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See Map Island of Kastellorizo  
     
An island of perennial tradition reaching as far back as the early years of the Age of Stone, a fact all the more corroborated through findings and the remains of walls and suggesting the existence of the settlement of Pelasgians in the area.
Then came the Minoans, followed by the Mycenaeans, the presence of which is confirmed through a golden wrath of unsurpassed beauty and skill in the making, o show at the Archaeological Museum of the City of Athens. The peak of opulence and glory fore this island is further also easily deduced through the establishment of colonies on the opposite coast of Asia Minor.
 
     
 
 
     
     
  Kastelorizo joined the First Athenian Alliance, fighting next to the Athenian forces against the Persians. In the year79 BC it came under the Roman rule. Its ancient name - Megisti - derives from the name of its founder, the legendary Megisteus, whereas its current name - Kastelorizo - was contrived at the time of the Crusades, inspired by the red rocks upon which the fort was built (Castel Rosso).
Its long maritime tradition and intense trading earned Kastelorizo some moments of great glory. Its fate has always been interwoven with that of the rest of the islands of the Dodecanese complex. In the later 19th century, its people becomne actively involved in sponge diving and commerce, a successful operation that brough wealth to the island.
That was the time when such illustrious establishments as schools (amongst which the Santrapreion School) and numerous churches were built. During the Italian rule, there was a massive outflow of immigrants that took to places in free Greece but also to such remote places as Australia and Egypt. This came to be quite a bleeding for the social texture of Kastelorizo.
Air raids by the Italian (1941) and later on by the German (1943) air-forces wrought an incredible havoc and practically ruined the fort. Like many other Dodecaneseans and Samians, many people from Kastelorizo sought refuge to what was then Palestine. Unification with Greece came definitively to be in 1948.
 
     
     
 
The sole township on the island is composed by two quarters, namely "Pigadia" (at the port) and "Chorafia" (around the church of Saints Constantine and Helena), an interesting complex of picturesque houses embracing the waterfront docks and running as far beyond as Mandraki. In the background, there can be seen the imposing rocks of the "Vouno" (Mount) as the locals prefer to call it - rising high enough as to protect the township from the gale winds.
There is no word capable of describing the serenity and scenic beauty of the place and the landscape. Traditional two and three story mansions, featuring ceramic Byzantine tile roofs and arched entrances, colorful window panes and casings, balconies with cast iron or wooden railings, everything gracefully reflected on the surface of the blue sea.
A stroll around the port and a further wandering through the narrow, stone-paved streets of the town leave memories to be cherished for ever, an indelible souvenir from the island that once was the place of cult of Zeus Megisteus. There are 280 people living in Kastelorizo whereas there are powerful communities of Kastelorizian expatriates in Australia and Egypt.
 
 


Islets in the area


AGIOS GEHORGIOS (St. George)
An islet within a 1 nautical mile distance from Kastelorizo. Its name derives from the small church dedicated to St. George and dominating this rock. Access is obtained by boat. Locals favour excursions to Aghios Georgios on the 1st of May and on Ash Monday, if the weather so allows. More rocky islets may be seen around Aghios Georghios.

RO
A tiny island within a 6 nautical miles distance West of Kastelorizo. There are only two homes at the miniscule port - inhabited by stock breeders - along with a church dedicated to St. George, an old fortification and the monument to Despina Ahladioti (most popularly known as "the Lady of Ro" , a woman who chose to live all her life on this desolate rock, simply to have the honour to raise the Greek flag. Access to Ro is obtained by boat. Northeast from Ro there are the islets of Tragonera and Voutsakia.

STRONGYLI (alias YPSILI)
An islet within a 5 nautical miles distance to the NE from Kastelorizo. Noteworthy lighthouse.

 
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
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