The origin of the name for this magnificent Corfu fortress is not completely clear; some historians mention that in 1214 Michael I Komninos, priest of Epirus, sometimes called Michael Angelos, annexed Corfu to Epirus and following his death, his son Michael Angelos II, further fortified the area and named it after himself and his father, Angelokastro (castle of Angels).
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Byzantine Corfu.
This Corfu monument forms an Acropolis, translated as "city on the summit" that surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and therefore presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle. The engineering of its construction at such a remote and forbidding location is remarkable by any standards, not only medieval.
It played a pivotal role during the great siege of Corfu in 1571 when the Turkish attacked on the north western flank of Corfu and were successfully repulsed by the defenders of the castle. It was besieged but was only conquered once (in 1386) after a six-month siege by the Venetians.It was also besieged by Barbarossa (in 1537) but without success. According to the local tradition, the inhabitants and the few guards (8 men), resisted so successfully that the Turks decided to retreat.
The family names of the inhabitants of the region, especially of the villages Makrades, Krini, Lakones, Vistonas(Makris, Chalikias etc) show that the soldiers who defended the castle received recongnition at the end of their duty and were awarded with pieces of land around the premises of Angelokastro in order to be alert and close enough in case of a future attack.
Inside this Corfu castle two hugewater tanks are preserved along with the churches of Taxiarches and St. Kyriaki. The church of Taxiarches was built in 1784on the site of another, older church. St. Kyriaki is built in a small caveand it has frescoes of the 18th century.
Getting to Angelokastro will require an hour driving from Corfu town but the beauty of the area will reward you for your effort. Passing through Lakones on the way to the castle you will see the best view of Corfu island (and according to many visitors one of Medirranean's best) in an amazing setting of olive groves and pine trees. The view from the castle is also breathtaking. Open daily but frequently closes for repairs.