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 The city of Chalkida 

Chalkida is the capital of the prefecture of Evia. It lies north-east off the mainland of Greece with about 90,000 inhabitants.

 

 It is built on both sides of the Strait of Euripus, one part on the island of Evia and the other on mainland Greece. On the mainland, the Venetian castle of Karababa dominates Kanouthou hill which together with the bridge of Euripus and the unique tidal  phenomenon where the water changes direction every six hours after a one hour pause, are the most important characteristic features of the city.

 

 

Historical facts 

The name ‘chalkis’[ copper] is derived from the copper mines that  were mined in that area which were one of the factors which constituted its prosperous development in Ancient Greece.Chalkida, with its two ports in Euripus, was one of the most prosperous and progressive cities in Ancient Greece. It created colonies from Thrace in northern Greece as far as Italy and Sicily. Because of its prosperity it was invaded by the Peloponnesians, Athenians, Thebans and Macedonians from time to time.

 

From 1205 to 1470 Chalkida and the whole of Evia was under the jurisdiction of the Venetians who built remarkable fortifications. In 1470 it was occupied by the Turks who remained in power for three centuries. It was finally liberated in 1830.

 

The castle if Chalkida. 

The site of the castle is said to be on the ancient town of Kanitho as traces of buildings and graves have been found on the surface of the ground. The hill was probably fortified for the first time during the Roman period but it is certain that it had no fortifications during the Byzantine period ,the Venetian occupation and the first centuries of the Turkish domination.

 

The fortress which exists today was built by the Turks in 1684 for the purpose of protecting Chalkida from the Venetians. It was designed by Beneto Gerolimo Galopo  and its architecture is more European than Turkish. The fort was unsuccessfully besieged by Morozini in 1688 and the Turks were able to maintain their domination until the liberation of Greece.

 

The Karababa castle is situated on Viotias hill which is called Fourna.It is in a strategic position  as it controls the Strait of Euripus and the city of Chalkida.

 

It is of Venetian style with an oblong enclosure, orientated east-west, with a rampart on the northern side, three bastions and a large tower. The southern part of the wall is in very bad condition. Ancient architectural structures have been built into some parts of the enclosure. The most complex hexagonal bastion can be found on the eastern side overlooking Chalkida. On the ramparts there are two Russian cannons, dating from the 19th century. The only column in the fortress can be found on the south-east  side of the wall which is surrounded by buildings of a military nature. On the eastern wall of the enclosure, between the column and the eastern tower, there is a bell tower built where the emergency bell of the fortress existed. The only well-preserved building  inside the enclosure is the Chapel of the Prophet Elijah which was built in 1895.At the end of the western wall there is a seven-sided tower the dignified defence building of the fortress. The entrance to the tower is from a narrow archway which looks like a labyrinth.

 

 

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