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August 13, 2015

Fortified Castles of Greece
Castle of Mythimna | Lesvos | Northeast Aegean

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The Fortress of Mythimna is one of the best preserved castles of the Eastern Mediterranean dominating the top of the hill of Molyvos. The castle was built in the 13th century and it was renovated from the Genovese Frangisk Gualeluzo in 1373 while it experienced transformations from the Ottomans in 1462. It is a well constructed fortress with strong walls and distinctive elements divided in many levels. During the summer, a series of cultural events are held within the castle.

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Castle of the Knights | Rhodes | Dodecanese

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The Palace of the Grand Master is built on the foundations of the Temple of the God of Helios (Sun) located at the end of the Street of the Knights of Rhodes. The Palace was constructed from the Knights of Saint John during the 14th century and it was used as the residence of the governor and the administrative centre of the medieval period. The palace is an enormous construction with 158 rooms, although only 24 rooms are open to the visitors. The most important rooms include the Waiting Room, the Reception Hall, the Ballroom and the Music Room that are decorated from impressive frescoes and mosaics of renowned artists. Although the palace was partially destroyed by explosives, it was restored from the Italians during their domination in the Dodecanese islands. Today, the Byzantine Museum of Rhodes is housed in one of the rooms of the palace.

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Castle of the Guerini | Astypalaia | Dodecanese

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The Castle of Guerini is located in Hora. The castle was constructed on the traces of the ancient acropolis from the Venetian official of the Duchy of Naxos, Giovanni Guerini, in 1413. The architecture of the castle is one of the most impressive of the area of the Aegean as it has only one entrance on the southwest side. The surrounding defensive wall of the castle speads around the reinforced house walls, known as xokastra, and form a protective ring. However, the majority of the houses in the area of the castle have been collapsed owing to the massive earthquake of 1956. Inside the castle, one can visit the beautiful church of Panagia Kastriani, the church of Agios Georgios and the Tower of Saray. The castle of Guerini offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas and it.

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Castle of Chios| Chios | Northeast Aegean

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The Castle of Chios is one of the most imposing castles of the island located on the north side of the town center. The main entrance of the castle is Porta Maggiore that was constructed from the Venetians in 1694. One of the most impressive buildings of the castle is the Giustiniani Palace located close to the main entrance. The palace was built from the Genoese for housing the headquarters of the administration, and nowadays various cultural events are held in the building. The Dark Dungeon is another building of the Genoese period, which was used as the prison of seventy Chiots who where held until their execution, after the unsuccessful rebellion against the Ottomans. The Ottoman Graveyard is a monument in memory of important Ottomans located at the square of the castle while the Ottoman Mosques of Hamidiye Cami and Eski Cami, now Church of Agios Georgios, are also located within the castle. Other important buildings that have been preserved within the walls are the Cold Fountain, an underground cistern of the Byzantine period, and the Tower of Koulas. However, one of the most impressive sights of the castle is the Ottoman Baths. Walking up the street of Agios Georgios, one will have the opportunity to admire exemplary houses of the local traditional architecture. The castle of Chios is protected as a site of archaeological and historical importance from the Presidential Decree.

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