Kastrovouni: A Natural Stronghold, East of Kontakeika Village
Imposing and wild, Kastrovouni rises some 711 meters above sea level. It is located east of Kontakeika village. Situated among broken rocks, Kastronouni “hides” a troubled and unknown story which is the reason why I decided to write this article.
The cragginess topography makes Kastrovouni inaccessible from the east, while from the west two routes (paths actually) lead to the top. However, both paths are tedious and laborious. The south-western one, although recently cleaned-up by a group of volunteers, is quite steep and it is not recommended, unless you can endure the effort! The north-western path is covered by aromatic plants, offers an impressive view of the Aegean Sea, and leads to the northern edge of the plateau, following two hours of intense walk (rather climbing!).
Arriving at the small plateau that stretches beneath a steep top, you can see a “skeletal” forest (in fact a remnant of the great fire of 2000).
As I moved along is became increasingly evident to me that there is an abandoned settlement. From the Castle of Saradidon anyone can see crumbling walls, the ruins of two churches, and various other buildings, as well as numerous clay pot fragments and building materials. In the ruins of the Church of St. Nicholas it was found the icon of the Saint, as well as a relief depicting a man and a woman sitting on facing stools.
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