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The Kale Castle

You can make out the rocky silhouette from afar, as it is encompassed in great walls. The blocks – paved road starts in the main square, continues uphill through the traditional buildings and finally leads to the entrance of ‘Kale’. The tourist information kiosk is housed in an elegant wooden building, where the visitor can get information about the town history with video projections, tourist brochures and computer database.

The tour begins in a small square that resembles a theater gallery and ends to the peak of a round tower monogrammed with the name of Jesus, named ‘’Koulas tis Vasilopoulas’’ (the tower of the King’s daughter).

According to the legend, when the enemy took over the castle, the king’s daughter committed suicide by falling off the tower. A bit further down, we find the St Athanasius Metropolitan Church, an 1843 building, in the place of a Byzantine church. You can still see the remnants of this church on the north side. The wooden – carved iconostasis include icons dedicated by trade unions. A narrow street leads to the interior of the castle among old houses and it is like taking a stroll through the centuries.

The first stop is at a small chapel, a stone building that resembles a shrine, 2,5 meters long and 1,5 meters high. On the east side, a marble embossed icon of St. Demetrius reminds us of the Thracean Horseman. On the south side, four circles with crosses bear the inscription with the name of the Byzantine prince Raoul Asanis Palaiologos.

Every year the Didimoticho residents sacrificed roosters on St. Demetrious day,
 a custom dating back to early Christian times in honour of Asklipios.
A bit higher up, covered by a high wall, we find the Armenian church of St. George. (Sourp Kevork). It is built where the Byzantine church of St. George Palaiokastritis used to be where on the 26th of October Ioannis Katakouzinos was crowned Emperor of the Romans (Byzantine state). 

The Kale Castle The Kale Castle The Kale Castle
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