Chios in der Nördlichen Ägäis

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Port of Lagada © FrontierNG/cc-by-sa-4.0

Port of Lagada © FrontierNG/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the northern Aegean Sea. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is “the Mastic Island”. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also the site of the Chios massacre, in which tens of thousands of Greeks on the island were massacred by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822.

Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios. Locals refer to Chios town as Chora (literally means land or country, but usually refers to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island).

Pyrgi © flickr.com - Petille/cc-by-sa-2.0 Chios Castle © FLIOUKAS/cc-by-sa-4.0 Port of Lagada © FrontierNG/cc-by-sa-4.0 Building in Kampos © Vgargan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Chios Town Park © flickr.com - Arthur Pennant/cc-by-sa-2.0 Mesta © Kostisl Oinousses © NikoSilver/cc-by-sa-3.0 Buildings covered with sgraffito in Pyrgi © Meltedrainbow/cc-by-sa-4.0 Monastery of Nea Moni © FLIOUKAS/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Buildings covered with sgraffito in Pyrgi © Meltedrainbow/cc-by-sa-4.0
Midway up the east coast lie the main population centers, the main town of Chios, and the regions of Vrontados and Kambos. Chios Town, with a population of 32,400, is built around the island’s main harbour and medieval castle. The current castle, with a perimeter of 1,400 m (4,600 ft), was principally constructed during the time of Genoese and Ottoman rule, although remains have been found dating settlements there back to 2000 B.C. The town was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1881, and only partially retains its original character. North of Chios Town lies the large suburb of Vrontados (population 4,500), which claims to be the birthplace of Homer. The suburb lies in the Omiroupoli municipality, and its connection to the poet is supported by an archaeological site known traditionally as “Teacher’s Rock”.

In the southern region of the island are the Mastichochoria (literally “Mastic Villages”), the seven villages of Mesta, Pyrgi, Olympi, Kalamoti, Vessa, Lithi, and Elata, which together have controlled the production of mastic gum in the area since the Roman period. The villages, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, have a carefully designed layout with fortified gates and narrow streets to protect against the frequent raids by marauding pirates. Between Chios Town and the Mastichochoria lie a large number of historic villages including Armolia, Myrmighi, and Kalimassia. Along the east coast are the fishing villages of Kataraktis and to the south, Nenita.

Directly in the centre of the island, between the villages of Avgonyma to the west and Karyes to the east, is the 11th century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was built with funds given by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, after three monks, living in caves nearby, had petitioned him while he was in exile on the island of Lesbos. The monastery had substantial estates attached, with a thriving community until the massacre of 1822. It was further damaged during the 1881 earthquake. In 1952, due to the shortage of monks, Nea Moni was converted to a convent.

Read more on Chios, DiscoverGreece.com – Chios, VisitGreece.gr – Chios, Wikivoyage Chios and Wikipedia Chios (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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