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History

The History of the area

We find the region of South Evia from a very early age in prehistory, myths and history. One of the most interesting related myths is the one referring to the relationship of the ancient Greek gods with the region.

Through the Centuries

A plethora of myths have tried to explain and celebrate the natural environment of the area. It is not an accident that Ochi, Cavo d’Oro and Karystos are respectively associated with three gods: Hera, Poseidon and Apollo.

The word Ochi comes from the ancient Greek word “ocheuo”, which is the meeting or intercourse of Hera and Zeus. Hera is closely associated with Karystos, particularly with the summit of Mt Ochi. Hera was raised by the nymph Macri in Evia. Zeus saw her in the highlands of the island and set out to conquer her.

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The Castles

The castle, "Castello Rosso"of Karystos dominates the foothills of Mt Ochi. It is a scant four kilometres from Karystos, between the villages of Grabias and Myloi.

The Burtzi fortress is situated on the waterfront of Karystos and dates from 1350 AD.

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The Dragon House

The Dragon house (Drakospito) nestles just underneath Ochi’s highest peak. In southern Karystos over 20 such houses have been found, most in the region of Styra.

The one that is near the summit of Ochi is the most significant. This ancient rectangular structure measuring 4.85 metres by 9.80 is made of huge stones with no mortar.

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Ancient Quarries

In antiquity, southern Karystos was famous for its marble. The ancient quarries of Ochi are to be found on the southern slopes, between the villages of Mekounida and Aetos.

Strabo wrote of the renowned “Karystos columns” which were monoliths. The quarries were so busy that in Marmari, the main port for exporting Karystos marble, a temple for the cult of Marble Apollo was built.

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The Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Karystos is housed in the west wing of the Giokaleion Foundation building, (legacy of the benefactor Nikolaos Giokalas – built on Maximilianou Square in 1959). The building also houses a library and a theatre hall.

The local archeological department organizes guided tours of the Archaeological Museum, while both the library and the theatre operate under the supervision of the municipality of Karystos.

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