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The castle of Ioannina is located at the end of the city, on the small peninsula that juts into the lake Pamvotis. The original formation of the castle dates back to the mid-byzantine period, whilst its present form is the work of Ali Pasha and was completed in 1815. In 1430 the castle surrendered to the Turks. In 1611, after the revolution of Dionysios Skylosophos which resulted in a defeat, all christian buildings were banished from the interior of the castle. At the beginning of the 19th century the castle underwent several restorations, which radically altered its form.
The castle consists of a large stone enclosure and two fortified citadels.
Byzantine phase: The southeastern citadel, known as Its-Kale (= inner fort), is believed to have been the original core of the castle. This is where the initial fortification, as well as a high circular tower (Tower of Voemoundos) are located. The northwestern citadel (the so-called Pano Goulas) used to be the residence of the sovereign (Despot).
Posterior phase: The castle obtained its present form during the late 18th - early 19th century. Specifically, the external enclosure was restored, as well as the two citadels. Strong resistant walls were built (in some places we can see two successive walls), as well as towers.
The mosque of Ashlan Pasha is preserved in the northwestern citadel (early 17th century). In the Its-Kale citadel are the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina and the "Treasury", which houses a small exhibition of silversmithery.
The central section was built in the 1960's and originally functioned as a Royal Pavilion. The museum was opened to the public in 1995. The collection of the silver items is housed in a seperate 19th century building on the acropolis, and the exhibition is going to be arranged in several more buildings of the acropolis, as well.
The museum contains collections of early Christian and Byzantine sculptures, excavation finds from Arta, pottery, manuscripts and early editions of printed books, post-Byzantine icons and silver items.

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Additional Photos by Aimilios Petrou (aimiliospet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 63 W: 162 N: 486] (2355)
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