THE GRAPHIC SEAPORT

Paralio Astros (Onshore Astros) is the most important summer resort of Arcadia. It is locat-ed at 4km. from Mesogeio Astros (Midland Astros) and at 49km. from Tripolis. During the last years the town has seen a notable growth in touristic and building terms. On the star-shaped peninsula or ‘Island’ –in earlier years it was surrounded by the sea but now is uni-fied with the flatland- there are findings of three historical eras of Greece: the classical, the medieval and the modern. Based on the findings of German archaeologist Brendel (1927) it is known that the ‘Island’ was inhabited during the Middle Helladic, the Geometric and the Mycenaean periods. On the top of the hill there is the Venetian Castle that was built in 1256 by Prince William of Villehardouin who named it Castello della Estella, that is Castle of Astros because the peninsula looked like a star when seen from above (astros = star in Greek).

The central square is located below the castle, next to the port and is leafy, with lots of res-taurants, cafes etc. In the middle there is the bust of I. Zafeiropoulos, a hero of 1821 Greek Revolution. Between the Castle of Paralio Astros and the Tanos river there is the Geneon Field where in 541 B.C. the battle between Argeis and Lakedemones took place in order to conquer the rich plain of Thirea. At the east of the port, in Kotrona, there is an open am-phitheater with excellent acoustics. From that point, one can have a great view of Argolis Gulf and feel the breeze of the sea. A lot of cultural events take place there during the summer.

On the small hill above the amphitheater, located northeast of the port, there is an old square stone tower, 7 meters high, on top of which a lighthouse had been set since 1893, lighting and guiding the ships. The lighthouse was recently transferred on the hill where the biotope of Paralio Astros is located, northeast of the peninsula. A visit at Astros Ar-chaeological Museum is a travel through history. The museum is set in building of local tra-ditional style, which had been used as a school (Karytsiotis School) from the second half of the previous century. It also has a big outdoor space that has been turned into an archaeo-logical park and exhibition. Among the exhibits of the museum the visitor can find marble inscriptions, status pieces, coins and objects of everyday use, along with ceramic ones from ancient graveyards of the area, dated from late classical to roman period. A few kilo-meters away there are several other small towns to visit like Meligou, Kato Doliana and more.

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