Pyrgos Melissourgou – the Tower of Melissourgos – is a castle located in Southern Attica. At Lagonissi, it is just 15 minutes from the International Airport of Athens and on the road to the magnificent archaeological site of Sounion. Just 1,000 meters from the sea and offering a gorgeous view and unique sunsets, it is the ideal setting for a truly special wedding. Couples and their guests enjoy the special attention of the family that has owned The Castle since 1836, and owner Giorgos Melisourgos was delighted to share its story and what it offers with our readers.
The National Herald: The views are breathtaking and the setting is wonderful – who designed the existing facilities?
Giorgos Melisourgos: The beautiful uninterrupted view of the infinite blue of the sea is a gift from nature. The design, however, of all the recent additions, was made by the architectural office of G-P Architects Ltd, in very close collaboration with my wishes and vision.
For example, when they designed the 30meter pool, their mandate was that I wanted “the sea to come to our house.” So a natural lake look, with a natural sandy beach, was created, to fully integrate with the environment.
The same approach was used for everything else, using the stone from our own land and earthy colors that fully match the old existing buildings.
TNH: Tell us about your family and its connection with the property and the region.
GM: This was initially a fortified house from 1680-1690, which later was turned into a Castle with a flair reflecting Italy’s Tuscany region. It was bought by my great-great grandparents in 1836 and has been in the family since.
At that time, it was probably the largest private estate in the Attica region. Over 3000 olive trees were planted and there were 100 acres of vineyards, producing the area’s renowned Savatiano wine.
TNH: What is special about weddings there?
GM: I get emotional talking about something so close to my heart, however, there are a few features that make this venue not just special for weddings and other types of functions, but I would dare to say that it is UNIQUE.
The 17th century castle cannot be found in any other similar venue. And the fact that it was and still is the summer residence of our family and not an impersonal business venue constructed for weddings, makes it very special.
I personally communicate with each and every one of the interested parties and personally greet them at the venue, instead of assigning this task to a third party sales person.
If to all the above, we add the pool that looks like a lake, with its natural sandy beach, the beautiful view of the blue sea and of the surrounding mountains, as well as a number of other facilities in a very spacious area that you cannot find anywhere else, then I think it can be rightfully considered a unique venue in Greece.
TNH: Is the food service something out of the ordinary?
GM: We collaborate with the top eight catering companies of Athens, which guarantee not only excellent quality raw materials, but also the highest ranked Executive Chefs in this field, and very professional service by the dedicated personnel of these companies. A large variety of types of service Is available, such as buffet style, or set-served dinner, or family style. In terms of cooking and presentation, there are multiple options. One of my favorite is the ‘Antikristos solomos’ (salmon slices on the skewer facing each other).
TNH: What months are best?
GM: We mainly operate during the warmer period of the year (April-November) and the reason for this is that we want our guests to profit 100% from the view, the Castle, and all the outdoors facilities in general. This is the real beauty of the venue. On the other hand, we have a permanent tent that can easily host 350 people in case of sudden changes of weather conditions.
TNH: How does your staff help with the planning?
GM: We collaborate with some very creative event planners, that can help you organize the event in a very special way. And because every single event is custom made and no event is similar to any other, it is with great pleasure that we recommend our event planners.
TNH: Have there been celebrity or special weddings you would like to tell us about?
GM: Yes, there have been quite a few celebrity and special weddings, but one of our differences from other venues is that – unless the couple wishes – is that we do not use any photos or other material from their events to promote our venue publicly. We protect everyone’s privacy and we greatly respect their personal and family moments.
I can say that at our special events we have had an 18-member band, a couple arriving by helicopter, and the biggest flower arrangements created by special florists presented non-stop over the 24 hours prior to the wedding. We have hired professional Greek folk dancers to first perform their show and then mingle with the guests and teach them folk dancing, and many other special events.
TNH: Do you arrange for sightseeing in the region for the guests?
GM: Yes, we collaborate with travel offices, tour buses, and specialized guides that can organize any kind of sightseeing our guests desire.
All in all, we pride ourselves in the personalized service we can provide, and in sharing our family house on that very special day for each one of our guests.
We aim to create friendships with local guests as well as with people from all over the world and we always are happy to welcome back any of our guests that have used the venue once, to come back either for a visit with their friends or even for just a swim in the spacious pool.
For us at Pyrgos Melissourgou, every event is unique, as for us it is not a mere business transaction, but a wonderful opportunity to offer a lifetime experience to people on their very special day.
We are different, and our guests are our best ambassadors.
Giorgos Melisourgos is the owner of Pyrgos Melissourgou – the Tower of Melissourgos.