The Castle of Platamonas is a castle of the Frankish occupation, which was built on the site of a fortified town in the Middle Byzantine period. It is located southeast of Mount Olympus, in a short distance from the current town of Platamonas, at a strategic position that controls the Macedonia – Thessaly – Southern Greece road. It is the best preserved castle of north-central Greece, with its impressive main tower dominating the National Road.
Ancient and medieval period
The castle is built on the site of ancient Heraklion (or Herakleia). In the Pseudo-Scylaka Periplous (4th century BC), it is referred to as ‘the first city of Macedonia, Herakleion’. Recent excavations have brought to light pottery of Euboic, Early Corinthian and Geometric period origin from Eastern Greece, which indicate the presence of Greeks perhaps from the 8th century BC. The place name Platamonas was first mentioned in 1198 in a chrysobullo of the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos I.
After the Fourth Crusade (1204), with the entry of the Franks into Greece, Pieria was ceded (as part of the Kingdom of Thessaloniki) to Boniface the Mompferatic in 1204. The castles of Citrus and Platamonas were granted to his knights. The castle of Citrus was taken by Virich von Daun and the Lombard Rolando Pike or Piskia took Platamonas.