Emporeio or Nimborio Kasteli

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Emporeio or Nimborio Kasteli

The Kasteli of Emporio (Kasteli means castle) was built in 1450 AD. and is situated right at the heart of the village. It is a fortified settlement with one major entrance, “The Door” as it is called by the locals and houses built very close one to another, in such a way that their external walls simultaneously form the wall of the castle. It is one of the five castles on the island of Santorini and the best preserved today. A lot of the buildings have been restored even though they are not populated at all times. During the Middle Ages, the castle served to protect the inhabitants of Emporio from pirate attacks.

Inside the Castle, there is a maze of narrow alleys, tunnel passages, vertical stairways, bridges, arches, and domes. Old houses with small doors and even smaller windows painted in various colors, are all part of its interesting architecture. There, you will find the church of Palia Panagia (Old Virgin Mary) or Panagia Mesani, with its impressive bell tower of the 16th century, the pebbled floor and the old wooden carved iconostasis, covered with scenes from the Old and the New Testament. Outside the walls stands the Goulas of Emporio, a rectangular defensive tower from the 15th century that is believed to have been built by the monks of the Agios Ioannis Monastery of Patmos. The Goulas of Emporio is located in the north part of the village and was connected with the Kasteli through a tunnel. The tower served as a watchtower for preventing pirate attacks and was a dependency of the Patmos Monastery. The Castle of Emporio is still inhabited and one of Santorini's main attractions. It is also a heaven for photography lovers and Instagrammers.