Kastellorizo also known as Megiste or Megisti, its ancient name, is the smallest inhabited Greek Island in the Dodecanese group, less than 5 km off the south coast of Turkey, about 100 km east of Rhodes.
There are however many smaller islets in the area. Kastellorizo has been called different names in its history including, Castelrosso (the French called it Chateau-Roux), Castello Rosso or Castel Rosso, and Castel Ruggio.
Its name was given by the medieval Knights of Rhodes and was inspired by its towering red cliffs rising from the sea which appear to be a medieval castle from a distance.
We know Kastellorizo, we've been there, we have relatives visiting all the time, a correspondent living on the island so we can help with your travel queries.
Kastellorizo is really quite beautiful - watch the video at our Travel section.
What's our mission?
It's always good to reflect on why we are here, what are we trying to achieve and how we are serving our members?
Our Melbourne based club has been operating since 1925 and our community represents some of the first Greek migrants to Australia.
Obviously the Association was formed to enable our families to meet, socialise and support one another in a new country with new challenges.
With successive new generations it is a challenge to maintain the same reasons for our formation so we must look beyond and create a vision of where we will be in the future.
The Brotherhood culture needs to be retained and highly treasured and, as our children and children's children lose the same close connection that some of us have been fortunate to experience, it's worth considering ourselves as friends of Kastellorizo. In essence our families will become Australian friends of Kastellorizo.
This transition is natural. Our website will record the information and pictures; our families will recollect the beauty of Kastellorzio and its rich cultures and generations will become Australian friends of Kastellorizo and so it goes....
Image: Picturesque Kastellorizo - on the waterfront
You be the judge
Gary Michell of WA contacted us to make an informed comment on the popular belief that the name Kastellorizo is not, in fact, derived from the Italian "Castello Rosso." He states that "This is a bit of an Italian myth agressively promoted during the Italian Occupation of the island between the Great War and WWII. While the Italian appellation Castello Rosso and many similar derivations most certainly mean 'Red Castle', I believe these are corruptions of the name Kastellorizo, which is apparently Byzantine in origin (dating back to the 4th Century) and Greco-Roman in etymology. Or more simply put, the Latin influence in the language arrived with the Emperor Constantine, and the word Kastel or Kastello was a commonly incorporated Latin word in the Greek Language at the time (along with many others)".
Confirmation for these comments has been recorded by I.M. Hatifotis 1996 Topio Publications and an extract is supplied below.
"The name Kastellorizo is not derived from the Italian 'Castello Rosso', nor the French 'Chateau Rouge'.
Whilst the Latins did try to make sense of it in there own languages when they respectively arrived on the Island, and claimed the name to mean Red Castle, since it sounded like that in their tongues (even though the castle is not in fact, nor has ever been red, the best extrapolation here, is that at dawn and sunset, the remains of the castle can reflect red!), the island's name is entirely Greek in its origins.
The main castle, said to have been 'built' in 1306 by the Knight Hospitalier of St John, by order of Knight Commander d'Heredia, was actually a restoration of a more ancient castle, built in antiquity by Sosciles. There also exist other ancient edifices (eg Paleo Kastro) that predate the main castle at the front of the settlement. The pertinent fact here, is that the original castles all pre date any latter day Latin influences on the island, and the name Kastellorizo is in fact Byzantine in origin. Greek scholar of history, C. Papachristodoulou records many Byzantine place names using the terms Kastellos, Kastelli etc.
The main etymological point to be emphasized is that the word Kastello, was commonly used by Byzantium Greeks to mean castle.
'Rizovouna' is a Greek term meaning foot hills (derived from the Greek words for tree roots, and hills, rizes + vouna).
The location of the main castle on the island is on the most central, north easterly facing foothill at the entrance of the natural harbour.
The word Kastellorizo is a Greek contraction of the description and geographical location of the castle.
Kastello + rizovouna, or Kastellorizovouna, that simply became…..Kastellorizo.
The Venetians, Florentines and Genoans, (1200's -1600's) documented and referred to Kastellorizo in the French and Italian terminology, Castello Rosso/ Castel Rouge/Chateau Rouge (still publically evidenced in 3 separate instances on the Renaissance Map Rooms walls of the Doges Palace in Venice….which also identifies Strongili and Ro).
Much confusion was perpetuated by the existence of the ancient name of the island used in the Lycian era, Megiste (or similar derivations). Compounded by the practice of foreign occupiers to rename conquered lands, credence was easily ascribed to the notion of the name Kastellorizo (spelt with the Latin 'C') being of Italian origin. With the existence of the two names, it was easily believed one to be Greek, the other Italian.
The multitude of nationalities interchanging control of the island since the arrival of the Knights, variously corrupted the 1600 year old name of Kastellorizo to suit their own agendas, and the island was indeed variously known at various times by all of these foreign corruptions. The myth of the Italian origin of the island's name, was believed, accepted and perpetuated during the most recent and most aggressive Italian occupation 1920-1941."
call 0412 662 079 to find out how
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Sun 16th Oct
On this occasion members are most welcome to discuss matters of interest and hear more about what we plan to do in the future.
To be convened in our clubrooms and open to all members.
