(1900 Times Atlas of the World)
1204 Venice acquires the island of Euboea (at the time called Negroponte after the name of its main town) as a consequence of the Latin conquest of Constantinople
1470 The Ottomans seize Negroponte and this gain is confirmed by the peace treaty of 1479
December 1805. In the partition of Greece among the conquerors of the eastern empire, Venice obtained Oreos and Karysto; and a French chieftain, to whom
Egripo (Negroponte) had been assigned,
soon found it prudent to place himself under the protection of
the powerful republic by becoming their vassal.
William Martin Leake - Travels in northern Greece - 1835
The island of Euboea is a long mountainous ridge which runs parallel to Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica, three historical regions of mainland Greece. Moving around in the island is rather difficult even today, so that it is in general easier to take a ferry to the mainland, travel on the highway to Athens and then take another ferry to reach a different point of the island.
View of the remaining walls
The northern part of Euboea is separated from Thessaly by a long and winding channel: at its eastern entrance (towards the Aegean Sea) a low and flat hill provided an excellent site for controlling the access to it. The hill was inhabited since the time of Ancient Greece: the Venetians built on the site of the ancient acropolis a fortress to ensure no enemy would try to enter the channel or to invade the island from Thessaly. Very little is left of their fortress because the Ottomans, having conquered both the island and Thessaly, had no reason to maintain it.
View from the fortress towards the Oreo Channel
The plain of Histiaea which adjoins the bay of Oreós is perfectly seen from Thessaly extending several miles inland. Towards the eastern extremity of the plain is the large village of Xerokhóri and nearer the sea at the western end of the bay that of Oreós where a paleókastro surrounding a hill marks the site of the ancient Oreus or Histiaea. Leake
Today Oreo is a small and peaceful coastal town surrounded by olive-groves.
(left) View of Oreo from a few miles distant; (right) "Castro" tavern near the beach (a detail of its sign is shown in the image used as background for this page)
A view from a distance shows why the site was chosen to control the channel.
Pyrgos (Tower) Nisiotissa, an islet near Oreo opposite Nisiotissa Beach
The system of defence was completed by towers in key points of the channel for the early detection of enemies.
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 (Chalcis) 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.