Castle of Chora or Great Castle
The Castle of Chora, also known as the Great Castle or Paleochora, is a popular tourist attraction on Kalymnos. Located on the spot where ancient Pothia once stood, this city is often referred to as Kalymnos’ mediaeval capital. In 1495, the castle is completed and remains inhabited until 1812.
From the middle of the 18th century onward, the threats that originally drove the population inside the castle (such as pirates) began to dwindle, and thus people began settling in new homes in Chora, outside the castle walls.
The Byzantine fortress is still beautiful, even though it is now abandoned. The 230 steps from Pothia go up to its gate, which previously had a wooden bridge that could be moved back and forth. Inside the walls of the castle are not only multiple dwellings, but also two big water tanks, a stone mill pond, a portion of a stone roller crushing olives, and ten churches, all of which have been remarkably well kept.
Pera Castle or Castle of Chrisocheria
The Pera Castle, also known as the Castle of Chrisocheria, is a major tourist attraction located halfway between the towns of Chora and Pothia. The castle’s location, atop a natural hill, gave the Kalymnians a commanding vantage point over Chora and Pothia.
The castle was established under the Knights’ rule. In fact, the citizens were forced to build a new castle which would be used as a house for the governor of Kalymnos, Kos, Leros and Nisyros islands, in order to protect themselves from the rising pirate incursions.
The castle’s few facilities, including a mineral and constructed food store and chapels dedicated to St. George and the Virgin Mary, are kept in good shape.