Kastraki of Meligou is about 3 km from Astros and from there the view of Thyreatida Gis (Thyreas), the whole plain of Astros and Agios Andreas, is enjoyable. At the top of the hill there are crumbling walls from our long history. Kastraki was known in ancient Greece and in medieval times probably with the name Astritsi or Kastritsi with a history of at least 3,500 years. In recent years, before the 1960s, the inhabitants of Thyrea celebrated the Halloween in Kastraki with a “three-way feast”, dances, clarinet, violins, songs, paper war, ribbons and kites, beautiful years.
At the foot of the hill is Lake Moustos. Moustos, a wetland of Kynouria, is part of the European network Natura 2000 and has been designated as a protected area, as it is a refuge for a significant population of migratory birds that overwinter in it.
From the Castrologist
Tower house of the post-Byzantine period on the low hill “Kastraki” southeast of the Winter Meligou of North Kynouria, in a place where there are traces of fortifications from earlier times. The site overlooks the plain of Astros and part of the Argolic Gulf.
On the hill there is a human presence from the Mycenaean to the recent years. During the classical period there must have been some settlement here, perhaps the ancient Thyrea (not certain).
Architectural remains of Hellenistic and Roman times have been found in the area. There are also finds from the early Byzantine period, as well as traces of medieval fortifications.
Of the buildings on the hill, what interests us most here is the tower house. It is the type of mansions built by the Ottoman landowners during the 17th and especially during the 18th century. Very close to the tower house there is a one-room vaulted church, which according to an inscription was erected in 1611 by the monks of the Monastery of Eleousa (Paleopanagia).
The proximity of the temple to the tower house is a bit strange. It seems rather unlikely that an Ottoman built his mansion next to the church. So either the tower house was built before the church or the dating of the church is wrong.
We consider it more probable that the tower house was built at the beginning of the 17th century and was abandoned for some reason relatively quickly. When the church was built, the monks must have used the tower as well. It is not ruled out that the church and the tower were built from the beginning as a monastic complex. We know that the facilities on the hill together with the church were in 1612 part of the Holy Trinity of Meligos, according to a sigil of Patriarch Neophytos II. We will place the construction of the tower at the beginning of the 17th century, but with reservations. In fact, we do not know for sure when the tower house was built.
Structural, Architectural, Fortification Elements
The tower has two floors. The entrance was on the north side of the ground floor, which consists of vaulted areas. Rifles are opened on the ground floor walls. Access to the floor was provided by an external masonry staircase formed above a vaulted space.
On the first floor there are two main living areas with a fireplace in one of them and cabinets in the thickness of the masonry, which consists of brickwork using bricks and binder mortar.
To the north and east of the hill, part of an ancient fortification is preserved, while on the eastern steep slope, a retaining wall, probably from the Roman period, is located. During this period there was a leveling and a new configuration of the plateau of the hill.
To the northwest of the plateau there are remains of a building probably of late Hellenistic times. Parts of a medieval wall are located on the east and west sides of the hill. The wall is made of coarsely carved stones, relatively large with the insertion of tiles and mortar.