Epano Kastro

The “Epano Kastro” (Upper Castle) or “Castle of the Faneromeni” was built by the Venetians in the beginning of the 13th c. A. D., when they conquered Andros after the 4th Crusade and the fall of Constantinople (1204), the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

The Venetians fortified the island by building three castles, the “Kato Katro” (Lower Castle) at Andros Town (Khora), the “Epano Kastro” and the “Castle of Makrotantalos” in Northern Andros, opposite the island of Euboea. Excavations were held between 2004 and 2010 by an archaeological team, under the auspices of the University of Athens and the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities. The “Epano Kastro” is surrounded by Walls with a side Gate preserved on the Northern Wall of the Castle. From the early medieval times (13th c.) apart from the Walls, there survive two big Cisterns, a rain-water Collector, and a strong triangular Fort, which protected the Donjon or Keep, at the highest part of the Castle, surrounded also by Walls. The entrance of the Keep is visible, while spare ruins of buildings and a well-preserved small cistern still exist within its walls.
During the 16th c. the Venetians started to withdraw under the pressure of the Turks, who conquered Andros in 1566. During the 16th c. the inhabitants in the region found refuge within the walls of the abandoned Castle in order to be protected from the pirates’ attacks. They built houses, ovens and a small orthodox church. It seems that in the 18th c., when the danger was over, the dwellers left little by little peacefully the Castle and settled in villages outside the Walls. Today, visitors will find within the Upper Castle signs with information about the ruins.