Castle of Zarnata
Castle of Zarnata

The Castle of Zarnata, also known as Castle of Koumoundouraki, is located in West Mani between the villages of Kampos and Stavropigio. Given that it is one of the four largest castles in Mani, it is considered to be one of the most significant.

The castle is estimated to have been built around the 17th century (on the ruins of another castle) while others believe that the construction was made by the Franks, others attribute it to the Venetians and others to the Turks, with the latter being the dominant version as sources indicate the Vizier Ahmet-Kioupourli as the founder of the castle.

At the top of the hill there is fortress dating back to the 18th century. The castle comprises of the main tower and auxiliary buildings, a residence complex and two churches, the Church of Zoodochos Pigi with the spectacular wooden iconostasis and the abandoned church of Agios Nikolaos

The Castle of Zarnatas was used by Theodoros Kolokotronis, who fought in the Greek Revolution. It is said that he arrived here to help Panagiotis Koumoundourakis (hence the castle's second name), Bey of Mani, who was deposed and had to face the attacks of the Turks and the locals in Mani.