High on History
Pyrgos Village, with its Venetian Castle, is situated 7.5 km east of Fira, in Santorini. “Pyrgos” in Greek means “Tower”. Originally the village of Pyrgos was built on the hillside, away from the sea and surrounded by a wall. It was meant to be a defensive “Tower”. After medieval times, when the pirate threats were gone, houses expanded outside the wall and thus the village took its current form. What remains of the old village today are the ruins of the castle and the name “Tower” aka Pyrgos. Pyrgos has recently become a very popular destination for tourists visiting Santorini and that is for a good reason. It is truly one of the most beautiful traditional settlements you will find in Santorini and the best sample of Medieval architecture. In 1995, it was declared a “preserved monument”.
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The Pyrgos Castle’s (Kasteli) external walls were created by houses which were almost contiguous, very thick and high with a few air openings. Below the castle there used to be a system of passageways, used for protection or even escape in times of need. The outer contour of the castle was irregular and polygonal. In its center, stood the small square with the churches of Panagia and Agios (Saint) Georgios. A cobbled road separates the castle from the buildings of the contemporary part of the settlement.
Prophet Elias Monastery
Near to the village of Pyrgos and crowning Mount Profitis IIias is a monastery of the same name which was dedicated to the prophet Elijah. The solid facade of its exterior walls is reminiscent of a fortress. The monastery dates back to 1711. In earlier times, the monastery possessed considerable wealth. It even owned its own ship that conducted private business for the benefit of the monastery. At the same time, it was an active intellectual and patriotic influence. From 1806 to 1845 it ran a school where the Greek language and literature were taught. The monastery’s decline began in 1860, and buildings later suffered serious damage in the earthquake caused by the earthquake of 1956.
Cultural Village Museum
It is purely a local family business that in recent years engaged in various ways on the island of Santorini. Target of the company is to promote the Greek culture and the development of Cultural tourism. The Cultural Village, the newest activity of SANTA IRINI, is a modern cultural center with several proposals for the visitor.
Santo Wines Winery
A large, modern winery with stunning views of the caldera and cliffs. One of the Santorini’s most popular wineries for tasting. Santo makes and sells a wide range of wines that include white, red, sparkling, oak-aged and unoaked, and Vinsanto dessert wine.