The ancient town of Paleo Chora sits high on the island of Aegina, a small island about an hour off the mainland from Athens. Paleo Chora used to be the capital of the island, from the 9th century to 1826. It suffered distructions by Barbarossa in 1537, and by the Venetians in 1654, but was reconstructed each time. However today all that remains are ruins including about 20 byzantine churches in various states of disrepair. The oldest churches date back to the 13th century. Some of them have old frescoes and sculptures. The town today is a shadow of its former self, but is well worth visiting – a few hours spent hiking the trails around the town reveal an incredible richness of intimately scaled churches and ruins.