Yiannis Greek Tavern Night - 24th Sept
This function was very successful with over 60 people in attendance. The venue provided copious quantities of food and beverage plus good Greek music and dancing. There were raffle prizes as well as a great environment to meet and catch up with family and friends.
Our major annual event
A picture of tranquility
Want to make a comment or express an opinion?
The Facebook page has been established to record information and suggestions from the Kazzie communities. Although we are are state-based association by definition, we would like to feel we represent a voice for all Kastellorizian associations which exist to promote and presevce our unique history and culture.
We invite you to post your information and help us to extend our network across Australia and beyond.
If you own a business and are a Kazzie we invite you to submit your Business name and activity to us for posting to this section. We would like to build a directory of Kazzie owned businesses.
WHY CAN WE GET YOU TO KAZZIE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE?
The above link will take you to the Travel section where there is a recent testament.
You will also be able to look at a YouTube link which is a beautiful representation of Kastellorizo. It is accompanied with audio, singing and traditional dress.
call 0412 662 079 to find out how
Waiting for next step in interim deal
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras's objection to providing a written commitment to sticking to eurozone deals appears to have held up the process of naming an interim government, which ex-central banker Lucas Papademos is expected to head.
PM prepares ministers to quit
In an emotional cabinet meeting on Tuesday, expected to be his last, Prime Minister George Papandreou's took stock of his government efforts and prepared to withdraw as premier.
Deposits shrink on Greek fears
Deposits at Greek banks shrank in September on fears over the non-implementation of the July 21 EU summit agreement and concerns about the consequences of the debt crisis.
The DODECANESE TRAVEL NEWS
LEROS: A neglected treasure
Despite rich traditions, this Dodecanese island has long been off the travellers' radar by Haris Argyropoulos at www.ekathimerini.com
Artemis, the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology, must have had good reason to adopt the small island of Leros as her own; this member of the Dodecanese group close to Turkey has a rich and interesting past, going back to the 4th millennium BC, owing mainly to its geographical position and geomorphology. Its magnificent, fjord-like coastline is endowed with deep sheltered ports, while its fertile and lush interior made it relatively self-sufficient. In antiquity, its Ionian neighbors and its protectors, and later the Romans, Byzantines and Venetians, all used it as a military and trading base.
In 1912, Leros passed from the hands of the Turks to the Italians, who set up a large naval base and the headquarters of their operations in the eastern Mediterranean. Ιn the 1930s, they also created a new city, Porto Lago, in what is now the present-day port of Lakki, a true museum of art deco architecture in Greece. Along with Sabaudia in Italy and the Weissenhof neighborhood in Stuttgart, these were entire towns planned according to the so-called International Style of the period. Unfortunately, after being incorporated into the Greek state in 1947, Leros's importance waned and it was chosen as the location for two concentration camps by the military junta in 1967. However, the island retained its strong roots, sense of community and folk traditions. Today it has a permanent population of about 8,500.
Leros is an island that has yet to experience major development and as a result offers visitors a great opportunity for a quiet break.
Besides the secluded clean blue coves, excellent local food, romantic sunsets and dinners under the moonlight by the sea, Leros offers strong doses of history and culture. Apart from the architectural legacy in Lakki, the many sights include medieval castles, Byzantine churches and four well-organized museums which epitomize the island's rich history and highlight its lively folk culture.
The Archaeological Museum in one of the neoclassical mansions in Aghia Marina tracks Leros's close historical ties with Ionian Asia Minor. The Ecclesiastical Museum inside the medieval castle in Panteli is the island's main landmark. It contains invaluable ecclesiastical objects, rare manuscripts, old icons and a library of Leros's religious heritage. The Folk Museum, housed in Beleni Tower -- an imposing seaside villa in Alida -- contains costumes and objects of daily use from prior eras, a reconstructed doctor's surgery from the early 20th century and an entire section containing the artistic creations of dissidents exiled by the military junta in the 1967-74 period.
Last is the War Museum, set up in a tunnel outside Lakki that was used during WWII, and which exhibits remnants of the the war, including some touching personal objects from soldiers and audiovisual material from the Battle of Leros -- the failed operation by British and Greek forces to occupy and retain the island after Italian capitulation.
Lakki is worth an evening stroll. Currently the area has taken on a new elegance, as the large buildings along the broad streets with little parks and statues are being refurbished. On the eastern shore, visit the impressive castle of Panteli, wander past the neoclassical houses in Aghia Marina and in Platanos, the capital, check out the controversial iconography by the junta's political prisoners at the chapel of Aghia Koura in Partheni, home of the Artemis the Virgin, as well as the chapel of Aghios Isidoros on an idyllic lonely rock by the sea which is often used for weddings.
Leros is not famed for its beaches but the sheltered large bays and dozens of coves, all with crystal waters, offer the broadest of choices among secluded or organized spots. Many of the beaches have tavernas with fresh fish and seafood and excellent local cuisine.
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Steve, of Kastellorizan descent, is the new Aussie Rules Football coach of coach of East Fremantle. He was interviewed by David Devos during the half-time break on the 13th may, 2011.
The interview provides a great insight into the man and former West Coast Eagles Captain.
The video link also display some footage of our beloved Kastellorizo.
call 0412 662 079 to find out how