Sifnos Tower of Katavati

The Tower of Katavati in Sifnos: Built in 400 B.C., the Tower of Katavati is located in Kade on the way to Vathi. Sifnos is dotted with such towers most of which are in ruins. These towers bear testimony to the rich past that Sifnos had.

All of them were constructed during the 6th and 3rd century B.C. The dating was done from the remnants of pottery found in the ruins and by the size and method of construction. Almost fifty-seven towers have been identified in Sifnos although only a few remain standing. The towers are seen to have two floors and are separated by walls inside the tower. These towers are high, round in shape and built on strategic locations on the island.

Although there are many theories about the purpose of these towers, it is believed that they are watchtowers to warn islanders if any sea-borne threat is perceived especially from pirates. It is also said to house women and children during an attack and store food supplies.

In 524 B.C, Sifnos was attacked by the Samians who destroyed property and killed many of the inhabitants. Sifnos had a prospering community and they were attacked when they refused to pay the money demanded by Samians. The towers of Sifnos are said to have been built to repulse further attacks and defend Sifnos. It is believed that large fires would be lit which warned the villagers in case of attack. Seeing the fire from one tower, the closest one would start a fire and it would be lit from tower to tower spreading the message.