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20.09.17
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NEWSLETTER

Oia


The castle of St Nicholas

During the Venetian Rule, as was the case in all islands, a society of great inequalities between classes was built up and the locals served as vassals.
Coming here, Venetian Catholics and other families from Spain, Portugal, and France, took refuge inside the castle for the fear of pirates.
As in other regions of the island, a Goulas was built (from the turkish word "su kulesi", tower, observatory), where guards scouted the horizon and gave the alarm. If they could not counter the attacker, they locked down themselves inside and whoever stayed outside run for cover in the plain.
Their two and three-story houses, built on the rocks, stood close to, or on top of, each other; their external walls, devoid of openings, formed a protective perimeter around the castle and the village.
Limited by the rocky ground of the settlement, the narrow backstreets called "rimidia", resembled a labyrinth. The most impressive residence in the castle was that of Kastelano of Darzenta's family of Epano Meria and the other houses of his relatives. There were also the residences of the aristocrats where they enjoyed special privileges and to whom the Latins had granted feuds. Latins and nobles gathered in the Club of the Nobles.
The residential area, in time, expanded to the west above Ammoudi and included the mills, which belonged to the feudal lords, for their protection. Here barley and beans were grinded, and the complexes had also ovens.


INFO

Pirates ravaging the Aegean were Genovan, Spanish, Algerian, Corsican, Turkish, Mauritanian and Manian. The small bays of the island were ideal as a hideout, and that's why islanders built their settlements in inaccessible and unseen places, as far away from the sea as possible.

* Source: Kadio Kolimva's book about Oia/ A publication of the Community of Oia.

Οία οικισμός - Κάστρο
Οία οικισμός - Κάστρο

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