Kalymnos

Photo: Nikolaos Smalios

General Information

 

This island is located in the southeastern Aegean Sea between Kos, Leros and Asia Minor. It is the fourth largest and third most populous island in the Dodecanese prefecture.

Its surface area is 109.67 square kilometers and its coastline reaches 96km. It is predominantly a naval island. It's history, culture and tradition of which relate directly to the sea. The original name of the island was Kalydna.


Apollo was the patron god of Kalymnos, while his sanctuary was the political and religious center throughout antiquity, from the beginning of the 1st millennium BC to the early Christian centuries.

In the 6th century BC Kalymnos minted silver coins, which depicted a bearded head helmeted warrior on the obverse and the lyre of Apollo on the reverse. During the Persian Wars (early 5th century BC) the island was occupied by the Persians and Queen Artemisia of presbyter until released with the help of the Athenian fleet.

 

Archaeological site of Sacred Delion Apollo - Christ of Jerusalem

It was the political and religious center of ancient Kalymnos. Here there were religious and civilian buildings like temples of Apollo and Asklepios, theater, parliament, high school (gymnasium), inscriptions, dedications, statues statues of gods and mortals.

Grand Castle of Hora

It is a Byzantine castle of the 11th century. Repaired and expanded in the late 15th century, during the era of the Knights (1309 to 1522 AD), representing predominantly residential center of the island.

The densely built village of the Grand Castle of Hora is estimated that it could accommodate around 1000 - 1200 people. Inside the castle in good condition stand 10 chapels of the period 15th - early 16th century.

Archaeological Fortress Ebola - Archangel Michael

The Hellenistic fort in the area Ebola was built in the late 4th-early 3rd century BC. The fort was designed to protect the inhabitants of the valley, during raids.

During the 6th AD century built in the northern part of the imposing basilica of Archangel, built with building materials from the ancient fort.

Archaeological Site Kastri

Kastri is a small ancient fort, to which residents of neighboring areas resorted in time of need. From this position they could supervise the surrounding area, mainly in the marine area and that of the port of Emporio.

Archaeological Kastelli

Kastelli is a Byzantine fortress, built on the rocky hill of the headland Aspropountari. Created due to the vital need to the survival of the border island of Kalymnos and the Byzantine State as well, from the maritime raids from Arabs in the 7th century AD.

Archaeological site Damos

It is an ancient settlement which flourished from the Early Hellenistic (late 4th - early 3rd century BC) to the Late Roman period (mid-second century AD), according to archaeological evidence.

The excavations have brought to light a tiered paved road, on both sides of which were found homes, workshops, carved fountains and a number of artifacts.

Castle Chrisocherias

Castle Chrisocherias built in the mid 15th century, the period of occupation of the island by the Knights of St. John. Inside there are visible remains of the buildings, which were two churches, St. George and Our Lady of Chrisocherias.

On the eastern wall there are built- in three marble chivalric insignia. Within 65 meters northeast of the castle are the surviving three stone windmills.

Settlement Ellinika

It is perhaps the best preserved early Christian settlement of Greece, as the buildings are preserved in stunning condition, up to the roof in some cases. The settlement includes six early Christian churches.

Hellenistic outpost Prisons

the imposing Hellenistic outpost "prison" is a contemporary structure with the fort of Ebola. This functioned as an outpost-watchtower, warning the main fort in case of an emergency.

 

Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos

The new Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos. With the "Lady of Kalymnos" serving as the main attraction for visitors, the museum began operating in 2009. 

Antiquities of Prehistoric and Post-Byzantine era included amongst the exhibits, showing temporal history of the island during the past millennia.

The colossal bronze female figure which "emerged" from the sea area of ​​Kalymnos is one pole of interest, the large number of votive sculptures in the temple of Delian Apollo and a huge statue of Asclepius are the other pole of attraction.

Maritime Museum of Kalymnos

The Maritime Museum of Kalymnos was founded in 1994. Here the vistor can get a feel for the nautical tradition of the island, its history and methods of the sponge diving, and see many objects from ancient ship wrecks. In the four rooms of the museum there are showcased objects on the profession of sponge diving and the treatment of sponges.

Vouvalis Mansion

The Vouvalis Mansion built in the mid 19th century and renovated in 1894. It belonged to Nicholas Vouvalis (1859-1918) and his wife Catherine (1880-1959) and served as a their family home. Nicholas Vouvalis was the largest sponge merchant of Kalymnos, founder of a large Commercial Business selling sponges with branches in various parts of the world.

Museum of Marine Findings Valsamidis

It is a private museum, a life's work of the Valsamidis brothers who were born and live in Kalymnos. The findings, which are the results from thousands of dives in the seas of the world,  including almost anything one can find in the depth of the sea. A great variety of fish and shells, shellfish, starfish, corals, sharks, turtles and tortoises, and of course all kinds of sponges.

The Kalymnos Home

This private Folklore Museum with objects of popular culture and old household belongings. Here the visitor can discover the form and organization of life in a traditional urban house of the late 19th and early 20th century.

 

The Kalymnian honey is produced from at least the classical times and is mentioned by Pausanias as one of the best of honies from ancient times due to it's thyme flavor and its medicinal properties.

Other typical products are the traditional barley bread roll (ancient bakery base of the famous salad "myrmizeli"), fresh cheese made with milk from local goats produced in picturesque Vathi and in rural Argos, sweet red wine that tastes like visanto, Laura's wine from Agios Mamas and exquisite oil.