Venetian Castle in Kythira
The Venetian Castle of Avlemonas in Kythira: The architecture of Kythira has elements from the Ionian Islands, Cyclades, and Peloponnese. Kythira houses Venetian, Byzantine and medieval monuments, castles, chapels, and alleys with arches in Cycladic style, which all constitute a testimony of their history. Known as Castello, the Venetian Castle, located in the village of Avlemonas is one of them.
On realizing the strategic position of Kythira, the Venetians in 1547 built a tower, with the purpose of protecting the area. In 1565, a rectangular, which was later expanded in a polygonal shape, Venetian Castle was built on top of that rock. The sparing use of detail, together with the concentration of pronounced features had produced boldness and simplicity in its style, which is a typical characteristic of castles of that period.
Castello is the fortress of Saint Francis. The lion of Agios Markos built on top of the main entrance is characterized as holding the gospel. Its gate also depicts the characteristic symbols of the Venetian Empire. Foreign invaders and pirates assaulted the castle many times over the course of time. The shelling of English warships damaged the castle enabling the English to capture the island of Kythira. Some of the canons used by the Venetians still exist in the castle, while among the buildings that survive until our days there is a number of Byzantine churches, two-floor houses, and a building with the sun watch.
The castle is an ideal place to have a nice walk. For the tourists visiting Avlemonas, the ruins of the Venetian Castle and the surrounding traditional and modern houses are a visual delight. Other sites of interest in the area are the Churches of Agia Moni and Agios Georgios Vounou, as well as the settlement of Paleopoli.