A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form; the peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions. In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list; the Peloponnese is a peninsula that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is if referred to as an "island".
It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, an artificial one by the Rio–Antirrio bridge. The peninsula has a mountainous interior and indented coasts; the Peloponnese possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian, the Mani, the Cape Malea, the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese. Mount Taygetus in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at 2,407 metres. Οther important mountains include Cyllene in the northeast, Aroania in the north and Panachaikon in the northwest, Mainalon in the center, Parnon in the southeast. The entire peninsula has been the site of many earthquakes in the past; the longest river is the Alfeios in the west, followed by the Evrotas in the south, the Pineios in the west. Extensive lowlands are found only in the west, with the exception of the Evrotas valley in the south and in the Argolid in the northeast; the Peloponnese is home to numerous spectacular beaches. Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, the Ionian to the west.
The island of Kythira, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands. The island of Elafonisos used to be part of the peninsula but was separated following the major quake of 365 AD. Since antiquity, continuing to the present day, the Peloponnese has been divided into seven major regions: Achaea, Argolis, Laconia and Elis; each of these regions is headed by a city. The largest city is Patras in Achaia, followed by Kalamata in Messenia; the peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology the legend of the hero Pelops, said to have conquered the entire region; the name Peloponnesos means "Island of Pelops". The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece's first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula; the Mycenean civilization collapsed at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its palaces show signs of destruction.
The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held at Olympia, in the western Peloponnese and this date is sometimes used to denote the beginning of the classical period of Greek antiquity. During classical antiquity, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of ancient Greece, possessed some of its most powerful city-states, was the location of some of its bloodiest battles; the major cities of Sparta, Corinth and Megalopolis were all located on the Peloponnese, it was the homeland of the Peloponnesian League. Soldiers from the peninsula fought in the Persian Wars, it was the scene of the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 BC; the entire Peloponnese with the notable exception of Sparta joined Alexander's expedition against the Persian Empire. Along with the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC, when the Romans razed the city of Corinth and massacred its inhabitants.
The Romans created the province of Achaea comprising central Greece. During the Roman period, the peninsula remained prosperous but became a provincial backwater cut off from the affairs of the wider Roman world. After the partition of the Empire in 395, the Peloponnese became a part of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire; the devastation of Alaric's raid in 396–397 led to the construction of the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth. Through most of late antiquity, the peninsula retained its urbanized character: in the 6th century, Hierocles counted 26 cities in his Synecdemus. By the latter part of that century, building activity seems to have stopped everywhere except Constantinople, Thessalonica and Athens; this has traditionally been attributed to calamities such as plague and Slavic invasions. However, more recent analysis suggests that urban decline was linked with the collapse of long-distance and regional commercial networks that underpinned and supported late antique urba
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the prosperous city of Venice, was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; the Venetian city state was founded as a safe haven for the people escaping persecution in mainland Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire. In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade. In subsequent centuries, the city state established a thalassocracy, it dominated trade on the Mediterranean Sea, including commerce between Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia. The Venetian navy was used in the Crusades, most notably in the Fourth Crusade. Venice achieved territorial conquests along the Adriatic Sea. Venice became home to an wealthy merchant class, who patronized renowned art and architecture along the city's lagoons.
Venetian merchants were influential financiers in Europe. The city was the birthplace of great European explorers, such as Marco Polo, as well as Baroque composers such as Vivaldi and Benedetto Marcello; the republic was ruled by the Doge, elected by members of the Great Council of Venice, the city-state's parliament. The ruling class was an oligarchy of aristocrats. Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism. Venetian citizens supported the system of governance; the city-state employed ruthless tactics in its prisons. The opening of new trade routes to the Americas and the East Indies via the Atlantic Ocean marked the beginning of Venice's decline as a powerful maritime republic; the city state suffered. In 1797, the republic was plundered by retreating Austrian and French forces, following an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Republic of Venice was split into the Austrian Venetian Province, the Cisalpine Republic, a French client state, the Ionian French departments of Greece.
