castle is built on a low hill, at the southwest slopes of mount Parnon, near
the village of Geraki. It was founded in 1209 by the Frankish baron Guy de Nivelet
and remained under Frankish occupation until 1259. After the Franks were defeated
in the battle of Pelagonia in 1259, the castle was given over to the Greeks in
1262 and supported the Despotate of Mystras (1262-1460).
The church of St. George and remains of urban buildings are preserved inside the
castle, while ruins of buildings and churches have survived outside the fortified
area. At the end of the 17th century the castle was captured by the Venetians,
in 1715 was occupied by the Turks, and was finally abandoned at the end of the
For many years the 5th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities has been conducting restoration
work on the monuments of Geraki. Work has been almost completed for the churches
and is currently progressing on the fortification walls and the secular buildings.
The wall paintings of the churches have also been restored. A large Early Christian
basilica was excavated by A. Xyngopoulos in the outskirts of the village of Geraki,
to the SW of the church of St. Athanassios. The apse of a second Early Christian
basilica has been located under the apse of the church of Saint Sozon.
The most important monuments on the site are: Castle and remains of urban buildings inside and outside the fortification.
Monuments inside the castle are: Church of St.
George. Three-aisled basilica with a narthex, decorated with wall paintings
dated to the 14th century. Church of Our Lady Zoodochos Pighi (the Life-giving Source). Aisleless
church with wall paintings dated to the 15th century. Church of St.
Paraskevi. Cross-vaulted church, decorated with wall paintings of the 15th
century. "Pera Ecclesies" (Far Churches). Church of Prophet Elijah, aisleless, with
wall paintings dating from the 15th century; church of the Epiphany, cross-vaulted,
with wall paintings dating from the 13th century; church of the Taxiarches (the
Archangels), cross-vaulted, with wall paitnings dated to the 15th century.
Monuments in the modern settlement: Church of Evangelistria (Our Lady of the Annunciation). Aisleless, cross-in-square
church, decorated with wall paintings of the 12-13th centuries. Church of Saint
Sozon. Domed, four-column, cross-in-square church, probably built in the 12th
century. The interior is decorated with wall paintings dated to the 13th century. Church of St. Athanassios. Domed, four-column, cross-in-square church,
probably built in the 12th century. The interior is decorated with wall paintings
dated to the 13th century. Church of St. Nicholas. Two-aisled church, decorated with wall paintings
dating from the end of the 13th century. Church of St. John Chrysostomos. Aisleless church with two layers of wall
paintings, dated to the end of the 13th-beginning of the 14th century, and the
middle of the 15th century.