Ships and Ferries to the island of Nisyros in the DodecaneseTravel Information for ferries to Nisyros. Island of Nisyros Dodecanese.
NISYROS > ARCHAEOLOGY
Castle of the Knights
This is the Castle of the Knights of Saint John, built in 1315 by the Knights of Saint John during the period in which they dominated the island. It is also known as the Castle of Spiliani because the most important monastery of the island, Panagia Spiliani, was built on the castle’s surrounding walls. The part of the castle that remains today is in fairly good condition. Several coats of arms of officer knights of the 15th century are also visible. It is built at an altitude of 150 m in the west end of the Mandraki settlement.
Palaiokastro was the acropolis of ancient Nisyros and dates from the 4th century B.C. Of the large fort with the seven turrets that Palaiokastro once was, only a fraction remains. The surrounding walls, among the best preserved of the era, are classified as Cyclopean or Pelasgian.
The rock that was used for the great blocks of the wall is called basaltic andesite. It is one of the hardest and heaviest rocks in the world and is abundant in the southwest part of the island. Apart from the transportation of the gigantic blocks, the tremendous feat of boasting these blocks and their immaculate fitting (still preserved to this day) by the artisans of the time never ceases to intrigue archaeologists.
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