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Castles
Castle of Chios
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The Castle of Chios is located north of the port of Chios and occupies an area of approximately 180,000 square meters. The stone castle walls enclosed a residential area with about 650 residents and was intended to protect the town from attacks and sieges.

The findings show us that the area of the castle was inhabited without interruption from the Hellenistic period, but the most glorious era was the one of the Genoese, from 1346 until 1556. In 1566 the castle was occupied by the Ottomans and, except for a small period of 6 months when it was occupied by the Venetians, it remained in their possession until 1922 when the island joined the new Greek state.

The current version of the Castle of Chios is the result of many interventions, additions and additional fortifications over the centuries. The castle includes walls on land as well as water, which all together form an irregular pentagon. Along the walls there were nine bastions of whom eight are preserved today. Around the land wall once was a trench for better protection and defense of the castle.
The entrance to the castle is possible from the bridge that crosses the drained moat. The main gate, called Porta Maggiore, is still majestic with its decorations and representations. There are also two more gates, the West Gate ("Up Portello") and the Seafood Gate ("Porta di Marina"), which does not exist anymore.

After entering the main gate, one will find the palace of Justinian, a building of the Genoese (15th century), which after its restoration is used as an exhibition space. Adjacent to the palace is the "dark prison" also dating from the years of Genoese and where 70 notables of the island were imprisoned in 1822, before their execution.

In the Castles square lies the cemetery where famous Ottoman people were buried during the period of 1822-1890. There you can see the tomb of Kara Ali, the Kapoudan Pasha of the Turkish fleet, who died during the Greek Revolution, and particularly during the explosion of the fleets flagship by Konstantinos Kanaris in 1822.

The Agios (St.) George Street, which is the main street of the Castle, begins at the square and ends in the walls built on the water. Along this road lies the Bairakli Mosque and the Eski Mosque, which has been converted into a Christian church, the church of Agios (St.) George. Then, in the northwestern corner of the wall, one will come acroos an abandoned Turkish bath complex of the 18th century. There, particularly at the junction of the land and the sea rises the northern bastion, known as a bastion of Antonio Zeno.

The main part of the rampart was built since late antiquity, but during the era of the Genoese in the year 1426, construction works for the support of the tower started. In 1694, during a short period of Venetian domination, the admiral Antonio Zeno made additional new fortifications in the Bastion and since then bears his name.

Other attractions of the Castle are the Kria Vrisi (cold fount), a tank of the middle ages, and the tower called Koulas of unknown use, for the construction of which ancient building material have been used.

In 1924 the Castle of Chios was declared a preserved archaeological and historical site by the Greek State.