The Venetian fortress (castle) is the landmark of Chora. It was constructed in the 13th century by Venetian lords, as protection against invasions by Saracen pirates. Visitors can see today’s traditional village, with its white cubic houses, circling the fortress; the narrow cobbled streets form a maze where beautiful snapshots await you at every corner.
The fortress, which is 65 meters high, was fortified by the Ieremia and Gyzi brothers (1207) during Venetian rule, and this was followed by the village’s expansion southwards. The Chora flourished after its occupation by the Turks (1537). The old windmills have stood opposite the Kastro fortress for centuries, in a panoramic and imposing location, on a ridge that catches every breath of wind that carries the scent of jasmine throughout the village.
You can visit the castle of Chora during the day, at any time before sunset. Ask for the key in Loza square and then climb up the narrow staircase that begins after Apano Loza. As you enter through the tiny doorway, note the embrasures used to repulse the pirates.
If the weather permits, make sure you admire and photograph the panoramic view of the village, as well as the western side of the island and the surrounding sea. Perhaps the best time to visit is at sunset.