The bell tower of St. George
This beautiful bell tower is built at the corner of St George’s courtyard, by Papathomas Karamitsos. Its foundations are 8m. deep so as to withstand the weight of such a tall and robust construction. It is said that they couldn’t find appropriate ground so they had to dig so deeply. It is an hexagonal building, with a clock and a bell that rings each hour from 1 till 12, as well as every half an hour. Its total height is 25m and it consists of 3,5 floors. In the second floor there are the two bells. In the third one there is the clock, which is visible from each of the 6 sides. The upper half floor is empty. At the top there is a cross and a lightning conductor.
According to the narrations, the construction started in 1875, but stopped for some years due to luck of funds. Papathomas, then, went to Buchurest three times so as to get money from the compatriots that were living there. At last, the bell tower was finished with the money of Thomas Kotoulas, who offered 500 golden coins.
In 1948, during the “Eratyra fight” it was used by the police as a fortress. That’s why three days after the fight 3-4 warriors demolished it with dynamite. While this was going on Kostas P. Bekiaris was passing by and said to them: “What are you doing, what was its fault and you want to demolish it?” and they replied: “It was used in killing a lot of our people.” And they demolished it. The bell tower that one can see nowadays at the same place is made of concrete, except for its base. It’s parts fell in the courtyard and the whole place got full of sandstone, as it was build of sandstone from Kaloneri.
When the discussion on whether the bell tower would be rebuilt arose, a lot of the local people disagreed, as they that would cost a lot of money. Finally, they decided to rebuild it and all the local people contributed.
In 1952, Ioannis Katanos and Lefkothea Katanou, offered a clock and a bell so as everybody could hear and see the time.
One can read on a marble inscription looking towards the Siniatsiko mountain:
THIS BELL TOWER WAS ERECTED IN 1888, DEMOLISHED IN 1948, WAS RECONSTRUCTED IN 1952 WITH THE FUNDS Of ALL THE LOCAL PEOPLE.
Another one says: Clock and bell donated by Ioannis Katanos and Lefkothea Katanou, 1952.
The clock, which was electrical, broke down once due to repetitious stops of electricity supply and then it was difficult to find the correct time. Then Xarisios Karanitsios offered 100.000drx and a new mechanism. Another marble inscription mentions:
THIS CLOCK WAS DONATED BY CHARISIOS AND ZOI KARANITSIOU.
Thus, the bell tower, this beautiful building, stood as a shining lighthouse of the village.
based on the article of Zisis Kolias in the local Newspaper “Eratyra”