Castles of Greece


Pyli, Kos, Dodecanese,South Aegean

Paleo Pyli

or Castle of Peripatos (?)  
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Paleo Pyli
Pyli - Kos island
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
South Aegean
Municipality > Town:
City of Kos
• Pyli
Elevation ≈ 300 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
11th century  
Castle Type   Condition
Not Good

Inland citadel located approximately in the center of the island of Kos, about 9 km from the coast, on a hill 360 metres high. It is assumed that the hill was fortified in Mycenaean times; a section of wall has been traced on the NW slope and remnants of cyclopean masonry on the NE slope. There are also Byzantine and Hospitaller building phases.


The castle was founded in the 11th century by the monk Hosios Christodoulos, who had also founded the monastery of St. John of Patmos.

The castle was inhabited through the Knights's era (1315-1522) and after the Ottoman conquest, until the 19th century when it was abandoned due to a plague (around 1830).

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

There are three baileys. The upper one rings the top of the hill, the second encloses a wider area to the east, west and south, while to the north of the top bailey there are remnants of low walls indicating a third bailey.Gates are visible at three points; the first bailey has four towers and the second bailey three. In total, 7 towers are preserved in Pyli.

The most remarkable part of the castle is is the square Byzantine gateway flanked by four semicircular arches. Inside the castle, at the NW corner of the first bailey, stands a rectangular building roughly measuring 5 by 6 metres. It is the only edifice in the castle to have survived complete, but with several alterations and no indication of date. It has a flat roof and its only opening is an entrance towards the interior of the bailey. A large underground water cistern is located at the center of the same bailey and another building, dated after 1522 stands on the SE.


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