Towers of Vathychoria, Municipality of Mandra-Eidyllia

Towers of Vathychoria, Municipality of Mandra-Eidyllia

 

On the northern slopes of the Megalo Vathychori is situated the round tower of Vathychori. It is one of the best preserved monuments of antiquity. It measures 6.2 m. in diameter, it is 12,5 m. high. It is constructed in the trapezoidal – isodomic style. The entrance in the south part has cuttings for the support and barring of the door.

This impressive monument had four storeys, as is evident from the three rungs of joist – holes, visible on the inner side of the wall, for the beams that supported an equal number of floors. The upper storey had six windows, all of the same size, above which there was evidently a pitched roof so that rain water could be collected through a spout that is preserved on the east side at the floor level of the 4th storey. The archers’ slots, better observed from the interior, and the windows for small catapults, place the tower in the military category. Its function was to for guard the cultivated area in times of peace. It is bounded by a circuit wall, the masonry of which is better preserved on the south side.

The circular tower is one of a series of at least six towers controlling the road that led through the Vathychoria to Boeotia. One of these, the square tower of Vathychory measuring 5,5 m. along the side and 10 m. in height, stands some 500 m. southeast of the round tower, on the rural road to Mikro Vathychori. It preserves archers’ slots, windows, a water spout and an entrance in the south side. Traces of an enclosure wall and a small settlement have been found.

The towers of the Vathychoria, belonging to the 4th century B.C. defense system of the Megarian region, guarded that mountain road in order to ensure safe passage for the armies from the Peloponnese to Boeotia. This is the road that was taken by the troops when they wanted to avoid the Athenians, who controlled the more even road to the east beyond the mountain road.

On the slopes and peaks that enclose the Vathychoria, traces of household and rural settlements, in addition to other towers, provide evidence of great activity in that rough territory that was of special significance for the history of the Megarid during Classical and Hellenistic times.

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