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||photos of Kastellorizo, Greece
|Approaching Kastellorizo: the west side of the main harbour below Mount vigla.
|Mount Vigla (Όρος Βίγλα), the highest mountain on Kastellorizo, soars above the main harbour. It is variously described as being either 270, 273 or even 277 metres high. Perhaps the extra 3 or 4 metres is the height of one of the communication and radar towers which stand on its flattish summit. A chapel also sits up there.
To the west of Vigla (right in the photo) on the lower hilltop stand the ruins of the Paleokastro (Παλαιόκαστρο, Old Castle), the island's ancient acropolis. The rectangular fortress was built of limestone blocks with a plan measuring 60 x 80 metres. It had a massive gateway on its eastern side and contained large water cisterns. At the base of one of the walls a Doric inscription of the 4th - 3rd century BC refers to Megiste (the island's ancient name) as part of the Peraia (community or dominion) of Rhodes (see History of Kastellorizo).
During the Christian era several chapels were built in and around the castle's ruins. Nearby is the monastery of Saint George of Vounion (Άγιος Γεώργιος του Βουνιού, Agios Georgios tou Vounio), also known as the Vounio (ή Βουνιού), in which is the catacomb of Saint Charalampos (Άγιος Χαράλαμπος).
For directions to the Paleokastro, monstery, Mount Vigla and the upper part of the island, see Sightseeing.
The first building on the west side of the harbour is the curious Gazadika. While it looks like one of many small Greek chapels, it is not actually a chapel. See the photo on gallery page 70 for more information.
To the left of the Gazadika is the modern municipal Megisti Hotel, the only hotel on the island. Though not in tune with Kastellorizo's traditional architecture, it is thankfully only two storeys high; and due to its position on the edge of the harbour it doesn't spoil the folkloric aesthetic of the town too much. Its large chequerboard-paved terrace attracts sunbathers and is a good jumping-off point for swimmers and snorklers.
(See the photo on gallery page 71.)
At southwest corner of the U-shaped harbour, the 19th century church of Agios Georgios Tou Pigadiou (Saint George of the Well) is just one of at least five churches and chapels dedicated to Saint George on Kastellorizo, not to mention the chapel on the islet of Agios Georgios off the coast of Mandraki harbour (see photos of Mandraki on gallery pages 223 and 224).
Photos of the church, including its interior and icons, are on gallery pages 83 - 141.
You can see the locations of Kastellorizo's most important buildings and natural features on our detailed map of Kastellorizo.
|Maps, photos and articles: © David John,
except where otherwise specified.
Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis
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