DescriptionThe ruins of the castle of Castrum Rubeum (the ‘Red Castle) on the island of Kastellorizo, the ancient Megiste, a small mountainous island lying a few miles off the Turkish coast, was the first of the Greek islands to be occupied by the Hospitallers in 1307. Lying some 115 km south-east of Rhodes and only 2.5 km south of the Anatolian mainland, opposite Lycia and towards the sea of Cyprus, Kastellorizo was the easternmost of the Hospitaller strongholds. The island and castle of Kastellorizo were too small to have any strategic value and served mainly as a lookout post for keeping an eye on the movement of Turkish shipping in the area. Smoke and mirror signals from the summit of the Vighla heights were used to warn the island of Rhodes of any Turkish movements in the area. The Hospitallers did not invest much energy in the fortification of the island. They concentrated their efforts only in strengthening the defences of s small harbour fort. This castle, which later came to be known as Chateau Rouge, because of the reddish earth that surrounds it, was a very small structure. The drawing shows the present day ruins which consist of a stout tower-keep and a small outer bailey.
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