The Kastro Fortress and the Bourtzi Fortress in Skiathos

The Kastro Fortress in Thassos

The Kastro Fortress in Thassos ©Anders Ljungberg/Flick

When you visit Skiathos, don’t miss Kastro and Bourtzi, because these are some of the most important attractions on the island. At Kastro you will discover what this medieval city meant in the past and you will be surprised by the many beautiful things you can see here. Stories and legends are at home at Bourtzi, so you will be really fascinated.

Kastro was once the largest medieval town of the Island of Skiathos. Bourtzi is a small peninsula that separates the port of Skiathos in two parts: the old port and the new port. This settlement is very very interesting and worth visiting.

 

The Kastro Fortress

The settlement of Kastro was built on a reef coming out of the ocean in the north of the island and is one of the most beautiful places in Greece that truly deserves to be seen.

Only a thin strip links Kastro with the rest of the Island of Skiathos. In the past Kastro was surrounded by a very thick concrete wall and people could only enter the gate that was made of iron. Inside you will find something very similar to a fortress. When anybody came to attack the Kastro Fortress in Skiathos the locals were well guarded because of the town’s location and also because of the very thick walls. Over three hundred houses are found here. The settlement once housed about twenty churches, currently has only one left standing. If you want, you can take a walk from Kastro to the city of Skiathos, as it is close and the path is marked. There are specially organized hiking trips, if you want to try them.

The Kastro Fortress in Thassos

The Kastro Fortress in Thassos ©Anders Ljungberg/Flick

The Bourtzi Fortress

The Bourtzi Fortress was built in 1211 by the brothers Andrea and Jeremiah Ghitza to protect themselves and the whole city of Skiathos from the pirates. Over time, the Bourtzi Fort in Skiathos played an important defense role for the surroundings. Inside you can see many impressive things, which include a water cannon, and the chapel of St. George. It is said that the sanctuary would be built also by the two brothers, so locals also call it St. George Castle. In 1660, due to a very strong attack, Bourtzi was largely destroyed. Only later, in 1823, when some refugees were hiding here, little by little the place began to flourish again.

View of the Bourtzi Fortress in Thassos

View of the Bourtzi Fortress in Thassos ©ale3andro/Flick

Today are standing only a few walls, and the chapel of St. George. At the request of the municipality, Bourtzi became an important cultural center where every year in the summer is held a theater festival. It is accompanied by other events including concerts.

The Bourtzi Fortress in Thassos

The Bourtzi Fortress in Thassos ©ale3andro/Flick

 

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