"Bourtzi" Top 5 Page for this destination Skiathos Island Things to Do Tip by StefanosS
Skiathos Island Things to Do: 50 reviews and 73 photos
"Bourtzi" is probably a Venetian word meaning a small castle, mostly on a small islet, made for the protection of a sea port.
Bourtzi of Skiathos is a small islet joined to the main island by a dock, which separates the port of Skiathos in two. It used to be a fort established by the Guisi brothers from Venice, who occupied Skiathos in 1207. Walls, battlements and embrasures surrounded it and on both sides of the gate there were two round towers. It is not possible to determine the height of the walls by the present ruins. Moreover, in the fort there was a water tank and a small church called Aghios Georgios, protector of the Venetians, probably built also by the Guisi brothers. Because of that church, Bourtzi was also called "Castle of St. George". The fort was destroyed in 1660 when the admiral Francesco Morozini occupied the island.
Today Bourtzi is the small, wooded peninsula situated between the old harbour and the new ferry harbour. On it there is a magnificent old stone building (which used to be a school), an open-air theatre and a traditional Greek coffee shop. Throughout the summer, the municipality organises there a series of cultural events. In the "Bourtzi" building, exhibitions are held of Greek artists and other facets of Greek culture, such as ancient mosaics. The open-air theatre, which is a marvellous place to sit on a warm summer night, hosts performances ranging from ballet and concerts to theatre and films or traditional Greek "shadow-theatre". It is well worth a visit here, it is not necessary to understand Greek to enjoy most of these events and the atmosphere is quite special. (Bring a cushion to sit on, as the seats are quite hard). Live music is performed at the traditional cafe on many evenings throughout the summer while the sea and the lights of Skiathos harbour make a wonderful backdrop to these performances.
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