Agia Mavra castle
The ancient castle of Agia Mavra (or known as Santa Maura) lies at the entrance of Lefkada island.
You will find this important historical sight directly next to the metal bridge, on its eastern side. The castle of Agia Mavra is the largest castle in the area, it remained in a fairly good condition. The first walls of the castle were built by the Sicilian governor, to protect the area from the pirates. After a few years, in 1294 the island became a property of Franks. Around 1300 Lefkada town became economical center of the island, so the strong fort was neccessary solution against raiders. Initially the area of Agia Mavra was much smaller than today, but it has been rebuilt and expanded several times with barracks, administrative buildings, cisterns, and storage rooms.
For a few years Ottomans occupied the area, and they built a mosque and a bridge inside the walls of the castle.
Later Venetians took control over the island, and Lefkada became a Venetian province. The Venetians increased the area of the fortress, even strengthened its walls. You can still see the main symbol of Venice, the Lion of Saint Mark in many places.
In 1888 there was a large fire which destroyed several buildings inside, but only a few of them have been rebuilt after disaster.
The castle of Agia Mavra are well preserved today, thanks to its strong and thick walls. The fort is surrounded by a canal, the main entrance is at the western side of the building. If you walk around, you will see a tiny chapel called Agia Mavra, which was built in the 15th century. Inside the walls you can find ruins of the medieval buildings. On the western side of Agia Mavra there is a modern lighthouse, which is working today as well. Sometimes excavations are still taking place, you can still see archeologists on the field.
The entrance is free, but Agia Mavra like other Greek forts and museums, is closed on Mondays!
Guide to Agia Mavra
Coordinates: 38.844202, 20.719224
2 km east from Lefkada town
Accessibility: by car, or walking from Lefkada town
Entrance Fee: none (free entrance), but closed on Mondays
Agia Mavra on map