Venice became part of a unified Italy in the 19th century. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is referred to as La Serenissima, in reference to its title as one of the "Most Serene Republics". During the 5th century, North East Italy was devastated by the Germanic barbarian invasions. A large number of the inhabitants moved to the coastal lagoons. Here they established a collection of lagoon communities, stretching over about 130 km from Chioggia in the south to Grado in the north, who banded together for mutual defence from the Lombards and other invading peoples as the power of the Western Roman Empire dwindled in northern Italy; these communities were subjected to the authority of the Byzantine Empire. At some point in the first decades of the eighth century, the people of the Byzantine province of Venice elected their first leader Ursus, confirmed by Constantinople and given the titles of hypatus and dux, he was the first historical Doge of Venice. Tradition, first attested in the early 11th century, states that the Venetians first proclaimed one Anafestus Paulicius duke in 697, though this story dates to no earlier than the chronicle of John the Deacon.
Whichever the case, the first doges had their power base in Heraclea. Ursus's successor, moved his seat from Heraclea to Malamocco in the 740s, he represented the attempt of his father to establish a dynasty. Such attempts were more than commonplace among the doges of the first few centuries of Venetian history, but all were unsuccessful. During the reign of Deusdedit, Venice became the only remaining Byzantine possession in the north and the changing politics of the Frankish Empire began to change the factional divisions within Venetia. One faction was decidedly pro-Byzantine, they desired to remain well-connected to the Empire. Another faction, republican in nature, believed in continuing along a course towards practical independence; the other main faction was pro-Frankish. Supported by clergy, they looked towards the new Carolingian king of the Franks, Pepin the Short, as the best provider of defence against the Lombards. A minor, pro-Lombard faction was opposed to close ties with any of these further-off powers and interested in maintaining peace with the neighbouring Lombard kingdom.
The successors of Obelerio inherited a united Venice. By the Pax Nicephori, the two emperors had recognised that Venice belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence. Many centuries the Venetians claimed that the treaty had recognised Venetian de facto independence, but the truth of this claim is doubted by modern scholars. A Byzantine fleet sailed to Venice in 807 and deposed the Doge, replacing him with a Byzantine governor. During the reign of the Participazio family, Venice grew into its modern form. Though Heraclean by birth, the first Participazio doge, was an early immigrant to Rialto and his dogeship was marked by the expansion of Venice towards the sea via the construction of bridges, bulwarks and stone buildings; the modern Venice, at one with the sea, was being bor
Koroni or Corone is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Known as Corone by the Venetians and Ottomans, the town of Koroni sits on the southwest peninsula of the Peloponnese on the Gulf of Messinia in southern Greece, 56 km by road southwest of Kalamata; the town reaches to the edge of the gulf. The town was the seat of the former municipality of Koróni, which has a land area of 105 km2 and a population of 4,366; the municipal unit consists of the communities Akritochori, Chrysokellaria, Kaplani, Koroni, Vasilitsi and Yameia. It includes the uninhabited island of Venétiko; the town was founded in ancient times. The 2nd century Greek geographer Pausanias in his book Messeniaka reports the original location of Koroni at modern Petalidi, a town a few kilometers north of Koroni, he reports many temples of Greek gods and a copper statue of Zeus. In the centuries that followed the town of Koroni moved to its current location, where the ancient town of Asini had once stood.
