Agios Nikolaos Gaios Castle | Paxos | Could it be a Leonardo Da Vinci Design?
Updated: Sep 13
George P. Papadellis | SG Head
The Castle of Agios Nikolaos Gaios began to be built in 1423 on the islet of Agios Nikolaos in the bay of the capital of Paxos (Gaios or Gais) by the Venetians to protect Paxos from pirates and the savage Ottomans, and was completed in 1510.
According to relevant research, Agios Nikolaos Paxos was largely based on plans by Leonardo Da Vinci, which are preserved in libraries in Venice.
Until the 1930s there was no vegetation on the island. Later it was planted with trees, as a result of which the castle is no longer easily distinguishable. The island is uninhabited today. From the castle, located at the top, most of the walls are preserved (which remains intact), the gunpowder store, the Venetian tank, the watchtower, the cannons, several auxiliary spaces and the deep well that still has water. There are also two small churches, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Ioannis.
The Castle of Ai Nikolas was not the first in Paxos. In the same period, another castle was built, that of Dialetos in Lakka, but it has been completely destroyed.