Pyrgos, Εvrostini. Kordi Fortified mansion

The local vernacular architecture in Corinthia included secular buildings such as the noted families’ Notaras and Dasiou mansions, as well as isolated dwellings of fortress-like character in function and form. Typical examples are traced at the village of Pyrgos in the former municipality of Evrostina and Agioi Theodoroi. According to the shape of their plan, they can be divided into two categories: 
a. the ones in a more or less square shaped plan and 
b. the towers in a “T” shape.

Towers belonging to the first typological group, appear to be in ruins today, therefore any information concerning these buildings come from written sources. A typical example of a square shaped ground floor plan tower was the dilapidated one, once standing in the lower part of Ancient Corinth, as depicted by Theodose Du Moncel in his painting “Medieval remains in Corinth. Part of the Castle of Kiamil Bey”, plate 5, "Excursion par terre d'Athenes a Nauplie", Paris circa 1845.

There are two crumbling examples of the second category, -the one of the T shaped ground floor plan that can still be found in the area. The “Sgouraioi family tower” (named also as “Metaxas tower”) is found in Sykia close to Xylokastro, which according to oral sources originally belonged to Kiamil Bey of Corinth.

The second example is the “Mamonas tower”, today known as “Kordis tower”, in the village of Pyrgos, Evrostini. It was built by the Venetians at the end of the 17th c., and the building has undergone many construction phases. Its groundfloor plan, as well as its facades, present an incipient symmetry. It expands in three storeys, On the ground floor three vaulted spaces were used as storage areas. There were no openings except for small embrasures and one door, in the approximate center, which was protected by a machicolation, like the main entrance in the first floor. The first floor also communicated with the first floor internally by means of a movable wooden staircase, and then by a built in stone staircase, where the vault and the wall intersected: when the wooden staircase was drawn up, the ground floor was isolated from the first floor.

The partitions on the first floor were the same as the ones at the ground floor. The side spaces were wider and were used as the family residence, the “best” room and the kitchen, each equipped with a fireplace. In the middle area, opposite the main entrance, an unobtrusive opening led to a small space, which projected axially from the rest of the building. This room, covered with a flat roof, was used as an observation post and had small openings on its sides. An especially interesting feature is the arch formed on the external façade of this space, which recalls the Venetian occupation.

A wooden staircase leads to the second floor, which has been repaired, passed through many building phases (now it is covered with a roof). There are traces which reveal that a wooden balcony must have existed on the NE side. 

Çatma was used at the exterior walls. This floor plan consists of four rooms sharing a common corridor, which leads to a makeshift and to an opening for the flat roof of the observation post. A few decades ago this was turned into a covered terrace.

The interior of the tower is distinguished by its spareness. There is some attempt of decoration in the best room, on the first floor, with simple carvings on the door, the cupboard doors and the ceiling which does not, however, make for a less austere image. 
The building had been abandoned by its owners for many years. Now a recent restoration project has been concluded (2006) and the tower is consolidated.

Koimisi Theotokou Mesi Synoikia Nemea


Sources

Chrysafi-Zografou Metaxoula, “Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.
Chrysafi-Zografou Metaxoula, "1η Έκθεση Αρχιτεκτονικού έργου Κορίνθιων Αρχιτεκτόνων" και Κατάλογος Έκθεσης, Κόρινθος 1996.
Chrysafi-Zografou Metaxoula, "Η αναστήλωση του πύργου Κορδή στην Ευρωστίνη Κορινθίας", 2o Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο Αναστηλώσεων (ΕΤΕΠΑΜ), Thessaloniki 2006 και σχετική Δημοσίευση στα Πρακτικά Συνεδρίου.

Dimakopoulos Ιοrdanis, "Πύργοι»: Οι οχυρές κατοικίες της Προεπαναστατικής Πελοποννήσου", Πρακτικά του Γ' Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου Πελοποννησιακών Σπουδών, Καλαμάτα 8-15 Σεπτεμβρίου 1985, Πελοποννησιακά. Περιοδικό της Εταιρείας Πελοποννησιακών Σπουδών 13, Αthens 1985, τ. 1 (1987-1988).

Eleni I. Kanetaki



Architectural survey of the elevated ground floor plan (Metaxoula Chrysafi-Zografou, Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987).Architetctural survey of the 1st floor plan, (Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.).Architectural survey of the .....floor plan (Metaxoula Chrysafi-Zografou, “Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.).Architectural survey of the building's facades (Metaxoula Chrysafi-Zografou, “Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.).Architectural survey of the building's vertical sections(Metaxoula Chrysafi-Zografou, “Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.).Architectural survey of the building's facade (Metaxoula Chrysafi-Zografou, “Corinthia”, in Greek Traditional Architecture, vol. 5, Melissa, Athens 1987.).
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