Emporio is a former centre of trade which is located about 10 km from the capital of the island of Santorini – Fira. In this village there is a Venetian castle – a maze of tightly built buildings intersected by narrow streets, forming a defensive fortress.
On the outskirts of Emporio, on the western side of the town, is the Venetian Tower of Goulas (also known as “Tower of Emporio” or “Tower of Niborio”), which was once connected to the castle by a secret underground tunnel. The tower was used as a hiding place by the villagers during pirate attacks and as a warehouse for storing crops.
Goulas Tower is located in the suburb of Emporio, facing northwest, at the foot of Chalarovounia Hill.
The tower was built in the 15th century. According to some accounts, it was built through the efforts of the monks of the Abbey of Agios Ioannis of Theologou on Patmos. Other sources say that it belonged to the Dargent family and only later was taken over by the monks.
The Goulas Tower is a defensive fortification with high stone walls and small window openings. Its architecture shows strong Venetian influence (its construction was initiated in the 15th century). It was then that the island was governed by Venetians. In the tower there was a chapel dedicated to the founder of the monastery Agios Ioannis of Theologou on Patmos – Christodoulos. What is interesting is that it was possible to move between the tower and the castle thanks to a tunnel. It guaranteed safe passage, even when the village was attacked by hostile invaders.
At present, the tower is partially collapsed and is not open to tourists – visiting at your own risk.