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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).
From 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.
This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Skiathos URL below, which contains images.
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