About Skiathos

Skiathos Castle

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Skiathos Castle

The island's medieval town used to live in the Castle. It is located in the north foot of Skiathos. It is a 3 hour walking distance or 1,5 hour by boat. It is the most remarkable location of Skiathos not only because of its history but also its natural beauty.

Alexandros Papadiamandis, a famous journalist and writer, had given an outstanding description of the Castle and its location and he had used it as an action area in a lot of his books.

A huge rock in the sea, a balcony in the waves with a breathtaking view, a natural fortress and less human fortifications. All three sides of the Castle, looking to the sea, had a wall with embrasures. However, the sides, looking to the land, were less entrenched. This was logical as there were huge cliffs, from the sides looking to the sea, which gave a great security feeling. However, to the land's side, there was a wall with battlements and embrasures as well as the entrance of the castle with a small tower and canons.

From this side of the Castle, the rock is deeply cut, and seems like it occurred by a human hand. Communication with the land occurred due to a wooden moved bridge, which was a connection between the entrance and the land's facing height. In times when the danger occurred, the bridge was coming to the interior part of the castle, so as the invaders' entrance would be blocked. In the Castle's entrance, was an arcade, on which, the tower with the balcony was located, a flat space with embrasures and a scalding vessel. In the scalding vessel, they used to scald any invader who tried to come close to the iron entrance. The Castle had been built because of the pirates invasions, which forced the locals to abandon ancient Skiathos.

It is historically undoubted that when Venetians took for second time the island in 1453, the only town that was existed then was the Castle.

The Castle's houses were built the one next to the other and many of them were small and lightless.
In the Castle were many water supplies reservoirs and many churches which, according to history, they were more than 20. From the Turkish domination and later there had been a mosque without a minaret.

Since its establishment and until 1583, the Castle had been dominated by the Byzantines and later by the Venetians until 1538 and then Turkish domination took on it until 1821. In 1660 the Venetian domination came back for a short period of time. Those who lived in the Castle were always suffering by the dominations. According to Papadiamandi: The Castle has a history of five centuries of suffering and bloodstained. The danger from the pirates and invaders from different nationalities was continuous. The residents were deprived of a lot of things, due to the Castle's limited space. Many times the locals were in danger of being dead because they couldn't go to cultivate or fishing.

Skiathos Castle was abandoned in 1829. Nowadays, only the remains have been rescued. Remains which reveal the pain, suffer and the moan of the people.

In a really good condition, are still preserved, two churches. Saint Nikolas' church and Christ's church. Christ's Church, is a one-aisled Basilica. It used to be the Cathedral of the Byzantine Town and it had been reconditioned during the years. The interior part of the church was full of wall paintings. From those only a few have been rescued and they represent really good evidence of the after Byzantine art.
In the middle of the roof was a garland of pictures of the Soothsayers and the Apostles. In the Castle the locals used to get married.

The Castle's view is fascinated and it is worth the visit. Nowadays you can easily go there as a flight of stairs have been built on the rock.