Castles - ''Kastelia'' of Santorini
In Santorini there are five castles or otherwise called Kastelia which where built mainly during the Venetian period.
Skaros or Epano Vrahos or Roka is located in Imerovigli.
It was the capital of Santorini from the Byzantine years until the 18th century A. D. On the upper Castle there was a whole settlement, but residents abandoned it by the 17th century A. D because of the large earthquakes that were happening at that time. Now some ruins are preserved and the imposive rock that looks to Thirassia and the Volcanoes.
In Oia, in one of the most cosmopolitan villages of the island are the ruins of the Kasteli of Agios Nikolaos. Its existence is mentioned from 1480 A. D and was a place of the ship owners of the village. Overlooking Thirasia right across, it is the favourite spot for visitors to watch the sunset.
In the village of Pyrgos, walking though the narrow streets towards the top of the village we meet the entrance for the Kasteli, walls that protected the village from pirates. There is also the church of Virgin Mary at the very top of the kasteli. It was built during the years 1660 – 1661 and there on Good Friday occurs the most significant Epitaph of the village.
The Kastelli of Emporeio village is also one of the most known and beautiful castles on the island. With one entrance, we walk through the narrow streets, see the houses built right next to each other, with entrances and windows only to the interior of the castle, for citizens to be better protected from raiders. You will be charmed by the small houses, many having large rocks wedged into the wall as steps and by the many small churches in the old town.
Finaly, during medieval times, Akrotiri was considered one of the ''kasteli'' of the island and was called La Ponta. In the center of the settlement there was the Goulas (tower) which until the large earthquake of 1956 was preserved in very good shape.