If there’s one thing we love about the Greek Islands –other than the idyllic, crystal water beaches, the beautiful landscapes, the amazing architecture and the awesome food— it certainly is the wonderful castles you can find and the history that accompanies them. Is your imagination intrigued by the medieval ages, the castles and the forts? Antiparos is the place to be then, because it has its very own Venetian castle and by booking an Antiparos Home, you’ll definitely have the chance to visit its ruins and go back in time for a magical adventure.
The Venetian castle of Antiparos is dated in the middle of the 15th century and is an uncharacteristic sample of all the castles built between the 13th and 16th century. Giovanni Loredano built the castle, after marrying a woman of the island, Maria Sommaripa. Giovanni’s house was called “The house of the Sire” by the locals and was also the central tower of the castle, with all the other Antiparos Homes built around it, forming the secluded settlement. In later times, the main tower was used as a water tank, and thus unfortunately, the only remnant today is its base.
The houses inside the castle had a three-storey form, however as the years went by, around the main tower, 24 extra, two-storey residents were developed forming a rectangular ring that was called “Xopyrga” (“Outside Towers”). Nowadays most of the Antiparos homes retain some of their original features, while many of them are facing outwards and are being used as local shops… Meaning you could actually take a walk and shop inside a castle without even realizing it! Amazing, right?
The outer walls of the houses served also as its defensive wall and facade. All of them were 3 meter high and, of course, had no big windows or balconies for practicality reasons. The only entrance was at the main house’s ground level, located at the south wing. A gothic style getaway, which is one of the few castle parts preserved today, along with the remnants of the central tower and a very small number of houses, although, those are not being used as accommodation in Antiparos nowadays.
However, the history and interest remains around this unconventional –and quite rare- medieval structure. Some even call it the most fascinating one in all of the Aegean Sea. Parts of the castle were actually used at the set of the movie “Mantalena” and even today, in an effort to keep the legacy alive, the municipality of Antiparos, holds concerts, theater plays and cultural events in the “Kastro” (the Greek word for castle) area.
During your trip to the island, we highly advise you to leave the comfort of your Antiparos accommodation and take a walk to find the remnants of this iconic Venetian treasure. And the magic continues… It is said, that every night a swarm of small bats come out as the sun is setting and fly around the tower, from dusk till dawn. If you’ve always wanted to be a part of a spooky fairytale, now’s your chance!