Pantokratoras castle

Pantokratoras is a coastal settlement on the North West of Preveza. It is 400 m off the exit of the underwater tunnel Preveza- Aktio and it was founded by refugees after the Asia Minor disaster.
Almost one kilometer off, on the west of the city of Preveza, on the beach and at the place where the shore turns towards the Ionian Sea, the fortress of Pantokratoras is erected. Mr. Spiros Aravantinos mentions that the fortress was named after the church of Pantokratoras that was built there, during the French occupation of the city, before its construction and it gave its name to the neighbouring settlement. The Europeans used to call it “Enetic” or “Venetian” castle. The Turkish “uc kale”, edge, end, border.
Pantokratoras castle was built in the beginning of the 19th century by Ali Pasha, on the basis of a plan drawn by the French engineer Vaudoncourt. However, that mission concealed some motives of the strategy of French in Epirus and Albania. Its location served tocompletely control the navigation at the entrance of the Amvrakikos gulf.
The main part of the fortress is shaped in an almost regular pentagon, with high, perimeter walls. In the perimeter, there are domed spaces that shape at the centre a big internal yard. The main fortress is surrounded by falsework, sea bastion, dry moat between the bastion and the main fortress on the south part and a wet moat on the north. The main entrance is located on the north side and anyone could reach it by passing over the wet moat. Apart from the main entrance there is a smaller one on the east side, which connects the moat to the internal yard. Nowadays, it hosts several cultural events.
Inside the castle, on the east part of the south wing, a small temple, dedicated to the memory of Agioi Anargyroi is erected.
The main internal square seems to be the initial core of the fortress, while the ornate sea bastion is a posterior construction.
We must point out that later, the castle was used as a prison by the Greek Government. The prison’s construction with the prisoners’ halls and the auxiliary rooms are on the south west wing of the castle. A big balcony of reinforced concrete is erected inside the internal yard, connecting the cells with the rooms of Prison Administration, situated over the east wing of the fortress.

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