Proud, distant Kastellorizo, the smallest of the Dodecanese, is – along with its surrounding islets, the easternmost inhabited frontier of the Greek Aegean, mendacity lower than three kilometers from the shores of Asia Minor. Wealthy in tradition, historical past, and wonder, it’s a marvelous vacation spot.
It wasn’t at all times known as Kastellorizo; actually, Megisti is its official title. If the title ‘Megisti’ makes you consider ‘giant’, you then’re correct- it does imply ‘the biggest.’ Kastellorizo will be the smallest of the Dodecanese, however it’s the largest of its archipelago, which is why it was given the title Megisti when the Dorians initially colonized. Subsequently, within the Hellenistic period, Kastellorizo was within the area of Rhodes as a part of the Rhodian Peraia.
Kastellorizo adopted the historic path of most of its neighbors within the following centuries, dominated by Alexander the Nice, then by the Romans earlier than lastly becoming a member of the Byzantine Empire as a part of the ‘Province of the Islands.”
The Knights of St. John on Kastellorizo
At first of the 14th century, following the autumn of the Kingdom of Jerusalem to Muslim forces, the Knights of St. John (recognized in any other case because the Knights ) Hospitaller – a Catholic navy order devoted to defending pilgrims – sought a brand new dwelling. Rhodes on the time was nonetheless below the management of the Byzantine Empire, they usually defended it- the conquest took 4 years. By 1310, Rhodes was the brand new headquarters of the Knights of St. John, who then additionally managed the encircling islands, together with Kastellorizo.
That is when the Island took its current title. The Knights constructed a fortress atop some rocks of a purple tone – “kastello” + “rosso” is certainly one of a number of explanations for its current title. The fortress, constructed within the later 14th century, is a dramatic sight, and under it’s a Lycian tomb lower immediately into the rocks – distinctive in all of Greece.
Kastellorizo’s Muslim Group
A have a look at the map will point out how daring of spirit the islanders right here should be, in such shut proximity to the Turkish coast. Like almost all of Greece, Kastellorizo was as soon as a part of the Ottoman Empire, conquered, together with Rhodes, by the forces of Suleiman the Magnificent within the sixteenth century after a well-known siege of 6 months, wherein the knights had been vastly outnumbered and held out heroically. A mosque of the period can nonetheless be seen; it now homes the Ethnographic Museum. A small Muslim neighborhood, dwelling peacefully alongside its Christian neighbors, stays on the island nonetheless.
The Archipelago of Kastellorizo – Ro – Agios Georgios, Stroggyli
Right here off the shores of Asia Minor is an archipelago of charming islands. To the west is the very small islet Ro. Right now the Greek Military is there to boost the flag, carrying on a lovely historical past. Initially, it was Despina Achladiotou (1890-1982) – the “Girl of Ro” who took on this patriotic honor.
Simply throughout from Mandraki lies the island of Agios Georgios, you will get there by a water taxi that departs from the principle harbor. On this tiny island, there’s a church devoted to Saint George and a beautiful tavern serving refreshments and snacks.
The opposite island, Stroggyli, lies 5 kilometers to the east – Stroggyli is the easternmost level in Greece, and its lighthouse is Greece’s easternmost constructing. Stroggyli, like Ro, can be inhabited by the Greek navy.
Satisfaction, Prosperity and Type – The Service provider Group of Kastellorizo and their Mansions
From the mid nineteenth C by way of the daybreak of WWII, Kastellorizo was a business powerhouse, dealing in charcoal and sponges, with a formidable service provider fleet to commerce them. With its strategic location within the jap Aegean, with proximity to Asia Minor and North Africa, in addition to deep pure harbors, its future was fulfilled with the development of shipyards.
This period of prosperity noticed the constructing of nice mansions, which additionally served as an announcement of the cultural identification of the Kastellorizans. Whereas the fashionable Greek State was established after the 1821 Battle of Independence, it might be over a century earlier than Kastellorizo would lastly turn out to be Greek – after WWII. Within the meantime, the colourful mansions within the neoclassical model boldly and proudly proclaimed the cultural identification of the Kastellorizans.
The Blue Cave of Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo has a very wonderful Blue Cave, vastly surpassing Capri’s well-known Grotta Azzurra in its dimensions: 40–50m x 25–30m, and a dramatic 20–25 in top. The blue cave goes additionally by the title ‘Fokili” – “Fokes” are seals in Greek, and that is known as the seals’ refuge.
The cave, which is on Kastellorizo’s southeast coast, will be accessed by boat, for a very magical expertise.
Kastellorizo, Greece’s Jap Frontier
Have you ever ever visited the Dodecanese? How about one of many extra distant islands of Greece? The smaller and extra distant islands corresponding to Kastellorizo can supply guests a very distinctive expertise.