Castles of Greece


Chorio, Kimolos, Cyclades,South Aegean

Castle of Kimolos

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Castle of  Kimolos
Palio Chorio, Kimolos island in Cyclades
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
South Aegean
Municipality > Town:
City of Kimolos
• Chorio
Elevation ≈ 80 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
End of 16th cent.  
Castle Type   Condition
Island Citadel  
Rather Poor

A typical island citadel in Cyclades, a relic of the Venetian past of the island.


In 1207, Kimolos became part of the Duchy of Naxos under the Venetian Marco Sanudo.

Ιn 1537 the island was looted by the Turkish pirate Hayredin Barbarossa. This however did not end the Venetian rule, but the island had to pay an annual tribute to the Sultan.

The castle in its present form was created in the end of the 16th century by Ioannes Rafos, a ship-owner, probably in order to accommodate sailors and their families.

Another major pirate raid happened in 1638, when the island was looted and the castle was destroyed.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The castle is similar to other Venetian fortified settlements of the first half of the 15th century in Cyclades. The center of the castle was protected by 2 homocentric complex of houses. In the case of Kimolos, each complex is a rectangular. The houses in each complex were stuck to each other and their outer walls had no openings forming the external wall of the fortification.

At the center, there were a small group of mansions and next to it, a small square with the Church of the Birth of Christ. The houses are built with the hard iron rock of the area (sideropetra), while there are decorative details of limestone. There were 123 two-story houses and they hosted one family on the first floor (anogarides) and another on the ground floor (katogarides).

The Inner Castle is nowadays in ruins. The Outer Castle consists of a series of houses, whose external walls were also part of the walls of the defensive castle. In a lot of houses there were lintels with coats of arms and dates. Among the two series of houses there was a ring-road, so narrow that only small carts could pass through.

The Outer Castle has two gates: the Lower Gate on the south, on the road of the market, and the Upper Gate on the eastern side, next to the Folklore and Maritime Museum .

Inscriptions on the two gates refer the years 1650 and 1646 respectively. Obviously these are the dates of the restoration of the castle after the looting of 1638. The Castle was strengthened, then, with towers. Today, there are doors and windows to the houses of the external row facing outwards.

There are two entrances to the Inner Castle.


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Road map to Castle of  Kimolos

Approach to the monument:
The remains of the castle are scattered all over the upper part of the Chorio of the island.
The entrance is free

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