Chora – Kythira town. Chora is the capital of Kythira, a protected traditional village. Although it is the capital of the island, only about 300 permanent residents live here! Chora is located in the south of the island and is built around a medieval castle which is located on top of a rocky mountain. It is wise parking your car outside the village (on the right towards Kapsali) and go on foot to discover it. The streets are narrow and there is little space in the village to park. This village invites you to stroll through the narrow streets and making lots of beautiful pictures.
In the village are two large squares: the main square, where the town hall and the banks are, and the Estavromenos Square.
The city was founded in the 14th century by Venetians, the castle was built in 1503 on top of the ruins of an older castle, built by Byzantines. Later they started building outside the walls of the castle. Chora is a traditional village with whitewashed houses, narrow alleyways, arched bridges and many Byzantine churches. From the castle you have an amazing view over Chora, Beach Kapsali and the island Avgo. Within the walls of the castle some important Byzantine churches can be located like the Church of Panagia Mirtidiotissa, the church of Pantokrator and the church of Agios Ioannis. In the church of Panagia Mirtidiotissa processions are held on the Sunday of Orthodoxy and at Easter. Thousands of believers from all over Greece come here to see the processions every year.
In Chora there is also an archaeological museum with various objects, sculptures and other finds from antiquity, but also from the Venetian period. Unfortunately, this museum is closed due to an earthquake in 2006, and apparently there are not enough financial resources to reopen the museum. The main attractions at the museum are the marble lion from the sixth century BC and the marble statue of the Renaissance of Aphrodite and Eros.
Interesting tip: When you drive by car to Kapsali, you are presented with stunning views, this is the place where you can take amazing pictures.
Text: Yorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Revised by Maxine van Hoften Gee