Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Pothia, Kalymnos, Dodecanese,South Aegean

Chrysocheria Castle

or Pera Kastro  
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Chrysocheria Castle
Location:
Between Chora and Pothia, Kalymnos island, Dodecanese
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
South Aegean
Dodecanese
Municipality > Town:
City of Kalymnos
• Pothia
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 55 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
middle 15th century  
IOANNITE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle  
Average
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Midway between Chora and Pothia you will find the Pera Castle or Castle of Chrisocheria, which is one of the well known sights of the island. Situated at a strategic point, on the top of a natural hill, this castle helped Kalymnians to control the port of Pothia and communicate with Chora (where the main castle is).


History

The castle was constructed during the Knights' era. In fact, the residents were forced to build a new castle which would be used as a residence for the governor of Kalymnos, Kos, Leros and Nisyros islands, and as a defense against the increasing pirate raids.

The castle, with the windmills, was the personal property of the castellan, who lived there. It is believed that it was constructed by the governor Fantino Querini (1436-1453), who incorporated it into the island's defenses. Records of a court case brought by the locals against Querini, who was forcing them to provide labour for the construction of probably this castle in 1445, still survive; the case was won by Querini.

The castle was abandoned early, in the late 15th century. Due to its small size, the Kalymnians were not well protected against the incessant attacks of the Turks. Moreover, the Great Castle in Chora , which was completed in 1495, covered these needs rendering thus useless the Castle of Chrisocheria.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

It is roughly diamond-shaped in plan, facing south, with the other sides mostly secured by the steepness of the rocky ground. The main gate was on the north side, but access was also possible through the south wall. Another gate on the east side of the south wall was later in date.

Near the castle, you can also see the three stone-built windmills, which are the "trademark" of Kalymnos. They were constructed after 1522 and, occasionally, they were used for defense too.

On the masonry of the semicircular tower of the south side are the arms of Fantino Querini, Hospitaller governor of Cos, and of grand master (of Rhodes) Jean de Lastic (1437-1454). On the south wall may be seen the arms of the Order of St. John and of Knight Fra Juan Geltru, governor of Cos after 1466.

Inside the castle, there are a few buildings maintained in realatively good condition: a mineral and built food store, and two churches, the newest one of St. George and the oldest one of Virgin Mary.


Sources


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