The Castle of Neratzia is a well-preserved castle located at the entrance of the port upon arrival of visitors by boat.
To access the castle you need to go to Platanos Square and cross the arched bridge of the Castle of Neratzia.
This beautiful bridge survives to this day on the beautiful avenue of palm trees and connects Platanos Square with the entrance of the castle. According to estimations, the castle in the city of Kos was built during Knighthood by the Knights of St. John (of the Order of St. John) who had ruled the island, along with all the other Dodecanese, since 1315.
In the reconstruction, building materials from older buildings have been used. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, during their entire occupation, the Knights systematically stoned the Asclepieion and destroyed what had been left in its place by earthquakes and Christians.The oldest dated surviving building of the castle is the circular tower just to the left of the sloping bridge that connects the two precincts and bears the coats of arms of M. Magistra De Lastic (1437-1454) and De Milly (1454-1461).A destructive earthquake in 1492 caused severe damage to the castle. From 1483 the Knights of St. John had signed a peace treaty with the Turks and for a long time, the only problem was pirate raids. In 1498 they decided that they had to upgrade the defense of Kos and began the construction of the outer castle.
The construction was done according to the latest defensive standards of the time and from the built-in coats of arms we see that parts of it were completed between 1503 and 1514. It does not have a single architectural form and we can conclude that it was built without a clear plan. The zigzag lines, recesses and protrusions on the west wall probably indicate the coastline of the islet. Another conqueror of the island was the Turkish force which was established in 1522 on its land. In the 19th century, the Castle of Neratzia was used as a barrack by the Turkish garrison and as a residence of the Turkish commander. On March 17th 1816, a gunpowder depot accidently exploded and destroyed a large part of the castle. Another landmark year for the island was 1912 when it was dominated by Italy.
During the Italian occupation, the Italian Archaeological Service demolished the unnecessary Turkish additions and carried out significant restoration work on the castle in its chivalrous form, as we see it today. Finally, during German occupation of the castle, the guard was recruited and Greek patriots were imprisoned.
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