A visit to the Archaeological Sites

The Assos Castle is located on the northwest coast of the island, near Myrtos Beach which adorns the peninsula of the same name. The fortress in Assos is larger than the castle of Saint George near Argostoli and is one of the biggest in Greece. In 1584, the nobles of Kefalonia submitted a petition to the Venetian Senate to build a new fortress, because the castle of St. George was unable to defend the entire island against Turkish threats and pirate attacks.

Construction began in 1593 and proceeded under the supervision of Ambrosius Cornelius. Two thousand meters of walls follow the contours of the terrain, forming an irregular rectangle covering 44,000 m 2. With its five walls, the castle made the peninsula impregnable. Parts of the walls and the arched entrance gate are preserved. Inside the ruins, visitors can see interesting buildings, such as the church of St. Mark, the house of the Venetian High Commissioner, and a chapel dedicated to the prophet Elijah, which houses a beautiful carved wooden iconostasis.
If you like to hike, we recommend that you spend a day in the village of Assos and that you walk the path to the castle either early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when the sun is not too strong. Bring a hat, water, and sun protection, as most of the route is not in the shade and it will take you about two hours to reach the top. Your reward will be an incredible view of the bay, the village of Assos, the harbor, and nearby isolated beaches!

In the village of Skala, next to the sea, a path leads to a small olive grove where the ruins of a Roman villa from 2 nd century AD were found in 1957. There is a sign that will direct you to the “Roman Villa”. Some of the amazing mosaic floors are preserved and are still in good condition. In the first room, the mosaic depicts Phthonos (Envy), a young man being attacked by beasts, while mosaics in the second room show three animals ready for sacrifice (a boar, a bull, and a ram). The floors are framed with geometric decorative shapes. The villa was most likely destroyed by fire in the 4th century AD. Near Skala, on the road to Poros, there are
the remains of a Doric temple dating from the Archaic period at the end of the 6th century – the beginning of the 5th century BC, the only one on Cephalonia. It belonged to the ancient city-state of Pronoi.

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