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Tower of Ouranoupolis

The tower is known to have existed already in 1344, but appears to have been older than this.

In May 1379, the “despot” (King) of Thessaloniki, loannis Palaeologos, was hosted at the tower and during his stay there granted it exemption from taxes. It must have suffered considerable damage from the earthquake of 1585 and, probably, received extensive repairs. In August 1858 the tower is reported “empty and uninhabited inside” (presumably after being burned down during the devastation of Halkidiki in the revolution of 1821), but this same year saw the beginning of extensive repair and reconstruction works that gave it its present form.

Recently, the tower was consolidated and restored by the 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.

During the course of this project, the main historical phases of the building were identified as follows:

  • The entire lower part of the stone structure, apart from the two upper storeys, belongs to the Byzantine tower. It may be assigned on the basis of its typology and construction to the few known examples of the 11th-12th century.
  • The two upper storeys and another one (or at least a battlement level) now lost, date from the Ottoman Domination era, probably after the earthquake of 1585.
  • The entire wooden interior of the tower, together with its present roof, belong to the 19th century repair mentioned above, which seems to have been completed in 1862.

Later, the external sloping buttress wall was added, probably after the earthquake of 1905. Nowdays, after the recent restoration works, the interior of the tower is preserved with the original constructions of the 19th century.