Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Psatha, Mandra-Eidyllia, Western Attica,Attica

Round Tower of Vathychori

  
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Round Tower of Vathychori
Location:
On the slopes of Mt. Pateras at Western Attica, in the region of Megalo Vathychori, 3.8 km east of Psatha
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Attica
Western Attica
Municipality > Town:
City of Mandra-Eidyllia
• Psatha
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 505 m 
(Relative Height≈0 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
4th cent. BC  
ANCIENT
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Tower  
Relatively Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A cylindrical ancient tower that is preserved in good condition, on Mt. Pateras, near the western coast of Attica.


Location & Strategic Scope

“Mikro Vathychori” and “Megalo Vathychori,” collectively known as Vathychoria, are two small plateaus surrounded by hills on the NW side of mountain Pateras in western Attica, not far from the western coast. This tower is at the northern edge of Megalo Vathychori.


History

The towers of the Vathychoria were built in the 4th century B.C. They were part of the defense system of the Megarian region guarding this mountain road for the armies marching from the Peloponnese to Boeotia. This is the road that was taken by troops when they wanted to avoid the Athenians, who controlled the more even road to the east beyond the mountain road.

Some believe that the purpose of the towers was merely to survey the agrarian estates in Vathychoria, given that the towers were not in a visible or strategic position.

Irrespective of the original use of the towers, they must have been remained in use for several centuries after their construction.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The round tower of Megalo Vathychori is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Greece. It has a diameter of 6.2 meters and is 12.5 meters tall. It is constructed in the trapezoidal-isodomic style. The entrance in the southern part preserves cuttings for the support and barring of the door.

This impressive monument had four storeys, as is evident from the three rungs of joist-holes visible on the inner side of the wall for the beams that supported an equal number of floors. The upper storey had six windows, all of the same size, above which there was evidently a pitched roof so that rain water could be collected through a spout preserved on the east side at the floor level of the 4th storey.

The archers’ slots, better observed from the interior, and the windows for small catapults place the tower in the military category. However, it must surely have functioned to guard cultivated areas in times of peace.

The tower was protected by a circuit wall, the masonry of which is better preserved on the souther side. This wall does not seem to have been a strong fortification.


Sources




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