Castle Of Neratzia
As soon as you arrive in Kos Town, especially if you have decided to travel by ship and you have landed in the city port, your attention will be immediately captured by the Castle of Neratzia, without any doubt one of the most characteristic historical buildings of this area. Located on the right side of the port, guarding and protecting it, this fortress tells us an important part of the island’s history.
Kos Castle history
After being dominated by Persians and Tolomei, and after the fall of the Byzantine Empire (1204), the island of Kos came under the control of Vignolo de’ Vignoli, lord of Genoa who decided to entrust the construction of a fortress to defend the city to the Knights of Saint John. This has common characteristics with the buildings that the knights built on the island and not only, especially with the fortress of Rhodes. The castle was built on the ruins of a previous building, as evidenced by the walls of the fortress, that hide within them remains of a structure dating from 1450 to 1478. Despite the strength of this fortress, the Knights decided nevertheless to reinforce its appearance building thicker walls on three sides of the building, which ended up to hide completely the previous structure. To make this new construction were used materials from the ruins of the ancient city and from the shrine of Askleipion, a few kilometers away from the city of Kos.
It seems that the external part of the Castle of Kos was built starting from 1495, to be then finished around the first decades of 1500, as shown by some coats of arms that you can see carved in the walls. It is a structure of great historical and artistic importance, which attracts thousands of tourists every year for the wonderful atmosphere that characterizes it. Here time seems to stop and, once you enter the building, you will even seem to go back to the past and relive the experiences of a difficult but splendid era. Currently it is possible to visit the towers, the stairs, the corridors, the drawbridge, the inside and the outside of this splendid fortress. This is a compulsory stop, especially because it is representative of Kos Town and is easily reachable on foot from both the center and the port.
If you want to add the Kos Castle to a longer itinerary, to discover the historical and artistic beauties of this city, remember to organize well and equip yourself with everything you need for a walk. Always carry a backpack and a bottle of water, perhaps a fruit to prevent the pressure from lowering after walking a lot of time under the sun. Have you packed comfortable shoes for your outings? Well, wear them and go to the discovery of this beautiful island!
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