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GREECE / DODECANESE / ASTIPALEA / ASTIPALEA - CHORA
Astipalea - chora
Astipalea or Chora is the capital and the island’s port. It is one of the most graphic capitals in Dodecanese and distinguishes for its authentic island colour. The settlement is built amphitheatrically in the hill slope and one the top of it the Venetian Castle.
In Guernini’s Castle shadow, as it is known the venetian fortress, lies the enchanting town of Astipalea. Its architecture influenced by Cyclades islands confuses visitors.
White houses with blue windows and small white washed yards with aromatic flowers, create its traditional identity. Wooden balconies and outdoor stairs are elements of Dodecanese architecture that create the island’s special identity.
In Chora you will see the most important sites in the island. Like the venetian castle of Guernini. In its entrance you will see the family blazon. The castle is built with the local dark stone. From the castle settlement are only saved a few houses, whose exteriors are the castle walls. Inside the castle you will see two small churches. The church of Saint Georgios, the oldest in the island and the church of Annunciation that distinguish for their delicate bell tower.
Under the castle walls is the church Panagia of Kastro or Panagia Portaitissa. It was built during the 18th century by Osios Anthimos and it is one of the most beautiful churches in Dodecanese. Characteristic is the lacy cupola, bedight with plaster anaglyphs. It has a wooden chancel screen, with a gold leaf unique at its kind.
Worth visiting is the Narcissius Municipal Library, hosting a remarkable collection of sepulchral steles, pedestals, anaglyphs and chapiters.
Astipalea is famous for its beautiful beaches. Most famous are Livadi, Agios Konstantinos, Vatses, Kaminakia and Pachia Ammos.
While staying in Chora dine in the taverns of the region and try the local specialties. As for your nightlife there are bars with live island music.
Tour around the town market and buy handmade ceramics. Try honey and kopanisti cheese.

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