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Voukolia Tower

  A few kilometers north of Pyli you will come across the ruins of a medieval watchtower at the Voukolia area. Some parts of three spaces with vaulted roofs forming a right angle as well as ruins from an oblong defense tower are the only things still standing. The tower was built using stones that were probably taken from earlier monuments. Close to this medieval compound there is a windmill that is still standing today. 

Antimachia Castle

  You can understand it is impregnable only by looking at it, as this is the only one of the medieval castles of the island that takes full advantage of the natural fortification provided by the rock on which it was built. A fortified semicircular bastion guards the main gate. Its construction was completed in 1520 during the Grand Master F. Del Carretto’s rule. The north walls, located at a point where the ground is flatter, are more fortified and sturdy. On the contrary, the south walls didn’t need to be as fortified as the north ones, because the ground is very steep at that point. According to the official records of the Knights Hospitaller that are kept in Malta, the castle was built in the early 14th century under the Grand Master H. De Villeneuve’s rule at the location of a former byzantine watchtower. Apart from that the Knights Hospitaller that were sentenced for serious offenses were imprisoned in the castle’s dungeons since 1383. The churches of Agia Paraskevi, Agios Nikolaos and the ruins of the church of Panagia Eleimonitria still exist today inside the walls of the castle. There was also a mosque inside the castle during the period of the Ottoman rule that is in ruins today.

Kefalos Castle

  A part of the walls of the castle (25m) is still standing at the top of a rocky hill in the south of the Kefalos settlement. In 1457, the Ottoman Turks managed to conquer the Nerantzia Castle, but couldn’t conquer the Antimachia Castle and this one since they had better fortifications. The “Fortezza di Chiffalo” as the Knights Hospitaller called it, managed to resist the attacks until 1505. Facing the danger of a new attack from the Ottoman Turks, the castle was evacuated and its residents were transported to Rhodes. Only some ruins remain from Kastelli, the smaller “sibling” fortress of the Kefalos Castle that is situated at another inaccessible location not far from it in the Sarakinos area. There used to be a byzantine watchtower at the same position that served as a lookout over the seaway towards Nisyros and the Karpathian sea before the Knights Hospitaller turned it into a fortress in the 15th century. 
The square-shaped fountain at the middle of the Neo Pyli settlement provides water for the village through six spouts, that is then channeled both to the surrounding fields via irrigation ditches and to Kardamena. The only thing still left standing from the medieval Peripatos Castle are three rectangular derelict buildings in a row and some remnants of other stone structures, all situated at the eastern bank of a stream running through the area. This fortress was first mentioned in byzantine manuscripts dating back to 1093.
This castle was the stronghold of Western Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean for centuries. It was built by the Knights Hospitaller. After the crusades and their expulsion from Jerusalem the knights created a network of fortified ports and castles in Rhodes (1337-1522) and the other islands of the Dodecanese in order to control the passage of pilgrims traveling to and from the Holy Land. The imposing Nerantzia Castle is a typical example of a fortification of the 14th century. It was built at the eastern side of the town’s port that used to be a separate islet at that time and was connected with the main island via a bridge that exists to this day (the bridge at the Finikon Street). This castle safeguarded the town of Kos. The medieval town of Kos that stretched from the archaeological site of the ancient port to that of the agora also had defensive walls at that time.
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My Aegean
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