The eye to the Mediterranean sea!
The castle is a medieval settlement which was inhabited until the 1950’s. It is also named “Kato Hora” and is very interesting, as many buildings are preserved in relatively good condition.
The settlement is in a short distance from the modern village Mylopotamos (Greek: Μυλοπόταμος, meaning “river with mills”). It was named Mylopotamos because there are 22 watermills built along a small stream.
The castle was built by the Venetians in 1566, according to an inscription at the gate. Obviously there was an older settlement there, since at least the 14th century, that gradually was developed and after the destruction of other parts of the island in 1537, it became more impoortant and was rebuilt. The position controls the west coast of Kythira and the Ionian sea, but the primary usage of the fortification was rather the protection of the local population.
Inside the castle there are remains of 9 churches from the 16th and 17th century.
Due to its strategic location, Kythira has been conquered by many tribes during its long history. The Minoans inhabited Kythira around the 5th millennium B.C and lived in the port of ancient Skandia, today is known as Paleopolis. For the Minoans, Skandia was an intervening point for their voyages to the West. They created the settlement of Skandia as a place to rest in the middle of their long journeys.
People had developed an important civilization in Scandia. They used to worship goddess Aphrodite there, the Kytherian Aphrodite, as she was called because, according to their tradition, she was born in the Aegean Sea near the shores of the island. Traces of a Minoan temple were found near Scandia.
The Mycenaean succeeded the Minoans in ruling Scandia and the Phoenicians followed in the fifteenth century B.C. Sparta and Athens had also a controversy about Kythira. Finally, the place ended in the hands of Sparta. Kythira was later conquered by the Macedonians, the Romans, the Venetians, and the Turks. The earthquake of about 8.30 in the Richter scale which is believed to have occurred in 365 A.D. in the Kythira Strait was very strong. Great waves hit the coasts of the island and destroyed the ancient harbor of Skandia.
This lighthouse was built in 1901. The height of its stone tower is 25 meters and its focal height is 110 meters. It was built by the British to facilitate navigation in the strait created in the sea area between Kythera and Elafonisos.
The lighthouse is located at Cape Spathi which is the northernmost point of Kythera, near the area of Karava and next to the beach of Ag. Nikolaou.