Chios Town

English

Chios, the island of Mastic and of Homer acquired throughout the centuries fabulous monuments which witness Chios’s long cultural, shipping and trade history, from ancient times till now. The capital of Chios, called “Chora”, is build on the eastern part of the island, just opposite to the coast of Minor Asia, and on the same place where the ancient Ionian city left its traces and walls. You acquaintance with the city will take you to a nice trip to memories and history. In the center of the city, the central square “Vounaki” has an admirable  garden with the ruins of a church dating from the first Christian years and with various statues of well known Chians, especially Constantine Canaris, a great fighter of the Greek Revolution in 1821. You will also find an outside café and a summer cinema. The Homerian Cultural Centre organizes painting and sculptured exhibitions, theatre representations, concerts, interesting speeches and conferences. The Art Gallery, installed in the former Baths of the city, hosts very interesting collections. Your visit at the Byzantine Museum will give you lots of information about the Byzantine period, a period which left very rich traces on the island.

The castle is one of the nicest sights worth being visited of the town and belongs to the few castles which remain inhabited. It was built in the Byzantine period and constituted the administrative centre of the island. It enjoyed a great development during the Genovese governance. It was an example of the Renaissance type city. Its walls resisted numerous attacks from Genovese, Venetians and Turks. The castle is surrounded by a 60 meters large ditch and the fortress has 9 towers. You will also find the “Justiniani” Museum for Exhibitions and other appreciable Byzantine monuments, as for example, the Saint George Church. For your walks in the commercial part of the town, you can use the central street and walking area of “Aplotaria”, as a point of orientation. “Aplotaria” comes from the verb “aplono”, meaning to spread out, because the salesmen laid out their products in front of their shops. On your right and on your left, you will find little paths with hundreds of shops and a great variety of products. At the end of the “Aplotaria” street, the Chian Maritime Museum is hosted in a neoclassical building, where you will discover Chios’ great maritime tradition, known throughout the word by its Ship owners which control an important part of the library “Adamantios Korais” (famous University Professor in Paris), one of the biggest and most important in whole Greece, which was considered until the destruction of Chios in 1822 as one of the main libraries of the Eastern World. Among its book collections you will see, in addition to some rare editions donated by late Korais, other significant collections. It contains approximately 130.000 works. An important step to come to a full understanding if Chios’ history, is the visit of the Archeological Museum of Chios, next to the Aegean University. Significant discoveries of the pre-historical, ancient and classical periods from excavations in various sites of the island are presented in the museum.

The area in the southern part of the town, known as “Kampos” is of particular natural beauty and of noble appearance. It is a very big area with tangerine, orange, and lemon trees. The picture of this area is unique in the islands of the Aegean. The mansions of the plain, built with the red stones of the island are the unique models of architecture. Many of them were built in the 14th century. Every property is a sight worth being seen in itself. The Kampos plain, with its medieval architecture and its incomparable charm always wins unlimited admiration.

Only 4 km far north from the Town of Chios, is the area of Vrondados, extended at length of the coast street after the Chios hospital. It is worth having a walk in the neighborhood of Vrondados to see  its island architecture and its windmills near the Sea. It is a calm but well visited area with very nice beaches and essential sightseeing’s. The most important of it is “Homer’s Stone” called “Daskalopetra” (the Stone of the Master), an uplifted rock next to the sea, the teaching place of Homer who was the greatest poet of human history, the spiritual model of later generations till today. Near this site are the organized beaches Ormos Lo and Daskalopetra. The Vrondados area is well known through a custom happening every year on Eastern, after the Announcement of the Resurrection of Christ. The so called “Rouketopolemos” (fight of fireworks), offers a fantastic spectacle every year and gets known in the world through television news.

A complete highway system connects the city of Chios with the 64 villages (belonging to 8 communes) and the fabulous beaches of the island.