Neposi’s Castle


Southwest of Paleochori settlement, at the top of a steep hill in the wider area with the place name Neposi, is Kastelli. The hill is bordered by the water of the stream Palaiohorinos Lakkos, the riverside of Chavria, the river of Ormylia. There is only one narrow and inaccessible path connecting the inaccessible hill to the mountain that stretches to the east. Nevertheless, the castle is not visible from a distance, because larger mountain volumes are raised around it, the natural relief is particularly intense and the vegetation is lively.

The name Neposi is probably derived from the Latin nepos, which means grandson either to the late Latin nephew, in Greek the word Nepsi has the meaning of neonates from which neotism, ie, relativity, originates. Other versions are to come from the Newcastle, dense fog (turbot, mist, haze) or from Slavic (m) (s). strong – strong).

More information about Kastelli is derived from the 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of Chalkidiki, which carried out excavations here in 1998 and 2003, under the supervision of archaeologist Ioakim Ath. Papaggelos. Surveys have shown that the fortification of about one kilometer of crude stone and mortar that surrounds the castle and survives to a height of up to 4 meters, probably involves three building phases: One during the Early Christian period that was probably destroyed by an earthquake, a during the mid-Byzantine period and probably a third, repair phase.

The castle occupies an area of ​​about 15 acres and inside it, in the western part, there was a settlement. There was also a sixth-century temple-tree temple in a three-aisled basilic temple, with a marble iconostasis and a vaulted underground vault of two beds under the narthex. Several burials of the Middle Byzantine period were found both inside and around the temple. The temple was probably destroyed by an earthquake, but later – perhaps in the 10th century – it was restored. The partial excavation also showed that until its definitive abandonment it was repaired twice.

Archaeological research has provided us with valuable information on the monument and the site. The handmade ceramics (ceramic fragments) that have been discovered show a settlement in the area since prehistoric times. But the findings are not limited to prehistoric shells. From the Hellenistic shells and the Roman coins found, it is deduced that the area was inhabited both during the Hellenistic period and during the Roman era.

The archaeological excavation brought to light the coins of Emperor Anastasios and Justinian, from which it is concluded that the habitation of the area continued in the 5th and 6th centuries. Finally, there were found ceramic debris that had been glazed, a technique by which a human settlement in the 14th century was also documented. Then the destruction and abandonment of the castle should occur, which may be connected with the foundation of the settlement of Paleochori, which begins to appear in the historical sources, precisely at that time.

The approach of the wall and the castle is through a dirt road and an unpaved unmarked path. Following the main road that connects Palaiochori with Megali Panagia, you will see signs in less than 3 kilometers on your left to the area called Neposoi. The originally uphill dirt road is easy to reach, and in about 450 meters you will come across a new crystalline sign that will show you to follow the left dirt road. Continue and in less than 3 km you will find a wooden observatory on your left. Climb the small staircase and you will see the largest part of the stone wall of the castle opposite you. To get there, you will have to find a few meters below the unmarked path which first descends to the ravine and then ascends to Kastelli.