The old capital of the island, the settlement Kastro, stands impressive as it is built on the hill with the deep blue colour of the Aegean on the background. Its history go way back in the centuries. There used to be a prehistoric settlement in the area, the ancient “asty” (city) of Herodotus, which flourished in the 6th century BC, and had a prytaneion, a temple and a theatre of Dionysus, as well as luxurious public buildings of white marble of Paros (“Leukofrys Agora”). Centuries later, in 1635, the Venetian settlement of Da Koronia family was built here. The windmills operated from 1617 up to 1950 in its region.
The impressive fortress architecture of Kastro, heritage of the Venetian occupation, makes it mysterious and charming, either you admire it from afar, or you walk in the “lotzies”, the arched galleries which were once protected by fortified towers. The two-storey and three-storey houses are packed next to each other as their aim was to form an external defensive wall. It seems there is no free space at all! The aristocracy of the island resided at the top, at the centre of the settlement, both during the Venetian and the Turkish occupation. The cathedral church of Agios Antonios , or Fragantonis, is preserved there, as well as a column with the inscription of Giannoulis Da Koronia, since the 14th century.
The churches of Kastro are 14. It is worth visiting Panagia Eleousa, the metropolis –built upon the foundations of an old basilica with a wood-carved iconostasis-, Theoskepasti, which dates back to 1631, Agios Ioannis Thelogos, Agios Nikolaos, Kimisi of the 16th century.
In the summer we suggest you visit the beautiful settlement early in the morning, or late in the evening to avoid the heat. You will walk on the ring road enjoying the view to the sea and at the chapel of Eptamartyros which shines white built on a rock near the sea.
In the interior of Kastro you will gaze at the alleys with the low stone benches, the ancient columns, the coats of arms (some of which date back to the 17th and 18th century) and the shrines that have become part of the small state. There are taverns, cafés and a few rooms to let.
-You will find detailed information about Kastro at the site of the Municipality of Sifnos as well www.sifnos.gr