Do not miss Kastro

Kastro

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The medieval village of Kastro is situated at an altitude of five hundred meters and at a distance of twelve kilometers from the sea.
Initially called Neokastro (new castle), as stated in sources before 1453, and Yeni Hisar (Neokastro) in all Turkish ones. Later on it was introduced as Kastro.
The first inhabitants came from the village Kalivia or Mesi, as stated in most Turkish and Greek sources. Forced to resort to the hidden and inaccessible peak shortly after the Fall of Constantinople by the Franks (1204) due to the insecurity that followed and the dreadful pirate raids. The 15th century found Thassos under Turkish occupation, but the following year the defeat of Turks by the Mongols during the battle of Ankara (1402), Thassos was granted along with Samothrace and Enos to the Emperor Manuel Paleologos (1391-1425). This prudent emperor wanting to strengthen the defense of the remnants of the once mighty empire, undertook a task of building forts in areas he still controlled. At the same time he builds on the mountainous settlement, fortifications walls at an excellent location strategically situated, where today stands the church of Prophet Elias. The settlement was named after this fortified enclosure. A few years later, in 1414 or 1416 during his desperate attempt to save Constantinople, Manuel grants Byzantine territories as fief to the Genoese to involve them in dealing with the Turks. So he handed Thassos over as well, along with the newly built fortress of Kastro, to the Genoese house of Gattilusi of Lesvos. This Genoese family also related with the house of Doria of Italy and the Grimaldi of Monaco.
Berto Grimaltaothe captain of Gattilusi, builds a tower in 1434, from which today only its cistern is preserved, which in recent years (after 1860) turned into a charnel house.
Constantinople could not bear the brunt of the Turks and was captured in 1453 along with most territories of Greece. Turks captured Thassos in 1455. Kastro flourished during the years following the Turkish conquest, became populous and economically robust. Locals mostly occupied in farming, agriculture, vineyards, logging, pitch production, essential for the maintenance of ships and pharmacy, apiculture, sericulture and navigation.
So, Kastro enjoyed great prosperity that one could discern from the luxurious mansions that were preserved until the sixties.
Vouves.The rest is history. The need for manpower led to the abandonment of Kastro and the massive move of its residents to Limenaria. Bleeding continued until the end of the Second World War resulting in its permanent abandonment and desolation. Today houses are built again, but the once lively Kastro of our grandparents is lost forever.

George Avgoustidis