Sites of Interest The Medieval and Byzantine Castle
Situated in the north edge of the island it was the natural fortress where native (in 14th century) found a refuge in order to avoid pirates' raids. Kastro was governed by Byzantines until 1453, then it was Venetians' turn (1453-1538) to take control and finally were the Turks until 1821 when Greek Revolution arose. Apart from the castle's ruins, you can visit “Gennisi tou Christou” church still well preserved today. Since car cannot access the place, you will need to walk a short distance to get there. Around the middle of the 14th century, because of the continuous pirate raids, the people of Skiathos were forced to set up their city in Kastro, a peninsula on the northern part of the Island, which was a natural fortress. In order to strengthen this fortress they surrounded it with walls full of embrasures and cannons tumed to the land. These were very strong and tall.Communication between the fortress and the land was done by means of a wooden mobile bridge, which joined the fortress gate with the hill that faced it. In case of emergency it was pulled towards the inside part of Kastro and as a result it did not allow enemies to enter. On top of the external gate there was a terrace with the essential "zematistra", (a skillet full of hot water to scald intruders).kastro1From the time it was built until 1453, Kastro was under Byzantine rule. Later, until 1538 it was under Venetian rule and until 1821 it was under Turkish rule. For a small period around 1660, Kastro went again under Venetian rule. Throughout these years the life of the people was very difficult and at times even hellish since apart from the continuous pirate raids and the aspiring conquerors, the people had to face the problem of limited space in the inside of the castle fortress.Therefore, the houses were small and built very close to each other. Despite this, in Kastro there were more than twenty churches, a mosque without a minaret from the time of the Turkish accupation, and the required water tanks. The Cametary was located outside the city.Âkastro1cEver since Kastro was abandoned, in 1830, and with the establishment of the independent Hellenic State, it was left on its own devices. As a result, nowadays only two churches have been saved (Gennisi tou Christou (Christ's Birth) and Agios Nikolaos). There is also the church of Panagia Preklas which is half ruined. We can see today a part of the wall with the gate, the marvellous terrace with the "zematistra", the half-ruined mosque and some ruins of the Turkish headquarters.There are also two tanks and the cannon of Anagia which have been saved.Definitely Kastro is the most important site of Skiathos, since it combines the wild and imposing natural beauty with history. Together they narrate other times in a melancholy way, through the ruins.
The Byzantine Church of Christ Holy Monastery of Evangelistria Old Monastery of Panaghia Ekonistria Old Monastery of Panaghia Kechrià Church of Panaghia Limnià Church of Tris Ieràrches The Bourtzi Peninsula
Bourtzi islet:Located in front of Skiathos Town, Bourtzi was a fortress built by Gizi brothers who ruled the island since 1207.skiathos street It was destroyed in 1660 by the famous Venetian admiral Morosini (he has bombed Parthenon temple in Acropolis in Athens as well!). Bourtzi is connected to Skiathos with a bridge and it separates the harbour in two parts (old & new). Today, you could still visit the ruins of the castle's walls and the spots where Saint George church and the fortress' tank were built. Later, in early 20th century a public school was constructed on Bourtzi. Nowadays, the old school is used as a cultural center and the islet is ideal for a walk in the cool pine grove during hot summer months.
Museum:Alexandros Papadiamantis, born in late 19th century is the most famous son of Skiathos. He was one of the top Modern Greek writers. Visiting his home (built in Skiathos Town, now shaped as a museum), would probably not tell you much about his writings, unless you had the chance to read them already. You would though get a vivid representation of life in Skiathos in the 19th century. Museum's telephone: +30 2427023843.
Hydro Biotope:Strofilia lagoon, located in southwest of Skiathos island, just on the back of Koukounaries beach is a place of exceptional natural beauty, preserved under certain E.U. environmental programs.
Monastery:Another place worth visiting is Iera Moni Evagelistrias, built in 1794, located in the northeast of the island.
Churches:In Skiathos Town you could visit and admire the churches Panagia Eikonistria, Treis Ierarches, Panagia Limnia and Panagia Kehria.
Architecture:Taking a walk in the picturesque alleys of the old town of Skiathos, you could enjoy the neoclassical style in the buildings, the whitewashed houses and the prim gardens and yards.
TipsYou are strongly advised not to enter churches and monasteries dressed in shorts, bikinis or T-shirts. It would be nice too, to take off your hat as a sign of respect for the holy place you are visiting. Photos are not always allowed, so it would be wise to check for relevant signs
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