If you stand at the old bridge over Evripos channel you will probably notice a strange natural phenomenon. The water changes direction every 6 hours! It stands still for 8 minutes and then it goes the other way. When I was younger my parents were telling me stories about a scientist that stood there for days to understand what was going on and when he finally found the solution he felt over the bridge!! The explanation has nothing to do with legends and philosophy of course, it has to do with the position of the moon and how it affects the waters (like in many places on earth but I didn’t know that when I was 6 years old! :) )
The Karabala castle is a Venetian castle that was built on 1204. You can see a big part of the exterior walls but only a few items inside. There is also a small chapel inside.
Don’t skip the XENIA café close to the castle with a nice view over the city. The prices are more expensive that the cafes at the promenade but the chily wind up here was really helpful for us that hot day (beer 5euro, fresh juice 4euros, coffee 4euros)
The first thing you can do after watching the waters from the old bridge is to walk along the promenade. You can sit at one of the many cafes and taverns like every visitor does, see the Town Hall (formely the Mansion of Kotsikas) and continue further to the Red House and the House of the Statues.
The two bridges link Evia with mainland of Greece at Viotia prefecture. Thew new one is a suspension one, built in 1993 and reliefed the heavy traffic to the city and its very helpful for those who come from Athens because the journey is shorter that way.
The old one is much more interesting though because you can stand there for the view of the city. Hundreds of years before there was a wooden bridge there
What’s more if you are lucky it’s the best place to watch the weird phenomenon of the waters under the bridge.
It was built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian at the 5th century, on the ruins of an ancient temple of Artemis (Diana). It is a three-aisle basilica with wooden roof. At Byzantine times was dedicated to "Our Lady Looking Around" (Panaghia Perivleptos). It was rebuilt by the Venetians at the 14th century, and decorated with lions and other gothic motives. The Turks converted it into a mosque and later used it as barracks, store-room and waggon-house. After liberation (1833) it was turned again into Christian church, dedicated to Aghia Paraskevi, who is the patron saint of the city.
After the annual celebration (26th of July), a commercial fair of 1 week follows.
The house of Mallios family ornates the Northern part of the city seaside. It was built by the French architect Flegis in 1884. Today it is prepared to function as the "House of Sciences and Knowledge" of Chalkis municipality.
It was a property of Mallios family, built in 1895 by the German architect Hansen. It is a three-storey residence with a magnificent verandah. Today, being qualified as "preserved monument", it belongs to the municipality of Chalkis and houses the "Evia Studies Institution".
A three-storey neo-classic building with some baroque elements. In 1904 the merchant Kotsikas bought an old factory and two years later he built at its place this imposing building by the aid of the Greek engineer Pothitos Kamaras. Today it belongs to the municipality of Chalkis and is used as Town Hall.
Three rooms in the remainings of the Walls that once were protecting the city, are used today as a Folk Art Museum. In the first room there are authentic traditional costumes, handwoven textiles, embroideries, weapons, coins etc. The second room is a miniature of a middle-class house interior with its household articles. The third room shows the way of living in the country and numerous everyday-use objects, tools etc.
The old Turkish mosque Emir Zathe is also housing a collection of Byzantine and meta-Byzantine sculptures, mosaics and ceramics.
The building was constructed at the early 20th century (1900-1902) and later extended to house in its yard the new collections of tombstones and Roman sculptures and the sculptures of the temple of Dafniforos Apollon at Eretria; this temple was destroyed by the Persians on 490BC. The rest exhibited articles comprise findings of the prehistoric settlement of Manika (3rd millennium BC), Mycenean pottery and statuettes, Roman votive offerings, Classic and Hellenistic coins from Chalkis, Eretria and Karystos etc.
It was built by the Venetians after 1204, and was named "Forte del Negreponte". It was one of the strongest castles of the time. It was occupied by the Turks in 1470 and was named "Karababa", and later was rebuilt (1684) by the Venetian architect "Gerolimo Galopo", being used until 1859. Some ruins of a big water cistern are preserved, as well as two Russian canons of the 19th century.
The only building inside the castle is the chapel of Prophet Elias. By the castle is also the grave of the poet and writer Yiannis Skarimbas (1893-1984), overlooking the place and the city he loved.
The new suspension bridge is the new entrance to the city. Its construction finished in 1993. Being an impressive achievement and built to the south of the old bridge, contributes to the easier approach of the city and the relief of the traffic.
It is mentioned that a wooden bridge was constructed over Evripos channel in 410 BC, having a tower on each side for protection purposes. In 510 AD, Byzantine emperor Justinian made a drawbridge. During Turkish occupation the bridge was wooden and stable. In 1858 was changed to a wooden movable one and in 1896 an iron rotary bridge was constructed, that stayed in use till 1962, when the present draw-bridge was made. It is a fine observation point to watch the channel tide.
Many legends exist, trying to justify the almost unique tide phenomenon. Some researchers stayed on the illusion of explaining it while some others, unable to explain it, stayed admiring its magnificence. The water-flow in Evripos channel is changing direction about every 6 hours, a rare physical phenomenon, triggering the imagination and the curiosity of humans since the prehistoric times, searching for mythological, astronomical, physical and philosophical explanations. The place where the old bridge is built, is the narrowest point of the channel, and the water current can reach the speed of 15km (9 miles) per hour! It is really interesting to watch the reversion of flow direction that happens about every 6 hours. The exact time of reversion is determined by the position of the moon.
Enjoy your "frape" (Greek cold instant coffe) next to the see. The hot spot of Chalkida ("Paralia in Greek). And the night take time for your drinks. Suggested: "Argo", "Paliroia" and "Flocafe"
It is sited at the region "Kamares", to the north-east of the city. The water was coming from 'Kambia'.