The Medieval element is prevalent in Kalymnos. There are splendid examples of Medieval architecture all over the island, with Kalymnos castles and fortresses depicting a gracious design Meant to offer protection against all intruders and add prestige to anyone watching up high, those castles served a great purpose. And the view from such privileged observatories made the islanders appreciate the structures and base their life around them. Let us have a look at the major castles found on the island.
The Castle of Chora of Kalymnos is otherwise known as the Great Castle or the Castle of Paleochora. It is found where ancient Pothia was located, since this was the Medieval capital of Kalymnos. It dates back to the 10th century. However, it was not until 1495 that the entire structure was completed. If you want to reach the castle, you must climb up 230 steps that start from Pothia all the way up to the gate. In the past, there used to be a wooden bridge there. Inside, the castle is not inhabited. It has not been inhabited since the 19th century. However, the settlement is well preserved there. It is worth noting that there are ten churches on site, along with the houses, water tanks and everything else necessary for survival.
Kalymnos Castles also feature Pera Castle or else known as Chryssochera Castle. It is located within short distance from the Cave of Seven Virgins and it was built by the Knights that reigned the island. Panagia Chryssochera church is found indoors, naming the whole castle. The name means “Goldhanded” in Greek and refers to Virgin Mary. There is an icon of her inside the church, holding a golden leaf. In addition, within the castle there are the ruins of an ancient temple. The remains of fortification walls prove the protective nature of the castle, along with a coat of arms from a knight. It is much smaller in size than the Great Castle, but it still provided an extra sense of protection to the islanders. Nearby, there are three windmills to admire from the castle.
Apart from these two prominent Kalymnos castles, it is also worth highlighting the Kastelli Fortress. It dates back to the 7th century and is structured along the coast. The hill of Kastelli is separated into two different levels naturally. So this division was crucial and added to the control of passage between the island of Kalymnos and Telendos (found nearby). At the outer wall of Kastelli fortress, you will be able to see the gates that used as entrance and exit from the fortress.