One of the ancients, or at least what remains of it is located in Oia, dedicated to Saint Nicholas (‘Αγιος Νικολάος), built by Venetians once they were the Lords of the island, for more than three centuries. It’s a significant mark of this place’s history because it goes back to the XV century, but mostly it defined how the villages and town developed on Santorini’s caldera. The island would have been easily conquered on its south side, because of the easy access to the coastline; a fortress located on the north, looking towards all the directions, helped manage the surveillance. That’s why the main settlements of Santorini overhang the caldera.
When the Ottomans came, no relevant events changed the appearance of the Castle. Centuries of neglect continued, and the area became a private property and houses were built immediately around that place. In 1956, a violent earthquake shook both Amorgos and Santorini, causing invaluable damages; a relevant section of what remained of the fort fell in the Ammoudi Bay immediately below.
The annexed church was partially saved and carried away from that dangerous area, now part of the Panagia Platsani complex in the village’s central square. Thanks to some archaeological constraints, Oia’s castle ruins are still there, but carelessness and urban stratification drastically changed this area’s appearance in the last 40 years. Unfortunately, there are not many witnesses that remind the castle, but some photos were taken before and after the castle’s collapse. The living of the castle information is neither available, but we sincerely hope that all the area will be soon completely open and protected.
Of the watcher-tower, walkable freely with no restriction, only the base remains, letting a daily flood of tourists come, look at the caldera and Oia itself, and assist at the sunset from a privileged view. Since the area is very crowded in the hour and a half before the sunset, go there with a little early, grabbing something to drink (but please, leave the area cleaned as you will find it).