Photographer's Note

Here you can see the priest of the church that lies inside the castle of Leros. If you find him there, he can tell you the story of the castle, the church and an icon that is surrounded with many legends. The strange thing about this castle, is that its name is connected with the church (Kastro tis Panagias- Castle of the Virgin Mary), but at the same time the name of the church is connected with the castle (Panagia tou Kastrou -Virgin Mary of the castle). Here's some more info about the castle that I found in Leros's website:

" Built on top of Apityki hill, it stands commandingly above Ayia Marina, controlling the entire region with a panoramic view over the boundless blue Aegean Sea from Patmos to Kalymnos and beyond to the shores of Asia Minor. If you enjoy a romantic hike, you can reach it by ascending through the neighborhoods of Platanos going toward Ayia Paraskevi and from there you take the path with its approximately 500 stairs. For those in a hurry there is a comfortable automobile road. The Byzantine castle which was founded on the ruins of the ancient acropolis of Leros in the 7th century A .D. and completed during the time of Knights of St. John and the Venetians, is well- maintained. In its time it was impregnable with three ramparts and offered a sure refuge to the inhabitants during periods of hostile incursions.

The church of the Panayia stands out among the three small churches at Kastro; it lies on the west side and is the most important religious site the Lerians have. It has a iconostasis with gold inlays and icons worthy of note. There are many legends surrounding the icon of the Blessed Virgin of Kastro and the mystery of her power. In the Ecclesiastical Museum, which is housed in a new building next to the church, there are displays of rare manuscripts and holy books, precious icons, sacred vestments and other ecclesiastical articles. There are large underground storerooms and water cisterns at the castle."

If you want to have a distant look at the castle, just check here

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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