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Towers of Vathichoria

Ancient towers that are preserved in very good condition on Mount Pateras , near the west coast of Attica, Psatha .

Vathichoria are not villages, but two small plateaus surrounded by hills on the northwest side of Mount Patera in Western Attica and a short relative distance from the west coast. There is Megalo and Mikro Vathichori .

There is some confusion about the historical origin of the towers in Vathichoria and the purpose of their existence. The circular tower was previously characterized as medieval but today it is certain that it is a construction of the third quarter of the 4th BC. century.

The towers belong to a series of at least six towers, which mark the ancient road that ended in Boeotia. The towers of Vathichoria were built in the second half of the 4th c. e.g. and are part of the defense system of Megarida. They guarded this mountainous road for the safe passage of troops from the Peloponnese to Boeotia. This road was followed by the armies, whenever they wanted to avoid the Athenians, who controlled the smoothest road to the east and beyond the mountains.

However, there is also the opinion that the towers in Vathichoria existed simply for the protection of the estates of the area. This view is reinforced by the fact that the towers were not at a strategic point, did not have good visibility and their construction was not very strong.

One more note: the two towers were built at the same time in adjacent places but it is obvious that they are of different styles. We may have a pair of border outposts here, somewhere between the territories of Megara, Athenians and Thebans.

Regardless of the original reason for the construction of the towers in Vathichoria , it should be considered certain that their use for defense or residential purposes continued, at least occasionally, in the following centuries.

The circular tower in Megalo Vathichori is one of the best preserved monuments of antiquity.

It has a diameter of 6.2m, a height of 12.5m and a trapezoidal-isodom masonry that is maintained in very good condition in all 23 structures. Its entrance in the southern part has notches on the sides for the support and the bolting of the door.

This impressive monument had four floors, as can be deduced from three rows of beams that stand out inside, to support an equal number of floors. On the upper floor there were six windows of equal size, above which there was a sloping roof that would allow rainwater to collect and flow through the gutter maintained on the east side, at the height of the fourth floor.

Arched windows, which are better visible from the inside, and windows for small catapults, include the tower in the military category. Its use, however, for guarding the rural area in peacetime is rather certain. It is bordered by a precinct, the masonry of which is better preserved on the south side. The enclosure did not seem to be very strong as a fortification. It looks more like a fenced yard, which enhances the farmhouse version.

The square tower, on the rural road to Mikro Vathichori , with side of 5.5m and 10m height. It is located about 500m southeast of  circular tower of Megalo Vathichori . He also maintains arches, windows, gutter and entrance on the south side, while traces of enclosure and small installation have been identified around the perimeter.


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