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The impressive Venetian Castle
The most important attraction of the island is the Venetian Castle in Chora. It was built by the Querini family in the 13th century and occupies an area of 4,000 square meters. Architecturally it is a fortified settlement in which the outer walls of the houses create a wall with small windows for crenellations. It has been built with traditional local dark stone and has a great view of the two natural harbors of the island. The Querini houses were built around the entrance, on the eastern side. They were two-storied and inhabited until 1956. Inside the Castle there are two churches, the church of Agios Georgios, the oldest church on the island, and the church of Panagia Kastro, built above the gate.
The Archaeological Museum of Astypalea
The Archaeological Museum of Astypalea is housed in a small ground floor courtyard granted by the Ecclesiastical Charitable Fund of Astypalea in 1994. The museum was inaugurated in September 1998 and its collections include findings from the Prehistoric to the Medieval times.
The Ecclesiastical Museum
The Ecclesiastical Museum of Astypalea is housed in the Monastery of Panagia Portaitissa. In reality it is a hall in the back of the church where various ecclesiastical valuables are exhibited, such as a 17th-century wooden religious procession and a 15th-century Christ icon.
On the southern side of Chora
On the southern side of Chora, in the area of Kylinthra, the world’s only infant cemetery has been found, in a large area where up to now, 3000 infant corpses have been discovered. It dates back to the Geometric period and it was used until the Hellenistic period. They were buried there from different parts of the Mediterranean.
At the site were found hundreds of infants buried in clay pots with outstanding archaeological and anthropological interest. There are several theories about how this burial site was created. The two predominant ones were either a possible offer to the gods. The parents offered their dead babies to the Deities of Artemis Lochia and Elytheia hoping to have healthy babies at their next birth. Or that the deaths came from natural causes during the childbirth.
Discover the secrets of St. John’s Castle
Discover the secrets of St. John’s Castle: On the southwest side of the island, 12 km from Chora, there is the Castle of Agios Ioannis. It is built opposite the homonymous monastery and it is a natural fortress with a secret entrance and passage to the next hill. According to the tradition, Castro was unconquerable and was a refuge from of pirates. Today exist only ruins of buildings and a water reservoir. Access to the Castle is very difficult.
• The Monument of the French Admiral Begon, at Schinontas
• Do not forget to visit one of the traditional Windmills, at the central square.
• The Narcisseios Municipal Library
• Sarai, a four-story square tower with perimeter of 18 meters inside the castle.
• Castellano, a small fort built by the Italians in 1912
• The mosaic floor of Mrs Vasiliki Karekli, in Schinonta
• The ruins of Early Christian basilica of the 5th century, with very remarkable mosaics, in Maltezana.