Castle of Faneromeni in Andros
The Castle of Faneromeni is situated on an imposing plateau north of Korthi, at an altitude of 600 meters. The high mountains of the area are steep and give the impression that the rocks spring up at the top. It was the largest medieval city of Andros, but signs of fortification from the Roman period have also been found. The Venetians built it as a fortress against pirate raids with a capacity of more than 1,000 inhabitants. The so-called Upper Castle has a visual contact with the Venetian Castle in Andros Town (Chora).
The castle still has ruins of houses, aqueducts and walls. Its fortification is not well preserved, but its outline on the plateau is clear. The rocks rise vertically on all sides, creating a natural fortress. The view of the Aegean Sea is unobstructed and unique. The broader area is ideal for walking and meditation.
There also lies the Temple of Faneromeni. Most likely it was initially a Frankish building that turned into an Orthodox temple. It is a building that stands today after many renovations and modifications, a pilgrimage that celebrates on August 15th.
The Castle of Faneromeni or Castle of Gria
The stones, rocks and walls made it impregnable, which fueled various legends and stories. The Castle of Faneromeni is also referred to as Castle of Gria (means old woman castle). The myth says the Turks were sieging the Castle, but they could not conquer it. They sent an old lady with her pregnant daughter to ask for help, which opened the gates at night, resulting in the slaughter of the inhabitants.
Others say, the old woman warned the inhabitants or tried to escape. Regardless of the truth she regretted and committed suicide by going up to a rock and jumping into the sea. So her memory was engraved in the Castle of Gria and on the beautiful beach of Grias Pidima (old woman’s jump).