Cephalonia, after sixteen years of Turkish occupation (1484–1500), became part of the Stato da Mar (“Domains of the Sea" was the name given to the Republic of Venice's maritime and overseas possessions) on 24 December 1500, with the Siege of the Castle of St. George.
The Ionian economy during the Venetian period was largely based on exporting local products. On the islands of Cephallonia and Zante the main exports were raisins, olive oil and wine. One of the most significant exports was olive oil. Groves of olive trees were planted throughout the islands during the Venetian period as olive oil was important to Venice's economy.
Throughout Venice's old possessions, but above all in the Ionian islands, the memory is deeply rooted in the population.Because of the long Venetian period, the manners and traditions of the inhabitants of the Ionian Islands are a mixture of Greek and Italian. The Venetian influence is illustrated in all aspects of culture and everyday life.
The castle is located on top of the Assos peninsula and it is the largest among the two castles in Kefalonia. It was built by the Venetians in the 16th century on the west coast of the island in order to protect Assos village from pirates.
From 300 meters high, the castle has been keeping an eye on everything since it was built 800 years ago.
It was the place of residence for nobles and officials and has been the capital of Kefalonia for centuries.
Under the Venetians, the 16 acres of Saint George's Castle hosted a small city. Within a 600-metre perimetre of walls, ramparts and watchtowers could spot pirate ships as far as 20 miles away on a clear day.
Today, the castle is ruined and only a few buildings survive. It was not only the damage over time and wars. This castle also suffered a lot from the earthquake that hit Kefalonia in 1953.