Bourtzi is the name given to the little peninsula that divides the harbor of Skiathos in two (the old and new port). It was built in 1211 by Venetian brothers Andrea and Jeremiah Ghizi, in order to protect themselves and the town of Skiathos from pirate attacks.
Not much else is known about the fotress today. It was walled with battlements and turrets while on the right and left of the gate there were two round towers. Unfortunately, the height of the wall is impossible to determine from what remains of it today.
Inside the fortress there was a water tank and a chapel of St. George, patron saint of Venice, which was probably built by the brothers Ghizi. Because of this church, Bourtzi was also known as "Castelli of St. George."
Bourtzi was destroyed in 1660 when the Venetian admiral Francesco Morosini took over the island.
In 1823 by taking cover in the remains of the fort, the inhabitants of the island, islanders and refugees from surrounding areas were able to repulse Topal-pasha.
After the liberation of Greece, the first quarantine of the island operated in Bourtzi. Later, at 1906 a primary school was built in the center of the peninsula, a donation by Andreas Sigrou.
Today, at the old fortress only a few remnants of the walls remain, as well as the position of the Church of St. George and the water tank of the fortress to the left and the right of the entrance to the old school. Also, the old cannons can also be found along the road.
On the initiative of Skiathos Municipality, modern day Bourtzi is a cultural center with a theater where every summer a number of cultural events (concerts, plays, etc.) take place.
Upon entering, the visitor can see the bust of Alexandros Papadiamantis (built in 1925) and only a few steps away lies the bust of Alexandros Moraitidis. Since 2007, the monument to the Skiathos' Unknown Sailor can be found just before the entrance to the peninsula.
Lastly, in today's Bourtzi visitors can spend time at the municipal cafe, where guests can relax in the magnificent sea view, while listening music under the shade of pine trees.