1. Natural setting – Environment

Ro, or Aghios Georgios (St. George), is 5 miles to the west of Kastelorizo and very close to the opposite Turkish shores. It is a rocky waterless skerry with shrub vegetation, and has never been systematically inhabited. At times, the municipality leases it to Kastelorizians so that they can raise their stock (cows and goats). It has two coves: Fragolimionas to the south, and the small port of Ai-Giorgis (St. George) to the northwest, where few visitors coming with small boats disembark. Over the past years, the skerry became known thanks to the Lady of Ro, Despina Achladioti, who lived on the islet cultivating the land and raising her stock, and hoisted the Greek flag every morning. Now, on the islet, there is her tomb, the two small houses in which she lived, and the small church of St George, all of them are located next to the small port.

2. History

Ro’s location opposite the Asia Minor coast marked its historical course. Ro was always used as an observation post of the Lykian coast and as an army base. In ancient sources, it is cited as Royi or Ropi, and its location in the Lykian Sea and its distance from Megisti (neighboring Kastelorizo) are also mentioned. Ro and Strongyli, another skerry to the east of Kastelorizo, were used as links of the chain of military observation posts of the Rhodian state, as shown by the signal tower built on the top of a hill. The fortress was used during the times of Byzantium, the Knights and the Ottoman Rule. According to tradition, Lambros Katsonis used this fortress as his base (1788-1792).

3. Archaeological sites and monuments

The small fort has been built on the top of the hill, founded on a bulge of the rock, which was used as building material. It comprises of a central rectangular keep, which is now approximately 4 m. high, and it is protected by a double external enceinte. Smaller de-rounded stones have been used to enhance walls from the inside, whereas it had been restored and preserved during the Byzantine and Knights’ period. At the inside, there is a cistern for rainwater collection, whereas remnants of a winepress outside the keep demonstrate agricultural activities for the maintenance of garrisons stopping there. The winepress dates from the 4th century BC, but it was still used during the Roman, Byzantine and Knights’ periods, as shown by recent cleaning of the earth-fillings carried out by the 22nd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.