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Greece » Sporades islands » Skiathos island » Skiathos Sightseeing » Kastro (The Castle)
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Kastro (The Castle), Skiathos

The settlement of Kastro and the Castle itself was constructed in the mid 14th century to protect the population of the old town of Skiathos from the pirtates’ raids, pretty frequent in these times all over the Aegean Sea. The new town was established at the northern coast of the island on a small peninsula naturally fortified. The walls of the castle on the side of the inland were very high and strong with numerous loopholes; later on a series of canons were placed to enforce the defensive capacity of the place.

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The castle had access to the inland via a wooden drawbridge at the entrance of the castle which led to a height across. In case of emergence, or when the invaders would reach very close to the walls, the bridge was drawn in the interior of the castle and the entrance closed. For additional safety, above the entrance there was a flat terrace, where they had placed a scalding fabrication, from where they would pour hot water or olive oil to the invaders, if they would try to enter the castle.

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Until 1453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans, the castle belonged to the Byzantine Empire; after the collapse of the Byzantines it passed to the Venetians until 1538 and then to the Ottomans who kept it until the Greek National Revolution of 1821, except for a short period in 1660 when the Venetians, under the leadership of Morosini took it anew. When the island passed to the Greeks the castle was gradually abandoned and deserted. Today, only four out of some 20 churches are still preserved, along with a small part of the big wall, the terrace with the scalding construction, a ruined mosque and a few remnants of the Ottoman headquarters, two water basins and a big canon (that of Ananghia).

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The period of the settlement of the castle was pretty tough for the residents of the island, who had to cope with continuous pirates’ raids and attempts of invasions. The castle was small and there was a considerable lack of space. Thus the houses were pretty small and “packed” one to another; no other buildings apart from some churches had been constructed within the castle. Even the cemetery was out of it, in close distance from the town.

Today, the castle is one of the most important sightseeing of the island, attracting many visitors who come here to admire the wild natural beauty and the ruins of the castle which remind the old times, tough but glorious.
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