Tower towns in Greece (PHOTOS)
Beautifully preserved stone-built settlements and fortified towns spread all over Greece form a harmonious combination of local architecture and western influences. Silent witnesses of the country’s fascinating history are the ideal settings for you to rediscover romance. Whether in mainland Greece or on an island, beautiful sites await to offer you a journey through time and the opportunity to find yourself in places where the past and the present meet.
Be the knight or princess of your childhood fairytales in the Byzantine town of Mystrás.
The mystical tower town of Mystras, was declared in 1989 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander around the castle city and sense through the silence the city’s sheer grandeur: the Palace of the Despots (Anáktora), the Houses of Laskaris and Frangopoulos, the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Dimitrios and the impressive Monasteries of Our Lady Pantánassa, and of Our Lady Perivleptos.
– Monemvasia: Unveil a medieval mystery!
Monemvasia, founded by the Byzantines in the sixth century, is a breathtaking medieval tower town located on the south-eastern coast of the Peloponnese. Upon entering the castle, your journey through time begins. Peer into the history of the fortress –the so-called “Gibraltar of the East”–, which was occupied by the Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Venetians, and the Turks in the past.
– Servia: A lesser-known fortified town in Macedonia
Visit Servia, “the Mystrás of Macedonia”, a breathtaking castle city on the southern part of Kozaniarea in Western Macedonia. “Sérvia” actually means “observe” or “guard” from the Latin verb “servo”. This beautifully preserved Byzantine fortress and its settlement are situated at the top of a naturally fortified hill overlooking the valley of the Haliakmon River.
– Mesta: A medieval treasure hidden on the island of Chios
Mesta is a famous traditional medieval settlement on the south-western part of Chios.Upon entering the gateway of the castle, the “Door of the Captain”, you will sense the awe-inspiring atmosphere of this medieval village, which was built during the Genoese domination, and is a model of defensive architecture.
– Rhodes: The island of the knights
As you enter one of the largest medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom, it soon becomes obvious that the Old Town of Rhodes is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations; rarely does a visitor have the chance to stroll within medieval walls and explore twenty-four centuries of history. The fascinating medieval fortress-like buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, narrow alleys, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares make it feel like you have stepped back into medieval times.
– Peloponnese: Vathia’s traditional settlements
Váthia is located in the southern part of Laconian Mani; it belongs to the group of settlements called “Inner Villages” (Mesa Horia). On the top of a 200m high hill, Váthia is a dense, stone-built settlement consisting of 144 buildings grouped into four distinct neighbourhoods. The architectural style of the buildings and the village’s spatial organisation reflect the struggle between Mani families competing to settle on the hilltop, Váthia’s dominant strategic point during the medieval times.