Before we go into the Castle or 'Kastro' we have to climb up to it.
The castle was built (or rebuilt) in the early 1400s by John Querini of Venice and intended to protect the island against pirates. The hill had been fortified by previous cultures all the way back to classical times.
The final steps are a little uneven. I was pretty winded by this point and more concerned about getting back down. Actually the very final steps are bigger and Greece does not really believe in hand rails on stairs. Just before you enter the castle, however, is a little landing with a wonderful view of Chora. I found a Finnish couple enjoying the view and had a nice conversation with them before we went in.
(The only entrance is on the southwest side.)
Before we go in, let's get a sense of the shape of the place. This is taken looking south. The entrance is just visible on the right of the walls.
Detail of the exterior wall.
Up to the 50s as many as 3-4,000 people lived in two and three story blocks inside the walls. In 1956 a massive earthquake destroyed the houses and now the castle is abandoned.
Inside the walls and looking north. The entrance was under the church you see on the left.
And this looks the other way from the previous shot.
The church of St. Giorgios.
Slightly to the right of the previous shot.
Church of the Panaghia (Virgin) is over the entrance way.
The interior is now a ruin.
And now we have to get back down. That's actually more painful and has an increased risk of a fall, at least for me.