Restoration and development work on the medieval castles of Igoumenitsa and Margariti continued systematically throughout the spring and summer of 2021, despite ongoing difficulties related to the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to be completed by spring 2022.
The maintenance of the masonry of the two monuments which had suffered significantly over the centuries, is being carried out by scientific and technical specialists who have been engaged to carry out the work.
At the castle of Igoumenitsa, work was focused on excavating and restoring the shape of the original main gate, which had been partially destroyed by newer constructions, as well as on the walls of three towers of the castle.
In north tower (Tower 7), one of the best-preserved examples, the two outer corners that had collapsed were restored, while serious cracks in the masonry were stitched together and the exterior facades pointed.
Around southeast tower (Tower 3), the large holes in the walls were filled and the inner surface was pointed and completed in sections so that there is no risk of collapse.
The south tower (Tower 5) is the only example in which the vaulted roof is preserved. This was systematically cleaned and re-pointed, while at the same time the holes and cracks in the walls were filled.
The restoration work at Margariti was mainly focused on the northern side of the castle, on both sides of the gate. The northwestern corner, which had lost much of its original masonry, was also restored, while at the same time the entire northern section of the fortification wall was repaired and pointed externally.
Supporting scaffolding was placed in the vaulted areas around the courtyard of the castle to protect them from further damage. Repairs were also carried out around the best-preserved window on the upper floor of the house, where the wooden railing was restored.
In both castles, levelling of the ground and reduction of slopes was carried out, along with general landscaping and extensive removal of vegetation, as well as the clearing of accumulated rubbish and the re-arrangement of scattered building material in selected areas.
Finally, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Thesprotia has begun with the design of an exhibition including original engravings and photographic material, highlighting the importance of the Coastal Heritage Network – CoHeN project in terms of the cross-border area and the history and special features of the two monuments in Thesprotia.