Greece: Ouranoupoli – Byzantine Tower

Having crossed Greece from the west coast all the way to the east and past Thessaloniki, I got to the end of the road at Ouranoupoli. A spectacular Byzantine Tower stands proudly here at the equally spectacular beach. The tower was built in the 14th century, but the city itself is much more ancient – dating back to the 4th century BC as Uranapolis as the mint town for the Kingdom of Thrace (other then coins however little is known about the town from that time). But Ouranoupoli is the gateway to the Athos peninsula and in the 11th century monasteries started popping up there. The tower was built for the defence of the Athos peninsula in 1300s, and now hosts a small Byzantine museum as well as being the symbol of the city and the keeper of the access to the mysterious and forbidden Athos.