Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Pyrgi, Chios, North Aegean

Tower of Pyrgi

  
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Tower of Pyrgi
Location:
Inside the picturesque village of Pyrgi in southern Chios
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
North Aegean
Chios
Municipality > Town:
City of Chios
• Pyrgi
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 120 m 
(Relative Height≈0 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
early 15th century  
GENOAN
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Tower  
In Ruins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pyrgi is the largest village of Mastichochoria (a group of 21 villages in southern Chios where the mastic is produced). The village is a major touristic attraction of the island because of the particular geometric decoration called “xysta” (ksista) on its buildings.
It is one of the most beautiful villages in Greece.


History

In the Middle Ages, the village was a fortified settlement, with defensive walls and turrets at the four corners. There was also a huge tower at the middle of the village. This tower gave the name to the village. “Pyrgi” dirives from the Greek word for tower, “pyrgos”.

The central tower was built in the Genoan period (1346-1566), most probably, in the beginning of the 15th century. It was used as the military and administrative center.

The tower was abandoned in the Turkish period, and the western and eastern parts fell down at the earthquake of 1881. In 1936, the town authority demolished the upper part of the tower, as they feared it might collapse.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The tower was in fact a small castle at the center of the village. There was a high fortified wall around the building called “tower”, which does not exist anymore. Its layout is roughly depicted in the last photograph (of the gallery above).

At the SE and SW corners of this fortification there were two small cylindrical towers which are preserved. Probably the other two corners were defended by towers too. The inner yard between the main tower and the lost wall is covered by relatively modern houses. As a result, the two corner towers look isolated in the narrow alleys of the village.

The tower itself has no roof, but 3 of his walls are still standing (except the southern one).


Sources




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