Somewhere between Filiatra and Kyparissia in the picturesque fishing village of Agrilis Messinia in the southwestern Peloponnese, there is a fairytale castle that looks as if it has sprung up from another era! Or perhaps even from another dimension judging by how out of place it is in relation to its surroundings.
This is the Fairytale Castle. It is a castle so impressive and fairytale-like, that if someone told you to "close your eyes until we get there" and you only opened them when you reached its gates, you would think you were in Disneyland!
In fact, its donor, its inspirer, and - to a large extent - its creator, doctor Charalambos Fournarakis, or Harry Fournier as he is known, created something that does not exist like it in Greece.
Combining incongruous local and temporal stories, and literally intertwining various themes from Greek and Western history and mythology, it was made to remind us all of the fairytales that our grandmothers told us.
Time seems to stand still as the visitor can see thematic sections from the Trojan War to the Greek Revolution of 1821!
In the Castle, which was completed around the middle of the last century, one can admire magnificent turrets, knights' armour, battlements, coats of arms, a huge Trojan Horse that used to function as a library, large figures of Poseidon and Athena and many other attractions.
It is worth mentioning that over the decades, the castle was particularly popular in the surrounding areas and managed to function as a venue for theatrical and visual performances, a museum, a leisure and walking area and even as a hotel.
Huge and imposing, mysterious and... eerie, this building evokes a strange feeling in the visitor; a strange mixture of nostalgia, romance, despair at the incomprehensibility of its... "entangled" stories and rage!
Perhaps the latter is also the dominant one, seeing such an original and special space left to decay and the deterioration of time, at the same time enduring all kinds of vandalism from unconscious visitors (garbage, graffiti, etc).
Probably, in some other country in the Western world, this would be an all-year attraction for travelers and it would never come to such a state.
Alas, though, the Association that manages it is not in a position to meet the maintenance costs and the necessary arrangements for it to be used in any way and it is appealed to the municipality of Trifylia to take it over.
However, even with its unkempt appearance, its grassy courtyard and its broken ornaments, the Fairytale Castle, however poor it may look now, remains beautiful and captivating.
As Harry Fournier even said, "Measure a man not by his money, not even by his knowledge, but by the amount of happiness he gives to his fellow men."
So maybe it doesn't experience the glamor of its glorious past, while only three to four cars approach it on a daily basis, but that nostalgic happy smile it gives to the few romantic types who visit it with their families, is priceless...