The island’s capital, also called “ Kythira” or “Chora” in Greek, is located in the south. The harbor of the city of Kythera is called Kapsali and together they form one of the most picturesque places in Greece. Chora became the island’s capital during the Venetian era, when it was moved from its initial location, Paleochora (a small 13th century Byzantine citadel) for security reasons.
The castle of Chora was built in 1503 on a small existing bulwark, and the village was built in front of the castle’s only entrance. The architecture of most buildings is typical of the Aegean Sea, but several have Venetian and English elements, a testimony to the owners’ high standing. The church towers of the myriad churches reach toward the sky and catch the eye of visitors as they behold Chora from the heights of the castle.
The city of Kythera has two main squares. The first houses the City Hall, banks and public services and is the most lively area of the capital. The second square is called “Estavromenos Square”, named after the island’s main Metropolitan Church, a small cathedral. This is where the French proclaimed the principles of the French Revolution in 1799, establishing democracy after abolishing feudal titles and burning the “Libro d’Oro”, the Book of Nobles.