+30 6981894766 info@ilionluxurystudios.com Troias 18, P.C. 570 21, Asprovalta, Thessaloniki, Greece

The castle of Rentina

The castle of Rentina

The castle of Rentina

The Castle of Rentina is located on the top of a hill, next to the Richios River, at the western entrance of the Straits of Rentina or Macedonian Temples. It was inhabited continuously from the most ancient years until the first years of the Turkish rule, when it was abandoned because its strategic importance had been degraded and the Turks chose the neighboring Volvi as their place of settlement.


Traces of human presence on the hill are evidenced by finds from the Neolithic era. The habitation continued uninterrupted until late antiquity. Then, specifically around 450 AD, the first fortification was built. Later, the emperor Justinian (527-565) strengthens the fortifications and re-establishes the castle - this is the Artemision fortress mentioned by Procopius. From 570 the Slavs crossed the Danube to the north and throughout the 7th century, they no longer content themselves with raids, but settled in large groups in the desolate countryside. They create islands of population, the Slavonias, which have their own organization and leadership. The Rihion valley is inhabited by the barbarian race of the Righinis, who were probably of Vlach origin and were dragged along by the descent of the Slavs, as they are repeatedly referred to as "Vlachorighins".

The next stage in the history of Redina, which reveals the essential turning point in the life of the castle, is its declaration as a bishop's seat around 900 (according to Neara XVI of Leo the Wise (886-907)). Bishop Letis is now called "Letis and Rentina" and settles in Rentina, since Letis has declined and been abandoned after the raids and subsequent population movements. During the 10th century the walls are repaired, towers are rebuilt from plinths, the underground stairwell is created and the main volume of residences and public buildings is rebuilt.

The castle follows the historical course of Macedonia during the Middle Byzantine period. In 1204 it was occupied by the Frankish Crusader knights and it will be one of the dynariums of the Frankish Basil of Thessaloniki until 1224, when it passes into the hands of the Despotate of Epirus. After the battle of Klokotiniza (1230) the son of Theodore, Ioannis Doukas Komnenos declares himself despot of Thessaloniki. His guard will leave Redina, as soon as it is informed that a large Nicaea expeditionary force led by Emperor John Vatatzis is arriving in the area. Vatatzis entered the castle and spent the night there (1242).

Exactly a century later (1342), during the second Byzantine civil war, the fortress was occupied by Ioannis Kantakouzinos and established a garrison. Next, Sirgis, head of the Serres, sacks the castle, captures the soldiers and lords of the castle who collaborated with Kantakouzenos, imprisons them and tortures them. During the Palaeologian period, the settlement experienced growth, fortifications were built and repaired, as well as the small temple with a dome, the ruins of which are preserved today. The castle is now, in addition to the seat of a bishopric, the seat of a katepanikion (Katepanikion Redinas) and is often mentioned in the records of the monasteries of Agioreiti (13th-14th centuries).

Rentina falls successively to the Serbs (d.1345), to the Greeks (1371), to the Turks (1383), again to the Greeks (1402) and finally to the Ottomans (before 1423). With the final conquest by the Turks, the decline of the castle begins, which will lead to its final abandonment. Yuruk nomads settled in the area and the administrative center moved to Besiki (today's Volvi). A few coins of the 16th century indicate an indication of habitation, but in the 17th century, it is certain that dense vegetation has occupied the castle as the last conqueror. In the Straits of Rentina, on June 15, 1821, the Battle of Rentina took place between the Macedonian Rebels and the Ottoman Army.

All rights reserved www.ilionluxurystudios.com 2021 | Created by ASPROVALTA HOTELS