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Palaiokastro: The Fortress of Nisyros

Palaiokastro is one of the best preserved fortresses in the Aegean. It is located above the settlement of Mandraki and it surrounded the ancient city of Nisyros. Large volcanic rocks compose its walls, which often stretch to an altitude of 3.8 meters. Even though the wall dates back to the 4th century BC, the ancient city was there at least a few centuries ago (all the way to the 8th century BC). The entire construction reaches 130,000 square meters, which is pretty impressive! If you wish to gaze at the island of Nisyros from a privileged point of view and admire the eternal blue of the Greek sea, then this is the best place to be! Along with discovering the history and glorious past of Nisyros, at Palaiokastro you will find out a lot about the island’s beauty and way of life.


The prominent tyrant of Caria Mausolus was probably the man behind the construction of the fort, while his successors continued on in his footsteps to create a powerful and well protected city. The wall is interrupted by towers and gates and on the north gate there is an engraved inscription that is attributed to the 4th century BC, as well. This is definitely the most important historic monument of Nisyros, with a Basilica built within the protected area. So you can see that the Venetians and those who reigned the island over the centuries thought highly of the fortification created above Mandraki.


Admission is free and you are recommended to visit Palaiokastro, devoting some time to explore its nooks and crannies. If you go there at sunset, you are bound to experience something truly breathtaking. But even throughout the day, with the sun bathing the walls and revealing the beauty and rarity of the volcanic stones and architectural rarity, the spectacle is equally mesmeric!