Chora, Skyros, Euboea,Central Greece
Castle of Skyros
|Chora, Skyros island|
|Region > Prefecture:|
|Central Greece |
|Municipality > Town:|
|City of Skyros |
|Elevation ≈ 179 m |
|Time of Construction||Origin|
|In various periods||
The castle of Skyros is at the top of a 179m steep rock overlooking the Chora of Skyros and the Aegean sea.
There was an acropolis on the rock since the age of mythology. Here was the palace of the notorious king Lycomedes who had killed the hero of Athens Theseus. Also, here is the place where Achilles was hiding dressed as a woman to avoid to join the Trojan war.
The ruins of the castle that we see today are from the Byzantine period. It is not as well preserved as other castles in the Aegean, maybe because it was not so important for the Venetians and the Turks who held it for centuries, so they never made any serious reconstruction works. Skyros passed under Venetian rule since early in the 13th century and after 1537, when Hayredin Barbarossa looted the island, became part of the Ottoman empire.
Venetians and Turks did not pay much attention to the well-being and the protection of the people of Skyros, but the old Byzantine castle was always the last refuge againts Saracens and other pirates who plagued the Aegian since the 9th century and for almost 1000 years. The islanders used to have a second home up in the castle.
Structure, Fortification & Buildings
Over the main entrance, there is a marble lion embeded in the wall. This is a piece from the ancient acropolis which was added by the Byzantine lord who built the tower of the entrance.
The outer wall of the fort still boasts remains of four semicircular towers (Agios Nikolaos Agia Parskevi facing east, Palaiopyrgos facing north and Pergos facing west).
Inside the Castle, there is a great church, the glorious Monastery of Agios Georgios (Saint George), which is a dependency of the Monastery of Megisti Lavra, Mount Athos. The church of Agios Georgios, which was probably founded in the 10th century, has notable hagiographies and can be seen perched from the rocky mountains under the walls.
The castle and the monastery, presently, are not accessible to visitors as they are being renovated due to damages by earthquakes (since 2001).
|Google search inside the site|