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In the middle of the 15th century the Castle of Hrysoheria was built by the Order of the Knights of Saint John, between Chora and Pothia. On its east slopes the church of Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) of Christ is found, while at the west stands the church of Ayios Ioannis (Saint John) the Baptist. Both of them are decorated with Post Byzantine wall paintings of the late 15th – early 16th century. A few meters northeast of Hrysoheria Castle three old windmills still stand. In the neighbouring region of the castle many Mycenean graves with burial offerings were discovered in the 19th c., which are kept nowadays in the British Museum of London. Human presence has been ascertained here, during the Neolithic, Mycenaean, Hellenistic and Byzantine period. During the Hellenistic period on the hill probably was located a temple with the statues of Dioskuri (or Dioscouri) as an inscription of the 2nd c. B.C. indicates. 

The Kalymnians during that time (the rule of the Knights 1309- 1523 A.D.) had the privilege of electing representatives, who presented island affairs at the central authority , as it happened in the case of the Hrysoheria Castle, when the Knight Fantino Quirini required in 1444 that Kalymnians work for its construction. The local people had disagreed and risen, considering it a pointless task because of the pre-existence of the Castle of Chora on the island. The affair led to the court of Rhodes in 1445. The judicial result however vindicated Quirini. The marble coat of arms on the left of the staircase of the castle’s eastern entrance is irrefutable evidence of the identity of its first commander. On the same side are also built-in the castle’s wall two more coats of arms of the Knight Commanders of the four islands, Adimaro Dupuy (1464-1466) and Giacomo de la Geltru (1466 and 1479).

The Castle of Chrysoheria was finally abandoned in the late 15th century, due to continuous destructive raids of the Turks. The Castle is well preserved and within its walls the visitors have the opportunity to see remains of medieval buildings, underground grain storage, the church of Saint George and the church of Panagia( Virgin Marry) of Chrysoheria, a stone paved path and some newer buildings.

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Municipality Tourist Office

Municipality of Kalymnos

Pothia, Kalymnos PC 85200

Dodecanese, Greece

email: mto@kalymnos.gr

phone: +30 22430 29299

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