and its initial cause was almost forgotten. In the peace treaty both Genoa and Venice gave up their rights to Tenedo.
It is very probable that this castle, or some part of
it, may be the remains of the granaries that Justinian built to preserve the corn which was brought from Egypt from being spoiled, in
case the ships which were bound to Constantinople should be detained by contrary winds. Pococke
Tenedo eventually became an Ottoman possession, but its limited fortifications allowed the Venetians to raid the island in 1500. Venice occupied Tenedo in a more permanent way during the early years of the War of Candia (1645-1669). Tenedo with nearby Imbro served as a supply base for the Venetian fleet which blocked the Dardanelles. During this period the Venetians improved the fortifications of the harbour.
The current imposing aspect of the fortress is the result of extensive improvements made by the Ottomans after 1657 (the year they managed to dislodge the Venetians from the Dardanelles).
XIXth century view of the fortress
The only town on the island is situated towards the north east corner of it, in Which there are two hundred Greek families, and three hundred Turkish; the former have a church and three poor convents and are under the bishop of Mytilene. Pococke
Similar to what occurred on other islands, the Ottomans occupied the area protected by the walls around the fortress. Most of the Greeks lived outside the fortified town.
(left) XXth century inscription; (centre) Ottoman tombs; (right) Ottoman relief
The country about the town is rocky and
unimproved and the Turks will not permit to cultivate that quarter;
but on the north side there is a small spot well improved. The chief export is good wine and brandy. Pococke
As a consequence of the events which followed WWI, Tenedo was assigned to Greece and a few years later returned to the control of Turkey. In this context the buildings inside the walls were abandoned and only a few tombs and inscriptions of the old town remain.
In the former Greek quarter
The tense relations between Greece and Turkey led many Greeks to leave Tenedo. In recent years a more constructive approach has led to a desire to forget the conflicts of the past.
Fortresses of the Sultans - Introduction
Fortresses built before 1453:
1 - Anadolu Hisar
2 - Rumeli Hisar
Fortresses built after 1453 and before 1657:
3 - Kale Sultanieh
4 - Kilitbahir
Fortresses built after 1657:
5 - Seddulbahir
6 - Imbro
7 - Tenedo