Dodekanisa guide KALYMNOS

Sightseeing

Kalymnos. The capital of the island was called Pothia until 1951. The white mansions and traditional houses with the coloured doors and windows are at odds with the monotony of the treeless landscape. A unique diving school for sponge divers operates at the port, following up on a long tradition.

Vathys. Suddenly on the road amidst the rocky landscape, appears Vathys, like a green oasis in a deep valley. In the Byzantine times, the settlement Rina was located around the harbour. The pirates attacked and destroyed it in the early 15th century. The current chapel of Agia Irini is located at exactly the same position as the namesake large church. In the region, at the cave Daskaleio, prehistoric findings have been discovered, such as Neolithic tools, spindles and ceramics from the Middle Minoan and Late Minoan Era (2000-1400 BC). The cave is located at a point near the entrance to the port, only 5 minutes by boat. Vathys is located 13 km south-east of Pothia.

The castle of Pothia. It is located a short distance north-east of the village, at an altitude of 255 metres, and it was probably constructed during the Middle Byzantine period (10th-11th century). Within its walls there is an area of ​​30,500 square metres. It was the main residential centre of the island at the time of the Knights. The castle took its current form in the late 15th century, when the Knights of Ioannina, who occupied the Dodecanese from 1309 to 1522, reorganized the fortification of the settlement.

Castle of Chrysocheria. It is perched on a hilltop 4 kilometres north-west of the port of Pothia. Since its construction, it probably served as a watchtower. It was known as Chrisocheria or Pera Kastro. Inside there were cisterns for collecting water and other buildings, while near it there were three windmills, buildings of the mid-16th century, surrounded by circular walls with turrets.

Cave Kefala. The cave is 103 metres long, with archaeological and speleological interest, since apart from its impressive stalactites, traces that indicate worship of Zeus have also been found. It is located south-west of Pothia and it is accessible by sea from Pothia or Myrtles. It was mapped in 1961 by the oceanographer Anastasios Christomanos.

Damos. In the region of Damos, between the canyons Drapetis and Sykomeria there was an ancient settlement from the Early Hellenistic Era up to the Late Roman Times. Archaeological research has revealed houses, workshops and a paved path with steps. In the northern side you can see part of the wall surrounding the settlement, while many ancient tombs have also been found in the surrounding area.

Chirst the Saviour. The church of Christ the Saviour in Pothis has an authentic iconostasis by the sculptor Giannoulis Halepas from Tinos. The other icons and paintings are works by local artists, such as Giorgos Economou, Sakellaris Maglis, and Michalis Alachouzos.

Christ of Jerusalem. The church of Christ of Jerusalem, as it is called, is located 500 metres west of the village Chorio, the old capital of the island, built near the ruins of an ancient temple of Apollo. In its court they found a statue repository, i.e. a place to leave incomplete or unsatisfactory statues from sculpture workshops. The statues, which depicted either gods or heroes, date back to the Hellenistic period (2nd century BC).

Fortified monastery of Panagia Ipsili. It is located 6 kilometres from Vathys, to the north. To get there you will need to walk about 20 minutes on an easy trail that starts outside the settlement Metochi. The monastery is nestled in a steep slope, while part of it is built on the rock cavity. According to tradition it was built by a janissary from Kalymnos, Rousos, who with the name Ahmet Gul returned to the island and remembered his roots. On the day of the celebration of the monastery, guests can spend the night in its cells.

Arhcaeological museum. Until 2009 the Archaeological museum of Kalymnos was housed in the mansion of Katerina Vouvalis. Today, Pothia boasts its new Archaeological Museum, which features the famous "Lady of Kalymnos”, which was hosted at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. It is an important work of the Hellenistic era, depicting a female figure wearing a chiton, which was retrieved by a local fisherman in 1995. Here you can also see the huge statue of Asclepius, objects from the sanctuary of Apollo and other finds from the Prehistoric and Post-Byzantine era. Tel 22430 23113.

Folk art museum. It is located on the road to Vothynous. It has the layout of a the traditional home with costumes, loom, spindles, textiles, dishes and glassware, hand mills, pitchers, utensils, furniture, old coins, etc.

Maritime museum. It features exhibits from the life of the sponge divers and information on the customs of the locals. Admire the “skandalopetres" (stones-weights for weighing the divers down), navigation instruments (sextant, compass), diving bells and air pumps. In addition to this, you can see tools for sponge processing, shells, etc. Tel 22430 51361.

Sea findinghs museum Valsamidis. You should definitely visit this museum in Vlychadia. The great hall houses an interesting private collection. Sponges, shells, corals, in various shapes and colours, and even the whole wreck of a merchant ship with ancient amphorae that the owner found. You can also see other finds from the sunken settlement of Telendos. Open in summer daily from 9:00 to 19:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00. Tel: +30 22430 50662.

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