In the 6th and 7th centuries AD, the Byzantines built a fortress there. The town appears for the first time as a bishopric in the Notitiae Episcopatuum of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise, in which it appears as a suffragan of the See of Patras. Surviving seals give the names of some of its Greek bishops; the Greek eparchy was suppressed in the 19th century as part of an ecclesiastical reorganization after Greece gained its independence. Following the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Partitio Romaniae assigned most of the Peloponnese to the Republic of Venice, but the Venetians moved to claim it, the peninsula swiftly passed to the Frankish crusaders under William of Champlitte, who established the Principality of Achaea; the fortress of Koroni was given to Champlitte's chief lieutenant, Geoffrey of Villehardouin. It was not until 1206 or 1207, that a Venetian fleet under Premarini and the son of Doge Enrico Dandolo took the Messenian peninsula and Koroni with its neighbouring Methoni from Champlitte's men.
Venetian possession of the two fortresses was recognized by Geoffrey of Villehardouin, by now Prince of Achaea, in the Treaty of Sapienza in June 1209. The Venetian period lasted for three centuries, during which time Koroni and Methoni, or Coron and Modon—the first Venetian possessions on the Greek mainland—became, in the words of a Venetian document, "the receptacle and special nest of all our galleys and vessels on their way to the Levant", by virtue of their position controlling the Levantine trade were known as "the chief eyes of the Republic"; the town flourished as an waystation of pilgrims to the Holy Land. Koroni in particular was famous for its cochineal, from which crimson dyes were made, for the Venetian engineers'expertise in siege engines, much in demand by the princes of Frankish Greece in their wars. Of the two, Koroni was the more important: when the two captains of the fortresses were increased to three towards the end of the 13th century, the two resided in Koroni, in emergencies a bailo resided there as an extraordinary consul.
During this period Koroni became the seat of bishops of the Latin Church. As the Catholics imitated the pre-existing Byzantine ecclesiastical structure, the Latin bishop of Koroni remained a suffragan of the Latin Archbishop of Patras. One of its bishops, Angelo Correr became Pope Gregory XII. No longer a residential Catholic bishopric, Corone is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. In the mid-14th century, the two Venetian colonies suffered from the Black Death, so that it was necessary to send a fresh batch of colonists from home, the franchise was extended to all the inhabitants, except the Jews; the two fortresses began to be governed by a series of minutely detailed Statutes and Capitulations issued by the metropolitan government, containing such clauses as a regulation that forbade the Venetian garrison to wear beards, so as to distinguish them from the local Greeks. Unlike other Latin rulers in Greece, the Venetians allowed the Greek Orthodox bishops to reside in their sees alongside their Catholic counterparts, but in the latter half of the 14th century, there are reports of mistreatment of the Greek population, which fled from Venetian territory to the Franks of Achaea.
In the early 15th century, as the Principality of Achaea collapsed, the Venetians expanded their territory in Messenia: Navarino was taken over in 1417, by 1439 had constructed or taken over six further castles between Navarino and Methoni and Koroni to secure her extended possession. The first seaborne Ottoman attack on Koroni took place in 1428, after the Ottoman conquest of the Despotate of the Morea in 1460, the Venetian domains shared a border with Ottoman territory; this led a group of the town's Arvanitika speaking residents to seek refuge in Sicily, where they founded the town of Piana degli Albanesi, known as Piana dei Greci until 1945. Koroni fell to the Ottomans in 1500, during the Second Ottoman–Venetian War: Sultan Bayezid II stormed Methoni, after which Koroni and Navarino surrendered; the town was retaken by admiral Andrea Doria in 1532, but in the spring of 1533 the Ottomans laid siege to it. Doria was able to relieve the town, prompting Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent to call upon the services of the corsair captain Hayreddin Barbarossa.
Barbarossa was aided by the outbreak of plague among the garrison and a harsh winter, in 1534 the Spanish garrison surrendered the for
Achaea or Achaia, sometimes transliterated from Greek as Akhaia, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Greece and is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula; the capital is Patras. Its population surpassed 300,000 for the first time in 2001. Achaea is bordered by Elis to the west and southwest, Arcadia to the south, Corinthia to the east and southeast; the Gulf of Corinth lies to its northeast, the Gulf of Patras to its northwest. The mountain Panachaiko, though not the highest of Achaea, dominates the coastal area near Patras. Higher mountains are found in the south, such as Erymanthos. Other mountain ranges in Achaea are Skollis, Omplos and Movri, its main rivers ordered from west to east are the Larissos, Peiros, Charadros and Vouraikos. Most of the forests are in the mountain ranges, though several are in the plains including the extreme west. There are barren lands in the highest areas. Achaea has mild winters. Sunny days dominate during the summer months in areas near the coast, while the summer can be cloudy and rainy in the mountains.
