Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Chora in Amorgos

Dominated by the 13th century Venetian castle which is built on top of the 210 feet rock, the Chora is a well-preserved medieval mountain town and the capital of Amorgos. After the breakdown of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, the Aegean was taken over by the Venetians. In order to protect Amorgos from the pirates and the Turks, the Venetians built castles, towers and lookout posts. The rock was fortified by a wall all the way around and inside was a palace and a large water storage area. On the side of the rock, the church of Agios Georgios was built.  

The bus dropped us off in one of the squares at the bottom of the town, by this church.

 The national colours of Greece, blue and white, define this place

We headed towards the castle,

up narrow alleyways

past the occasional kafeneion

 through alleyways, steps and arched arcades, the emprostiades

the steps got steeper as we approached the castle rock

the houses were built close to each other forming a complex residential system, while at the same time communicating with secret passages to ensure a way out towards the castle in case of an attack.

We reached the base of the rock and stopped to enjoy the views.

Our exploration led us to a church built on the base of the rock.

We turned right

and from this spot we got our first good view of the rock. The steps leading up to the castle are extremely narrow and treacherous, so I did not attempt the climb but Ken did.

In order to get access to the castle he had to get the key from one of the Kafeneion

 in this square at the foot of the rock. I sat here and had orange juice and waited for him.

Cycladic architecture

 traditional doorways


more arches

 quirky entrances

and lots of churches, sometimes two next to each other


I don't think I have ever seen so many churches in such a small place.

We started walking again, climbed the steps towards the other end of the Chora


 towards the other end of the town, where a number of windmills dominate the landscape.

There are eight, I think.



The views from  here are spectacular

on our right, the sea

and on our left a panoramic view of the town and the rock with the castle

zooming in

and in front of us, what else? a church

 We came across another set of twin churches during our descent

One particular feature of the architecture on this island is the inset of stone around doorways

or on plain walls

and the insertion of relief sculpture in the walls and above doorways

We started our descent

 more steps leading up on our right,

 these streets are so narrow

Another feature of this town is the cats - they are everywhere

most tavernas place their tables and chairs on the streets.

But, we were not ready to leave yet. We started exploring the north part of the village

past this traditional kafeneion

past the Memorial

and its plaque commemorating those who have fought for Greece

past the old 'scholarchio' (old type of school) built in 1829 which is now the local primary school

walked to the edge and were greeted by spectacular views of the sea

we saw a dovecote in the distance

and a different view of the church that is perched on the side of the rock where the castle is.

Another church

three churches together

and then it was time for a well-deserved rest and the most delicious lunch.


  1. A fascinating look at the past. They must have all the saints covered! Almost a daily panigyri somewhere in town!

    1. Hahaha! I hadn't thought of the panigyria. You are absolutely right. All year round celebrations!

  2. Thanks for the beautiful pic's.
    They made me longing to the 70's/80's when I visited Ios a teen's paradise.

    1. Thank you Ruud. Apparently Ios is still a teen's paradise - a lot of young people like to go there. I haven't been, but would like to at some stage.