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The Castles

Castello Rosso

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 hanging hill where the present-day castle now stands was first fortified by the Byzantines in 1030. The medieval Castello Rosso, according to one version, was constructed on Byzantine foundations by the baron Ravanus Dalecarcheri between the years of 1209 - 1216. Captured by the Franks, it was later purchased by the Venetians, who held on to it for 104 years. Later, during the Ottoman period (1470 - 1830) the Turks fortified it even more impressively.

The southern foot of Mt Ochi Castello Rosso - Myloi - Aetopetres Kokkinokastro (Castello Rosso) dominates a historic landscape. During the period of the 1821 War of Independence, many attempts were made to take the castle. Odysseus Androutsos, Nikolaos Kriezotis, known as the “lion of Evia”, and the French Philhellene Fabvier, all lay fruitless siege to it. It was only after the liberation, in 1833, that the castle gates were opened to the Greeks. Today, its ruined walls preserving the memories and secrets of the past, it surveys Karystos Bay from an imposing rocky perch. The castle is a boon to any nature lover’s expedition. Rare wildflowers, such as the Karystos bellflower (Campanula celsii carystea), grow in its abandoned walls, while blue rock thrush, rock nuthatches, kestrels and other cliff-dwelling birds nest amongst its rocks.

The Myloi Valley

The village of Myloi lies east of the castle, about five kilometres from Karystos. The Platanitses Stream runs through it, descending from Mt. Ochi to Karystos. The village owes its name to the many watermills the river once supported. The village’s stone fountains, old manors and arch bridges serve as witnesses to past glory.

The Burtzi fortress

It is situated on the waterfront of Karystos and dates from 1350 AD. Its structure remains intact. The Venetians used parts of the temple of Apollo, situated in the centre of Karystos, as building material for its construction. It is a two-storey hexagonal building with many loopholes and 24 hatches.

Armenians' castle

The Armenians' (or Larmenians')castle is a monument that marks the historical continuity in the region of Styra. Its ruins are preserved at the top of the hill of St. Nicolas or Diakoftis(450 m.) above Kliosi.The castle was built by Franks over the walls of the Ancient acropolis of Styra. At the beginning of the 1300 A.D. the fortress was conquered by Catalans, who sold it to Venetians in1373. It was still in use after the occupation of Evia by the Ottomans in 1470 A.D.  The Armenians' castle is an important place of interest for historical and cultural roots. However there is a need for certain kind of experince in order for a visitor to reach the area.