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History

Paralio Astros, Kynourias derives its name from the shape of a star which is the shape of the hill Nisi next to its port having the similarity of a star. In old times Nisi surrounded by sea, and the name of Kynouria derives from the name of an ancient settler of the district the son of Perseas named Kynouros.

According to Herodotos the inhabitants of Kynouria were natives, which derives from archeological findings. It was about 6500 B.C. that we have human presentation in the Neolithic period, or according to some stone-tools found in Paralio Astros stone axes, stone spades, stone arrows as well as ceramics dating from the age of the Copper age (2800-1100 B.C.).

According to Plutarhos, before Danaos coming to Argolida during Pre-Hellinic period, he stayed on a seaside land of Thyrea called Pyramia today’s Paralio Astros (Pyramia derives its name of Pyramides the shape of the peninsula of Paralio Astros, the shape being wider on the base and narrower on its top-like the Pyramides of Egypt-).

Around 8th century B.C. Kynouria is viciously claimed by the Spartans and the Argians. After repeated invasions, one of the most important wars in the Hellinic history, the Spartans defeated the Argians in 546 B.C. on the site of Geneon-pedion, a place between the river Tanos and the castle of Paralio Astros, the war of Thirea. After that was the whole of Kynouria was the hand of the Spartans until 338 B.C.

The year 431 B.C. the persecuted Eginites (inhabitants of the island of Egina) establish themselves in the area and in 424 B.C. they built a <<defensive wall>>, presumably the peninsula of Paralio Astros. The construction of this wall was destroyed by the Athinians who came to Thyrea with their leader Nikia. The year 338 B.C. after the war of Cheronia, the Macedonian King Philip B’ (father of Alexander the Great) gave Kynouria to the Argians, so during the Hellinistic period Kynouria thrives due to the occupation of the Argians, who defend and develop the district.

After the Hellinistic period the district declines in most aspects of life during the Roman occupation the population is becoming less and less and the place becomes deserted. The only landmark of this season, the villa of Herodis of Attica in the place called Eva (near the monastery of Loukou).

On top of the peninsula of Paralio Astros we have the middle-aged castle. It was a fortress and its location was such a strategic point where you could have an optical-view of the whole district and mainly communicating with fires with the Acropolis of Mycene, the castle of Oria which is located on a hill North-East of Xerocabi, to the castle of Reonta West of Tyros, near Paleochora.

The year 1256 A.C. Gulielmo Vilarduino completed this castle to a real castle and named <<Castello della Estella>> (Estella mean star), where the Venetian leader lived. During the Turkish occupation, the castle changed to a defensive castle. The ground plan of the castle has four walls, still keeps the defensive surrounding and one of the defensive towers. There are still two exterior entrances to the castle.

The 18th century three brothers named Zafiropoulos Ioannis, Konstantinos and Panos (who named Akouros later because he swore to not cut his hair, before this place was free again). They were rich merchants who came back to their country to fight against the Turks. They built three different homes developing the inside accordingly. The castle faced successfully the invasion of Ibraim Pasa in 1826, but the seaside settlement was destroyed. The development of the settlement started again after the departure of Ibraim Pasa from Greece in 1828. The three homes inside the castle are characteristic signs of the pre-revolutionary architecture of the district and are saved up today the first two in a semi-destructed nature and the third one is in ruins.