Snow is common during the winter in the mountains of Erymanthos and Aroania. Winter high temperatures are around the 10 °C mark throughout the low-lying areas; the regional unit Achaea is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are: Aigialeia Erymanthos Kalavryta Patras West Achaea As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Achaea was created out of the former prefecture Achaea; the prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Province of Aigialeia - Aigio Province of Kalavryta - Kalavryta Province of Patras - PatrasNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the Achaean League was a Hellenistic-era confederation of city states in Achaea, founded in 280/281 BC. It grew until it included most of Peloponnese, much reducing the Macedonian rule in the area. After Macedon's defeat by the Romans in the early 2nd century BC, the League was able to defeat a weakened Sparta and take control of the entire Peloponnese.
However, as the Roman influence in the area grew, the league erupted into an open revolt against Roman domination, in what is known as Achaean War. The Achaeans were defeated at the Battle of Corinth, the League was dissolved by the Romans. In AD 51/52, Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus was proconsul of Achaea, presided over the trial of the Apostle Paul in Corinth; this event provides a secure date for the book of the Acts of the Apostles within the Bible. Achaea remained a province of the Byzantine Empire after the fall of the western Roman Empire. In the 6th and 7th centuries, Slavs invaded the Peloponnese, settled in parts of Achaea as well. By the 9th century, the whole peninsula was under Byzantine control again. However, after the Fourth Crusade several new crusader states were founded in Greece. One of these was the Principality of Achaea, founded in 1205, which like the Roman province covered a much larger area than traditional Achaea. Achaea was recaptured by the Byzantine Empire by 1430, became part of the Despotate of the Morea.
The Despotate of the Morea fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1460. As a part of the Morean War, the Republic of Venice captured Achaea in 1687 and held it until 1715, when the Ottomans recaptured the Peloponnese. Under Ottoman rule, Achaea was part of the Morea Eyalet. In the Greek War of Independence, Aigio was one of the first cities to be liberated by the Greeks and all of Achaea was liberated by the end of 1821. Achaea produced several heroes including Kanaris and Roufos and prime ministers of Greece including Andreas Michalakopoulos as well as some head of states. In the first administrative subdivision of independent Greece, Achaea was part of the Achaea and Elis Prefecture; this was divided into the prefectures of Achaea and Elis in 1899. Achaea and Elis were reunited in 1909, split again in 1930. Achaea saw an influx of refugees that arrived from Asia Minor during the Greco Turkish War of 1919-1922. Tens of thousands were relocated to their camps in the suburbs of Patras and a few villages within the coastline.
One of the camps was named Prosfygika. Achaea today has about one-third of the population of the Peloponnese. Patras, the capital of Achaea, is the third largest city in Greece, behind Athens-Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Two-thirds of the Achaean population live near Patras, more than half within the city limits; the main industrial areas are around Patras. The main cities and towns of Achaea are: Patras 169,034 Aigio 20,664 Kato Achaia 6,880 The monastery Agia Lavra is situated a few kilometres west of Kalavryta on the top of a hill. 12 to 20 km east, is Cave Lakes, with lakes inside. The length is around 300 to 500 m; the mountain hosts the most modern Greek telescope, named Aristarchus and operated by the National Observatory of Athens. A narrow gauge railway track runs for 30 km as a tourist attraction; the track ends off Diakopto. Patras is one of the main industrial and commerce centers in Greece. Temeni is a place, it is owned by a division of The Coca-Cola Company and a parent. There is a small oil refinery near Rio.
