Xerolithia, Bridges, Towers & Castles

The residential needs across centuries shaped the evolution of local architecture. It is worth presenting a few magnificent speciments of this kind, that you will also discover during your hikes in Andros Routes.

"Xerolithia" is the 'Drywall' technique where stones lock one another and no binding material is used during the construction of walls, bridges, etc.
Similar techniques are common all over the world. You will find variations of the technique all over the island to set the boundaries of people's estates, but just an impressive detail is the placement of vertical stones on top to protect the walls from goats dragging parts while jumping. Genious!
We are looking forward to the international certification of this impressive stone building technique in the Cyclades.
Arched stone bridges, monuments of folk architecture, are in complete harmony with the natural landscape.
Greece is full of such bridges, both in the islands and the mainland.

Different techniques lead to a single effect, like the exquisite stone buildings of Andros towers and castles, a few speciments of which are listed here.

The Tower of Bisti (Mouvelas) in Stenies, Andros, is one of the island's most distinctive and recognizable symbols. It was built to house and protect one of the most prominent manor families and its productive activities. On its long journey, over three centuries, it was renovated, refurbished and modernized. Abandoned in the long run is in danger of collapsing.

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Lower Castle of Andros in Andros Town, used to be one of the most important castles in the Aegean built by the Venetians that captured the island in 1207ac. Today, it is ruined, although it remains one of the touristic attractions of the island. The name of the castle in Greek is "Kato Kastro" which means Lower Castle to distinguish from the other major castle of Andros, the Upper Castle or Castle of Faneromeni.

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Castle of Faneromeni was the largest medieval city-fortress of Andros. It is built on a plateau with very good natural fortification. Generally, it is considered a Venetian fortification, although it is possible that a settlement existed there since the Byzantine period.

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Tower of Agios Petros An ancient tower that was in use until the end of the Byzantine period.
Most probably it was built during the Hellenistic period, although there are elements that resemble Mycenaean or Minoan constructions.

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Worth seeing are the following bridges:

- Achla river
- Stihiomeni in Mesaria
- Lower Castle in Andros town
- Aidonia
- Epaminondas bridge (Arni village)
- Episkopio (Bridge of Love)
- Dipotamata

For more information per route, click here.

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