Castles of Greece


Olymboi, Chios, North Aegean

Tower of Olymboi

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Tower of Olymboi
In the village of Olymboi at southern Chios island
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
North Aegean
Municipality > Town:
City of Chios
• Olymboi
Elevation ≈ 120 m 
(Relative Height≈0 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
early 15th century  
Castle Type   Condition

Olymboi is a picturesque village at SW Chios. It is one of the 21 mastichohoria of Chios, i.e. one of the villages which produce the once valuable mastic from the plant “Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia”.

In the Genoan period of the island (1346-1566) the Genoans organised the trade of the mastic and the economy of these villages flourished and as a result, they were frequently the targets of pirate attacks. In that epoch and in those circumstances, Olymboi was fortified with an external wall with 4 towers. If the walls were breached, the last line of defense was this tower at the center of the village. The primary function of the tower however perhaps was different, maybe it was the house of the local lord or the regional seat of Mahona, the company that had the monopoly of the mastic. Or both.

The tower covers an area of 145 sq.meters while it is in a fairy good condition, since it has been renovated recently. It is hollow inside, though. The external fortification does not exist anymore.

Most probably, the tower was a construction of the beginning of the 15th century, like the nearby towers of Dotia and Dotia.

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