The deserted village of Anavatos on Chios.

The deserted medieval village of Anavatos with its 400 huises on Chios is also worth a visit. You cannot see the village from a dsitance because it is totally embedded in the rocks as a protection against the Turks. Anavatos is situated on the top of a mountain and can only be reached from the south. Anavatos means unreachable, and it was a hide-away for the inhabitants of Chios. The way to Anavatos could not be found by people that did not know the island of Chios. This natural protection came in handy when the Turks besieged the island. The Turks could not find the way to the top and so the people of Anavatos were safe. In the end they were betrayed and in 1822 there was a terrible slaughter in Anavatos. Eversince the village has been deserted.

The village of Mesta on Chios

These two pictures are made in Mesta, one of the three most attractive mastic villages on the island. When going through the pictures I found out that there are a lot of beautiful places on Chios. The mastic villages are very impressive, the touristic attraction of the island, yet they are deserted. In total there are 20 mastic villages (mastichochoria) in the south of Chios. The mastic bushes secrete a kind of wax (like pine trees do) that, before the arrival of products on the basis of crude oil, was used for paint, cosmetics and medicines. It has a fresh-bitter taste, a medicinal functioning and one says that it makes the teeth white. Mastic had been harvested since the middle ages and had been popular in the harems. Now the mastic is mainly used for the production of chewing gum, liquor and toothpaste. The villages have been the only ones saved from the massacre of 1822. These confirm to suspicion that the massacre of Chios possibly took place on to behalf of the haremladies of the sultan, who were so addicted to chewing mastic. The insurrection of Chios in Constantinopel had made them very upset: mastic production had to go on at any cost. Each summer approximately 300 barrels of mastic are won and after that you can buy chewing-gum and toothpaste with mastic everywhere on Chios. The mastic villages are all build in the same way: reinforced towers, flat roofs, a square tower in the centre of the village and especially designed streets. Pyrgi is the mastic capitol and in the centre there are splendid mosaic houses. From top to bottom they are covered with naturelcolored and white geometrical flower patterns. The villages lie on approximately 28 km van Chios-town. The villages Vessa, Mesta and Olympoi are certainly also worth a a visit.

Chios Mesta


The Nea Moni monastery on Chios

This picture has been made in the monastery of Neao Moni on Chios. The monatery is on the european monumentlist. Sister Meriam is the only inhabitant and she is very old. When driving on top of the mountain you can see the monastery in the distance. It is very impressive. The Nea Moni monastery is situated 11 km west of Chios-town. It dates from 1042. The monastery has beautiful 11th century mosaics. The most impressive mosaics are those of the Anastasis and the washing of the feet of the desciples. The monastery is openen from april to october daily between 7.00-13.00 and from 16.00-20.00.

Hans Huisman, Peter Hendriks, 2014
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