Karpathos attractions museums and ancient sites

Acropolis of Arkassa

The archaeological site of Arkassa, one of the four municipalities of the classical and later times, consists of the Acropolis of Paleokastro with visible remains of fortifications from the archaic times and with towers from the classical and Hellenistic eras.

Remains of buildings and tanks are also preserved in good condition. The lifetime of the settlement cannot be determined, because there is no evidence from the excavation data. In the archaeological site, ruins of buildings and tanks are kept in good condition.

The foundations of a three-bay basilica from the Early Christian period with semicircular arches and monolithic marble columns are preserved. North-northeast of Paleokastro stretches the plain of Arkasa with two harbors in use since ancient times.

Two early Christian basilicas have been excavated by Italian archaeologists, during the period of the Italian occupation. The first and largest, but also the closest to the ports, is the early Christian basilica of the elder Alypos.

After a disaster at the beginning of the 6th c. AD, the basilica is rebuilt with rich mosaic floors and with inscriptions mentioning Bishop Kyros and the name of the saint, to whom the basilica was dedicated, known as Saint Anastasia.

The second large basilica excavated by the same excavators is the basilica of the elder Eucharist. There are three other early Christian basilicas in the area of Arkasa, of which one of Archangel Michael is a cemetery. On the eastern side of the settlement, two mid-Byzantine churches are preserved, Panagia Marmarini and Agios Georgios.

karpathos acropolis of arkassa

Archaeological Museum of Karpathos

The Archaeological Museum of Karpathos is located in the capital of the island, Pigadia, and began operating in 2005 with the cooperation of the two local Ephorates of Antiquities within the framework of the 3rd Community Support Framework. It is housed in the western wing of the Eparchion, a building complex from the period of the Italian occupation. It is a timeless museum and includes exhibits from prehistoric to post-Byzantine times.

archaeological museum

The museum exhibition is divided into three sections:

Prehistoric times section, which includes Neolithic and Minoan/Mycenaean finds found on the island
Section of historical times, with exhibits from the three ancient cities of the island, Karpathos, Arkeses and Vrukunda
Byzantine period section, with representative finds from the early Christian basilicas and settlements of Karpathos

The museum is dominated by the impressive wall-painting of the arch of the ruined church of the Holy Apostles with the theme of the Deesis and the concelebrating hierarchs. It dates back to the 14th century. being a remarkable example of painting in Karpathos, which over time would be completely destroyed.

The stages of conservation and enhancement of this mural are analyzed in the text, with a detailed description of the methodology used for the first time in the conservation laboratories of the 4th EBA with excellent results and a multi-year guarantee to maintain its excellent condition.

Provincial buildings

In Pigadia Karpathos, in a prominent position, is the complex of three buildings of the District of Karpathos. These are characteristic buildings of the Italian era that were built during the period 1926-36. They have a flat roof and are made with the mixed construction of the Italians (stonework with horizontal and vertical elements of lightly reinforced concrete).

These buildings were the Italian headquarters and the Italians had built similar ones on every island of the Dodecanese to make their presence felt. Today they belong to the Greek State. They belong to the category of buildings with “International Style” characteristics and some elements of oriental eclecticism.

It is a composition of three buildings, arranged in a P shape, thus forming and delimiting the square of Alexandrou Papagou. The main building is higher (up to 4 floors), thus dominating with its volume and its morphology.

The other two buildings, with their volume (up to 2 floors) and their morphology (percolates on the floor, etc.) frame the central one without competing with it. All three buildings are connected to each other by semi-open spaces and arches, thus forming a whole that embraces the square.

A set with a very “strong” plan and morphology with full and voids for light, air and view. Observing the complex from the square, we can see the symmetry and accentuation of its central axis, which is the highest point of the building, with the clock and the flagpole.

The complex was classified as a historical monument in 1997, as these are notable buildings of the Italian colonial era in the Dodecanese and are important for the study of architecture. The island’s archaeological museum is housed in the western wing.

provincial building

Ruins of the Ancient Temple of Agia Fotini

In Pigadia, at the beginning of the road that leads to Aperi, the ruins of Agia Fotini, a three-aisled early Christian basilica of the 5th – 6th century in the “Afoti” location, have been uncovered. The church with rich marble interior decoration is located in the place where an ancient sanctuary probably existed.

ruins agia forini

Roman Aqueduct in Lefkos

One of the best preserved monuments of Karpathos. It is located in Lefkos, on the southwest coast of the island. Its main feature is the underground reservoir, carved into the rock. It consists of a central rectangular room measuring 4X9 m. with three rows of pillars, on which rest four rows of rectangular slabs that form its roof.

A total of seven blind arcades with a vaulted roof open in the northern narrow and on its eastern long side. Their interior walls and ceiling, like the walls of the central hall, are plastered with a thick layer of hydraulic mortar.

roman aquadact

Rural Museum of Pyles

The Outdoor Rural Museum is located in the village of Pyles and has been designed to present life in Karpathos as realistically as possible.
When you visit the museum you can see a farmhouse, a windmill, a winepress, a threshing floor, an oven, a small amphitheater while walking on paved paths and paths designed for people with mobility difficulties.

Vines and various fruit trees have been planted and the visitor can come into contact with the rural life of the past in Karpathos as well as the processing cycle of important products for the island, as as grain and wine.

folklore museum

Ecclesiastical Archaeological Museum of Arkasa

In the center of Arkasa, there is a museum, with historical, archaeological findings as well as ecclesiastical, traditional objects. The finds come from the Acropolis of Arkesia, but also from the church of Agia Anastasia, which was located where the church of Agia Sophia is today.

church museum arkassa

Folklore Museum of Menetes

A two-story building, about 200 years old, at the entrance of which there are carved tombs, is the building that houses the Folklore Museum of Menetes. On the upper floor, with its black and white pebbled floor, objects from the daily life of the villagers, musical instruments and old photographs are housed.

In the beginning, the floor was built with the intention of becoming a small church, but it was never built. The lower floor housed the village ossuary and its transformation into a museum began in 1995. There are agricultural tools and traditional kitchen utensils, as well as a large collection of hand-painted plates with various folk motifs.

othos folklore museum

Folklore Museum of Othos

The Folklore Museum, located in Othos, Karpathos, in the traditional house of Varikas and Aristotle Stavrakis, the visitor has the opportunity to admire a faithful representation of the interior of a Carpathian house, as it was in the past.

The traditional house of Karpathos, usually a single room, wisely served the needs of daily life. It was divided into a lower section, the floor, where a wooden sofa and a low table for eating (called a sofra) were located, while in a raised wooden loft at the back, the sofa, the whole family slept in mattresses.

Handmade embroideries and kilims decorated the bars of the sufa, of which the most elaborate, the pen scarf, covered the pole, a wooden vertical beam in the middle of the room, symbolic and real support of the house.

Numerous plates and glassware, placed on wooden shelves around the walls, completed the rich decoration. There are also items of daily rural life on display, as well as items of folk art, such as ceramics, textiles and musical traditional instruments.