Pyrgos Kallistis has approx. 1000 residents and is the highest village of the island, which lies 10 km northeast of Fira.
The tower was one of the five castles of the island and was the capital of Santorini until 1800. During the Ottoman rule in the 18th century, the abbot Paisios of the monastery of Prophet Elias founded the first school in Santorini. Significant contribution to the operation of the school had Constantinos Mourouzis. We can see today the ruins of the first school at the old road to the Monastery of Prophet Elias. The church of Agioi Apostoloi (1803) used to be the old classroom of the school and around the church we can see the ruins of the halls of residence for teachers and students.
The castle was very badly damaged by the earthquake in 1956, but most of the damages were made from the army which demolished parts and homes which created irreparable damages.
The west side of the Castel
The entrance to the castle was by a single point, named Kasteloporta. Above it, there was an opening, from which they threw hot oil on attackers who tried to break the door. This structure, which currently does not exist, is named Fonissa. Below the castle there was a system of galleries which served for the protection and evacuation of the residents in time of need. Outside the castle and around, we have the newest city, which formerly was called Kseporto.
As in all other castles of the island, out of the castle, near the entrance, there is the church of St. Theodosia. The locals believed that Saint Theodosia (whose name means given something for the god) should always be built out of each castle so as to protect its people.
The church “Theotokaki”
Inside the castle of Pyrgos in the western part, we find the church Theotokaki one of the oldest churches of Santorini, which is believed to have been built in the 10th century. Its present form is the result of many additions, which have been made over time. Inside the church there are valuable icons. The main image of the Virgin Mary, however, was stolen in 1983.
Equally important is the church of the Virgin Mary, which is located at the highest point of Casteli. It was built during the years 1660.