Up around the Castro
If you want to know more about the history of the Castro (Kastro) there are some details on our history page here. This page also covers Symi history generally, very generally.
Part of the Castro walls, the 'iron' gate is on the right
When I was working at the Rainbow Bar I’d often have visitors from Rhodes asking how to get to the Castro, and how to get to ‘the church with the dome,’ meaning the church at Lemonitisa. Giving directions up to the Castro can be a complicated affair, but not necessarily. The easiest route is to cross the village square, Syllogos Square, and follow the road. It goes up a small incline and round an S bend before straightening out. Keep going and you will see a path drop down to the right, follow this to get to the church, or keep straight on to walk around the hill. This is a flat road and you get great views down to the harbour from here. Follow the road all the way until it stops at another church where it becomes a path. Keep going straight on until you can’t go straight on any more, then turn left. At the next church turn left again and follow the steps up and you will come to the ‘iron gate’ which isn’t an iron gate at all. It’s the name for the entrance to the old fortification, now bricked up, and was thus named because it was a barbican, or fortified entrance to the Castro grounds.
Coat of arms on the Castro walls
Don’t expect to find a castle, Kastro literally means fortification in this case, though you will see the medieval walls, and an earlier, Byzantine one. Walking up the slope towards the blue and white church you'll see that you can then walk around the Castro, inside the low walls, from where you also get stunning views of the village, the Pedi valley and the harbour. You can go through the gates, but always close them after yourself of course.
That’s just one way of getting there, there are many others.
One of the views from the Castro
Yesterday’s 50th wedding anniversary celebrations went well. As we left the bar in the early evening it was still filling up with friends who had come to celebrate with Robin and Gill. No doubt I will hear the full story of how the evening progressed at some point. Today has started sunny, though a stray rain cloud just passed by dumping on us as it went. The Alarm Cat went off at six this morning, he’s still inside at night, he’s limping though putting more weight on his leg, and he did finally eat a little today. Thanks to Symi Animal Welfare for the dehydration powder they gave him; we’ve still to mix it with water and get it into him, looking forward to doing that later. Not.