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CHIOS

According to history Chios Island took its name from the many snow that felt at the birth of Poseidon's son, Chios, while there is another version that says that. Chios that means "chewing gum" in the Syrian language was given by the Phoenix. Another version considers that Oinopionas daughter, Chioni the Nymph gave her name to the island while it has been named with several names that did not eventually reign such as "Pitiousa", "Makris", "Aeithaleia" and "Ofiousa".

It's climate is clearly Mediterranean with calm withers and seldom rains at the summer months.

Main port of the island id the one at the homonymous city while there is Lagadas, Marmaro, Mesta and many other smaller that host small yachts.

The husbandry of Chios is mainly based on shipping and in smaller extent in agriculture and stock raising. The existing trades produce sweets famous in Greece for their unique taste. Last years an important growth factor has also been developed by the fish farming, the recoverable reserves of antimony and the sulphur-ironspas. And don't forget to mention one of the main products of this island produced exclusively into it, "masticha" the world-known for its flavor and uniqueness chewing gum, with 120 tons produced and exported every year, a major resource for the island's and Greece's economy.

The majestic island of Chios is adorned by 52 beautiful villages, each one with its own individual character divided into 3 categories according to their geographical locality: Notiochora, Voreiochora and Kampochora.

The island at the historical times was standing as a leading sailing and political power in the broader Aegean and Mediterranean area and one of the main wine-exporters and traders while it shown much leverage in the agricultural commerce.

The on end natural disasters and regime alterations not in the list shrunk its power through the centuries. Great men where born there and ruled the conquered the world their art or their political track records. Among them were Giannis Psycharis, Adamantios Korais, Emmanouil Rhoidis and Giorgos Souris.

We have already mentioned Chios Island's importance in time and space. In such an island the lack of significant monuments and sights would be impossible. By chronological order you will find the next.

Prehistoric: Agio Galas, the prehistoric settlement of Emporeio and Mycenaean one of Archonti Psaron

Classical: Ancient Chios, Daskalopetra, Psara, Athena's Temple in Emporeio and Apollo's Temple at Fana.

Post-Christian: The Old Christian Church in Fana and the Cathedral of Agios Isidoros.

Middle-age: Anavatos, Apolichnoi Castle, Castle of Chios, Ioustiniani Palace, Agioi Apostoloi, Moni Kourna, Nea Moni, Moni Pameggiston Taxiarchon, Panagia Agrelopou, Panagia krina, Panagia Sikelia and Vigles.

Byzantine: Agiops Minas Abbey, Moundos Abbey, The Holy Pilgrimage of Agia Markela and Panagia Agiogalousaina.

Modern: Evaggelismos Abbey at Oinouses, Kambos, the Marble Springs, the Mosque and Myrsinidios Abbey.

We start a short tour stepping to some of them beginning for the famous Kastro.

It was built by the Byzantines at the 9th century and was repaired and enhanced many times by the Genouats and the Turkish. The triple-towers with the eagle, bearings of the Genouats are still saved and well kept at the towers and the battlements. The entrance to the castle is called "PORTA MAGGIORE". After its marble-roofed stoa the Ioustiniani edifice rises. It is built in the 15th century and was lately reconstructed comprising of an exhibitive place of old-Christian mosaics, Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and carvens. At the same flat the visitor can see the prison where the 70 potentates of Chios where incarcerated at 1822 before their hanging and Kara Alis' tomb.

Outside the castle, at the main square towers the mosque that today hosts Byzantine and post-Byzantine sculptures and earlier findings. Here are exhibited stone articles from collections and excavations, tomb stones of Moslem and Arabian monuments, iron and brass canons. At the portico there are architecture pieces of old-Christian and post-Byzantine Temples of Chios and walled-off murals from Panagia i Krina Church of 1734.

At the end of the main square there is a marvelous marble fountain and at Martyr's road the "Marble Fountain of Melek Pasas", a unique piece of Turkish baroque. At Neochori village we find Panagia's Church, an important piece of local, folklore architecture of the past century.

At short distance from the main route there is Agios Minas Monastery that is related with the late history of Chios. At the April of 1822 there happened the massacre of almost 300 refugees from the city and the near villages. Though the monastery has been twice renovated since then, the relics of these dramatic facts still touch the visitor.

The principle of the spiritual and cultural movement of the island is found at the "Omireio Pneumatiko Kentro" a place that features and organizes numerous events every year, some of them of worldwide range at its unique for the Helladic space facilities.

The Archaeological Museum of Chios has many and important troves. Among them outstanding position has the epistle of Alexander the Great to the Chios' citizens at 322 b.C. Except of the epigraphs there are also marble pieces of Apollo the Fanaios' Temple based at the south coast of the island, the torsos of two archaic maids of excellent art, a reproduction of the famous "Chios Maid", with the prototype being to Boston of the USA, graven cippuses and many potteries from Chios of the Geometric and the Archaic period and amphoras that kept the splendid insular wine.

At the Nautical Museum of Chios you can also admire articles and paintings of the great shipping tradition of this place.

The area of the low plateau of Pafilida is cool and verdant with many fontal waters that run trough the "kamaria", the arched fountains and big basins and the constructions from the Genouats' dominion period that give an impression of myth and with their presence give life to local legends about nymphs of the waters and tales. The most living is the one of the "Tis Koris to Giofiri" a real bridge astride Partheni's river with one "breast" over the middle arch.

Leaving behind the sightseeing we search for the cool beaches of Chios. Starting for the exit of the city and following the offshore road we reach the beautiful beach of karfas. It is a wonderful sandy beach with hursts covering a huge area on the land and the sea that straightly communicates with the city. After Karfas we find Agia Ermioni beach with its small port, a refuge for small sailing ships and further the natural, beautiful beach of Megas Limnionas. Southern you find Komi's sandy beach, protected by the north winds and model for swimming. You can also reach the coasts of Agia Sofia and Agios Ioannis, two of the most beautiful swimming areas, with shingle bottoms and limpid waters.

Map of Chios

Click to enlarge

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