On the east side of the island, on top of a precipitous rock with a superb panoramic view of the sea, is the historic village of Kastro, undoubtedly the most beautiful part of Sifnos. Life has been going on there independently since the prehistoric period and continues to do so today, defying the passing centuries and retaining some of its old prestige and nobility. On the 3.5 km-long mad leading from Apollonia to Kastro, there is a sharp turn at one point in the road, after which the fascinating old village on the rock comes suddenly into view, taking the breath away. The existence of a settlement on this site from pre-historic times is attested to by the findings of archaeological excavations. The present-day village which was built on the ruins of the ancient capital of Sifnos - which Herodotus called the asty or town - retains to this day the features of a Venetian fortress built during the rule of the Da Corogna dynasty in about 1635. It continues to be one of the most significant settlements with a medieval town plan. The village was built with respect for the morphology of the terrain, and is purely defensive in nature, as the external walls of the medieval houses form a defensive fortified wall with openings for gates at just five points. Vaulted arcades, or loggias, as they are called, constituted the entrance to and exit from the settlement.
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