Intercity bus transport is provided by KTEL Achaias. The main bus terminal is in the city of Patras; the main highways are: Ionia Odos
Mehmed the Conqueror
Mehmed II known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was an Ottoman Sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, later from February 1451 to May 1481. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged; when Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest Mehmed claimed the title "Caesar" of the Roman Empire, based on the assertion that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the Roman Empire; the claim was only recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. At home he made many political and social reforms, encouraged the arts and sciences, by the end of his reign his rebuilding program had changed the city into a thriving imperial capital.
He is considered parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul's Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him. Mehmed II was born on 30 March 1432, in Edirne the capital city of the Ottoman state, his father was Sultan Murad II and his mother Hüma Valide Hatun, born in the town of Devrekani, Kastamonu. When Mehmed II was eleven years old he was sent to Amasya to govern and thus gain experience, per the custom of Ottoman rulers before his time. Sultan Murad II sent a number of teachers for him to study under; this Islamic education had a great impact in molding Mehmed's mindset and reinforcing his Muslim beliefs. He was influenced in his practice of Islamic epistemology by practitioners of science by his mentor, Molla Gürani, he followed their approach; the influence of Akshamsaddin in Mehmed's life became predominant from a young age in the imperative of fulfilling his Islamic duty to overthrow the Byzantine empire by conquering Constantinople.
After Murad II made peace with the Karamanids in Anatolia in August 1444, he abdicated the throne to his 12-year-old son Mehmed II. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged. Cardinal Julian Cesarini, the representative of the Pope, had convinced the king of Hungary that breaking the truce with Muslims was not a betrayal. At this time Mehmed II asked his father Murad II to reclaim the throne. Angry at his father, who had long since retired to a contemplative life in southwestern Anatolia, Mehmed II wrote, "If you are the Sultan and lead your armies. If I am the Sultan I hereby order you to come and lead my armies." It was only after receiving this letter that Murad II led the Ottoman army and won the Battle of Varna in 1444. Murad II's return to the throne was forced by Çandarlı Halil Paşa, the grand vizier at the time, not fond of Mehmed II's rule, because Mehmed II's influential lala, had a rivalry with Çandarlı.
When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he devoted himself to strengthening the Ottoman navy and made preparations for an attack on Constantinople. In the narrow Bosphorus Straits, the fortress Anadoluhisarı had been built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I on the Asian side. Having completed his fortresses, Mehmed proceeded to levy a toll on ships passing within reach of their cannon. A Venetian vessel ignoring signals to stop was sunk with a single shot and all the surviving sailors beheaded, except for the captain, impaled and mounted as a human scarecrow as a warning to further sailors on the strait. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the companion and standard bearer of Muhammad, had died during the first Siege of Constantinople; as Mehmed II's army approached Constantinople, Mehmed's sheikh Akshamsaddin discovered the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. After the conquest, Mehmed built Eyüp Sultan Mosque at the site to emphasize the importance of the conquest to the Islamic world and highlight his role as ghazi.
In 1453 Mehmed commenced the siege of Constantinople with an army between 80,000 and 200,000 troops, an artillery train of over seventy large field pieces, a navy of 320 vessels, the bulk of them transports and storeships. The city was surrounded by land. In early April, the Siege of Constantinople began. At first, the city's walls held off the Turks though Mehmed's army used the new bombard designed by Orban, a giant cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun; the harbor of the Golden Horn was defended by twenty-eight warships. On 22 April, Mehmed transported his lighter warships overland, around the Genoese colony of Galata, into the Golden Horn's northern shore, thus the Byzantines stretched their troops over a longer portion of the walls. About a month Constantinople fell, on 29 May, following a fifty-seven-day siege. After this conquest, Mehmed moved the Ottoman capital from Adrianople to Constantinople; when Sultan Mehmed II stepped into the ruins of