The Folclore Museum
The Folklore Museum at Chora is also worth a visit, being a testament to the cultural heritage of the island. While ascending to the castle, you will find it on your right, just below the big church of the village.
In the photo: The big church of Chora and next to it, to the right, the upper floor of the Folclore Museum.
- Museum Visits
The Castle of Gattilusi
The ruins of the Byzantine castle at the edge of the cliff, a remnant of the rule of the Genoese Gattilusi family (1430 AD), is the top must see of Chora. This position was probably already fortified around the end of the 10th century AD when the inhabitants withdrew from Paleopoli to the interior, but for some reason there was the need of a new fort to house the new Greek-Genoese guard.
The castle is built on a huge rock of cubical shape and the only way is from the east, through the village. Three towers and a part of Wall with the Gate is what survived. The first of the towers is circular and possibly it was part of the older fortification of the 10th century. The second tower is square and has on it the emblems of both the Gattilusi family and the Paleologos dynasty, and the year 1433. In fact the year is written in the byzantine way, as 6941, calculated since "the Creation of the World". Between the two towers there was of course a Wall, but today there is an old building housing the Police Station.
The view from the Castle is magnificent. You can see all the town of Chora, to the north the beach and the sea near Paleopoli and to the west the sea in front of Kamariotissa.
For more photos have a look at my Travelogue.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Castles and Palaces
The church of the Dormition of the Virgin
The church of the Dormition of the Virgin (Kimisis Theotokou) is worth a visit for its valuable icons dating to 1875 and the relics of the "Five Martyrs of Samothraki".
In 1821, five of the hostages brought by the Turks to Constantinople following the destruction of the island, were forced to convert to Islam. Many years later, in 1835, they returned to the island and reconverted to Christianity, their fathers' faith. In retribution, the Turks tortured and executed them on April 1835 at Makri (near Alexandroupoli). The memory of the "five New Martyrs of Samothraki" is celebrated on Samothraki, at Makri and Mount Athos the Sunday following Easter. Their names are Emanuel, Theodoros, Georgios, Michael and Georgios.
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
The traditional Square
Climb to the south side of the church to find out the traditional square of the village with a huge plane tree and a magnificent view. Here is the spot where traditional celebrations and feasts take place.
The photo is the view from the village square.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
On your way to the Castle it is mandatory to stop at the bakery that makes traditional "gorgi" rusks as well as leavened bread. The same family has been lovingly kneading dough made from Samothracian wheat for over 100 years. Here they bake the seven - leavened Samothracian rusks and knead the round breads. The flame slowly bakes the well-kneaded bread and causes it to send vapours and aromas to the neighbourhood, a joy to both sight and smell.
- Food and Dining
Crossing the "Gria Vathra Waterfalls"
A number of small or big pools you have to cross so as to reach the last, the top pool. The crossing is not as easy as seen in that photo. For the last pool I could reach, I had to walk barefood and leave behind all of my "equipment" - even my camera:-( Wasnt that easy trying to climb vertical clifs and sometimes walking through the waterfall's running water! But it was all, oh! so worth trying for...:-)
- Adventure Travel
The translation of the name of this chapel, could be "Virgin Mary by the cliff". Read my travelogue, if you want to see how to get there, and see my little adventure...:-)