The Town of Chios

The Town of Chios


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The Town of Chios

The Town is built on the boundaries of the Old Town. A number of archaeological findings indicate the existence of an important Ionian city with a large harbor, theater and temples continue to live until the end of Ultimate antiquity. Since its establishment until the present day the city of Chios, always namesake of the island, was the administrative, economic and cultural center of the island. The city currently spends a period of prosperity. The inhabitants are engaged in merchant shipping (Chios was the birthplace of a large number of ship owners), agriculture and fishing. In recent years the natural beauty and history of the island led to develop this and tourism as the island is visited by both Greek and residents of other states abroad. We mention here the major attractions that are worth visiting:

Vounaki Square (Plastira)

The Vounaki Square owes its name to a small hill that was there. In ancient times the port reached almost up here. During the Byzantine period and the Genoese period called Tax Square (Agora) and trading products. In the Ottoman period called Meydanı kılıç (kilits meindan-sword square) because here the Turkish soldiers were exercising themselves. During the years large changes have occurred.Unchanged remains the jewel of the marble fountain (Opening 1900) which is the imitation of the monument of Lysikratis located in Plaka. The Public Garden was made after 1912. Opposite the square, begins Aplotaria Street.

The Public Garden

In the centre of the town, near the central Vounaki Square, dominates the beautiful green city garden. Crossing the garden, the visitor can admire the statue of Kanaris and the busts of other great spiritual personalities of the island. Within the garden there are fountains and a playground for children. In summer the garden hosts the Feast of Agricultural tourism, where producers and artisans of Chios exhibit their products. At the same time visitors can taste various flavors of Chios.

Aplotaria

The way of Aplotaria is mentioned from the 16th century and goes through the heart of the old city, holding even today the majority of commercial traffic, with many shops that make a worthwhile trade centre. In Aplotaria, there are buildings like old mansions dating from the 19th and early 20th century.

The Castle of Chios

The castle of Chios is one of the main attractions of the city and one of the few inhabited castles in Greece. In its original form it was built during the Byzantine period, intended to serve as the administrative center of the island. Thereafter, during the Genoese domination it was reconstructed according to the Renaissance architecture. The castle of Chios has nine towers, different architecture depending on the building period and perimeter trench of symmetrical width. In the main street of the castle stands the mosque Bairakli Mosque and the church of St. George (formerly Eski Mosque). Following this way the traveler encounters a Turkish bath complex of the 18th century with round domes on the north corner of the fortress, and the round tower of ZENO with his defensive structure which characterizes the building phase of the Venetians in 1694. Other attractions are also the graves of Turkish generals and admirals and the museum of Giustiniani, a 15th century building, which was renovated recently and is used as an exhibition hall of early Christian mosaics, Byzantine frescoes, post-Byzantine icons and wood carvings. In the older times the entrance to the port of Chios controlled the small fort Mpourtzi that it isn’t saved anymore. Other attractions of the castle are the fountain named Kria, a semi-underground tank of Byzantine design and the Turkish Tower, Koules, built entirely of ancient building materials.

The Fountain of Melek Pasha

The Water Fountain of Melek Pasha was built in 1768 and was reflected in a number of etchings by travelers who visited the island then. From the fountain of Melek Pasha the road splits. The road on the right leads to Northern Chios while straight ahead leads to Central Chios.

The Archaeological Museum

The museum contains findings from the prehistoric and archaic era. In its halls, ceramics, sculptures, reliefs, architectural fragments, inscriptions, glass, gold and bronze objects, jewelry and gems are exposed.

The Byzantine museum (Metzitie Mosque)

The Byzantine Museum of Chios is housed in the Ottoman Mosque of the 19th century situated in the central square. It includes findings since the early Christian era till the post-Byzantine period.

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is located in the center of the island and is housed in a mansion (19th century). The museum fills an important gap in maritime history of the island and shows that during the centuries the Chians worked in shipping and trade.

Museum of Natural History and Physics

It is housed in the historic school of Chios founded in 1792. In the history hall there are folklore displays, icons, old coins, weapons and photographic memorial of Chians soldiers. In physics department there exist antique instruments of physics and chemistry some of which are rare museum material.

The Gallery of Chios or Public Gallery

It is housed in the building of the old municipal baths in the center of Chios. The Gallery of Chios is a magnet for lovers of the visual arts.

Designed By Michalis Simiakakis