The history of Kastellorizo dates back to the Neolithic Age. Its first inhabitants were the Pelasgians as can be seen in various finds and ruins of fortresses. It is called “Megisti” after a settler named “Megisteas”. It was later given the name “Castellorizo” from the Italian words “Castello Rosso” meaning “Red Rock” because of the red color of the rocks where the castle was built. 


The fate of Kastellorizo was the same as the rest of the Dodecanese. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it was occupied by the Venetians and the Genovese and eventually sold to the Knights of Rhodes. In 1523, despite the strong fortifications, it was occupied by the Turks. However, the residents secured certain privileges although under the rule of the sultan. When the Greek Revolution of 1821 took place, the island experienced a huge commercial and economic bloom. A huge number of the island’s ships took part in the revolution. 


 In 1830 according to the London protocol it was given back to the Turks. In 1913 the inhabitants revolted against the tyranny and in 1915 during the First World War the island of Kastellorizo ​​came under the possession of the French, who used it as a naval base. In 1920 they left it to the Italians who occupied it until the end of the First World War. Finally, along with the rest of the Dodecanese, it was integrated with the rest of Greece on March 7, 1948. 


The two-story neoclassical houses with the wooden balconies on the waterfront and the majestic domes of the churches testify to the former prosperity of the island. The pictures in the museum depict the sheer number of houses that existed. Most of them were bombed during World War II. 


In the history of Kastellorizo ​​there are also important dates that the locals celebrate with enthusiasm. These are: 


March 7 – The date of integration of the island of Kastellorizo ​​and the Dodecanese with the rest of Greece. 


May 21 – Feast day of Saints Constantine and Helen, the patron saints of the island. Then the biggest festival of the year takes place outside the metropolitan temple in the “Fields” area. 


July 19 – Eve of the name day of the Prophet Elias. On this day the locals honor and celebrate this date because it was the time of year when the island’s inhabitants returned to their homes after they had left the island during the Greek Revolution. The whole island celebrates and revives many customs. In one they dive into the sea with their clothes on. 


August 15 – The day, the Virgin Mary, is celebrated in the precincts of the church. After the liturgy there is a huge feast with live Greek music, traditional food, and dancing outside the monastery in the square of the fields. 


August 23 – Orthodox celebrate 9 days after the death of Mother Mary at the monastery in the Paleokastro area where pilgrims celebrate all night with local food and traditional music. 


September 13 – The date Kastellorizo ​​is liberated after WWII and it’s time to become part of the nation of Greece. 


Finally, the inhabitants of the island celebrate Easter with glory. During this period the whole island participates in preparations to celebrate this great day for Christianity. This great celebration lasts 3 days and as most visitors say, Easter in Kastellorizo ​​is a unique experience. In fact, in 2005 the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias honored the island with his presence.