Castelrosso, Italian Dominion (1921 – 1943)

ALBUM – View my Castelrosso, Italian Dominion album

Fast Facts

Region: Aegean / Ionian Islands
Group: Italian Occupations/Possessions in the Aegean
Classification: Territory (Italy)
Prior Regime: French Occupation of Castellorizo (ww1)
Key Dates:
  1512 – Castelrosso becomes part of the Ottoman Empire
  1915, Dec 28 – French occupy Castelrosso during WW1
  1921, Mar 1 – Italians occupy Castelrosso
  1923 – Italians annex Castelrosso, which is ratified in the 2nd Treaty of Lausanne
  1943, Sept 10 – British occupy Castelrosso after the Italians surrender to the Allies
  1947, Feb 15 – Castelrosso ceded to Greece
Following Regime: British Occupation of Castellorizo (ww2)
Scott Catalogue: (Castellorizo) #51-89
Pick Catalogue: none, Italian Currency was used


Kastellorizo during Italian Dominion (source: Megisti Hotel website)
Kastellorizo during Italian Dominion (source: Megisti Hotel website)
Castelrosso (also Magistri, Kastellorizo) is an island off of the Turkish Coast, which became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1512 when the Turks took it from the King of Naples. Castellrosso, which means “red fort” was a source of conflict over the centuries, remained in Ottoman hands until until 1913.

During the Balkan wars, the Greeks took advantage of a local revolution and occupied the island for two years, but were eventually expelled by the locals. In World War 1, the French navy landed on Castelrosso on 28 December 1915, and held the island throughout the balance of the war. After the war, in 1921, Italy was awarded the island as their possession, along with the other Dodecanese islands. Italian control was ratified in 1923 with the 2nd Treaty of Lausanne, and Castelrosso was annexed by Italy becoming part of the Italian Aegean Islands (Isole Italiane dell’Egeo).

Italian control of Castelrosso (and the other Italian Aegean Islands) was rather benign, however the Mussolini’s Italy attempted to “Italianize” the islands by encouraging immigration from Italy, reducing any cultural ties to Greece by banning references to Greece in local education and limiting the influence of the Greek Orthodox church. The efforts were not very successful, and from

The islands were considered part of Italy until Sept 1943. when Italy dropped out of the Axis alliance and the war. While the other Dodecanese islands were essentially controlled by the Germans, under the nominal sovereignty of the German puppet state, the Italian Social Republic, Castelrosso was controlled by the British. After the war, the islands were ceded to Greece in 1947.

AEG - Castelrosso, Italian Dom Map


AEG - Castelroso, Italian Dom StampALBUM
The Italians issued 5 different “sets” for Castelrosso during the Italian period.

1922 Horizontal overprint series – In 1922, the Italians overprinted 9 Italian definitive stamps featuring King Victor Emmanuel III with “CASTELROSSO” in black. The overprint was positioned vertically on the stamps.

1923 Map of Castelrosso and Flag series – When the Italians were officially awarded the island in 1923, a set of 5 stamps were issued to commemorate the annexation. The stamp featured a map of the island of Castelrosso and the flag of the Kingdom of Italy.

1924 Diagonal overprint series – In 1924, a new set of Italian definitive stamps were overprinted with the name of the island, but the overprint on this run was printed diagonally across the face of the stamp. Ten different values were overprinted.

1930 Ferrucci Issue overprint series – In 1930, Italy overprinted 5 stamps of the Italian Ferrucci series “CASTELROSSO” in red or blue. The stamps commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of the Italian Military Commander, Francesco Ferrucci.

1932 Garibaldi Issue overprint series – In 1932, the government overprinted 10 stamps of the Italian Garibaldi series with “CASTELROSSO” in red or blue. The series commemorated the 50th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the General and politician who played a large part of unifying the Italian states into a single kingdom.


Italian currency was used in Castelrosso

Kastellorizian Association – Megiste history
The history of Kastellorizo
Castellorizo at Big Blue 1840-1940

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