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„According to tradition and the writings of Turkish scholar Hadji Kalfa (17th century), when Turkish troops led by Evrenos Gazi arrived at Gynaikokastro in autumn 1383, commander of the Castle was a woman named Maroulia.“



Maroulia and other women replaced their husbands who were defending Thessaloniki at that time. Maroulia herself was the widow of the previous commander. She organized the defense, led the troops and fought herself heroically defending the castle.

The resistance of Maroulia lasted many weeks before the castle fell. Her heroic defence was said to be the reason for the castle to be named “Avret Chisar” which translates to “women castle”.

It is believed that the name of "Maroulia" had something to do with another legend of the time, a woman heroic defender of Limnos island, named Maroula. Maroula of Limnos defended the island during the Turkish invasion (1477-8). This story of heroism stimulated the creative imagination in different regions of Greece, so there are many castle myths influenced by the archetypal story of the castle of Oria (oria, beauty - ωραία).