Inside the emblematic Tsikaliotis Tower in Leonidio

Tsikaliotis Tower, Leonidio

Visit the Byzantine-inspired treasure of Leonidio.

Arriving in Leonidio, we were guided to the emblematic Tsikaliotis Tower. Ms. Angeliki Katti knows every corner of this tower. We met her at his entrance, and she gave us some general information.

"Tsikaliotis Tower is a historical site of South Kynouria, which was built in 1808 and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of medieval defensive architecture in the Peloponnese region. It belonged to the family of the same name, to which it owes its name. They were landowners."

 Tsikaliotis Tower, Leonidio

Angeliki talks about the tower, you can tell from her manner and tone of voice that she loves this building. It was built of stone, with thick walls, narrow windows and battlements, and many other features common to medieval defensive towers.

The pan-European award for rehabilitation

"In 1960, the municipality of Leonidio bought it with the aim of creating an exhibition space. Its restoration began several years later, in 1980. In 1990, it received a pan-European distinction for the correct management that was carried out," she noted.

"We have already passed inside the ground floor, where the visitor can see an imposing stone building with large windows and chimneys, which attest to its noble use in the past," Angeliki added.

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Inside, the marble staircases that lead to the floors stand out and the multi-level constructions, reveal its complex design. In the basement today, a small museum is housed, which hosts finds of folkloric interest and works of art.

The exhibits highlight the rich history of the Leonidio area, from Antiquity to the Byzantine era. At the same time, visual media provides a small representation of life in the tower in its initial phase, when it functioned as a residence.

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The imposing structure

It has three floors. The construction of the building is in the shape of a "gamma," while together with the enclosure, the floor plan becomes square and has a high stone paddock that is almost 3.5 metres high. The dimensions are approximately 10 metres per side.

It has 56 battlements in the building, the courtyard, and a turret in the eastern corner. Its imposing structure, with its strong stone walls and impressive corner towers, was intended to provide security and defence to those who resided within its walls.

Over the centuries, the monument received many interventions and reconstructions as its various owners adapted the building to the needs of each period.

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The footprint of the Conquerors

The Tsikaliotis Tower is a unique medieval treasure that bears witness to the glorious history of Arcadia. Through his visit and study, the visitor has the opportunity to travel into the past and see the noble life of the landowners of the Byzantine era.

It is an architectural gem that is worth visiting while touring the area.

Dimitri Stathopoulos is a columnist for Travel. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos.

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