Sights MESTA (Village) CHIOS - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Listed 6 sub titles with search on: Sights for destination: "MESTA Village CHIOS".


Sights (6)

Squares & gardens

The Village Square

The road on the left of Aghia Paraskevi leads to the village square. The villagers call it "Livadi". The square is a resort after an exhausting day. There is a particular reason that a daily stroll in the square is considered necessary. As it is obvious the house of the village and especially those which form the castle do not provide any open space or gardens since they are built in a way that unites them all. There are cases when the boundaries of two neighbouring houses can be hardly distinguished. As such the square is the only open area of the castle. It is where friends meet, where news are heard, where the villagers have their morning coffee or their afternoon ouzo. Although it is a calm and quiet place on a daily basis, it turns to a centre of bacchic festivities the days the villagers have a feast. Island songs are played by the villagers' musicians and all ages men and women dance until the morning and drink wine and souma of their own production.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below, which contains images.


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Castles, fortresses & fortifications

The Ring-Road, the Wall

The visitor should leave his own transport at the circus outside the village. The road in the east part of the village makes the Ring-Road of the castle. If one follows it he will reach the point from which he started. The houses on the right side of the surrounding wall are modern. The outer wall on its left side makes the Wall of the castle. The doors and windows of the houses of this side have been opened rather recently. During the Genoan and Turkish occupations the entrances of those houses that formed the wall used to be only at the inner part of the castle. The loopholes were the only openings on the wall and it is them which have been turned into windows later on. The two openings to the inner part of the village have been constructed more recently for the residents' facility. The surrounding wall of this side ends to the tower.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below, which contains images.


The Gate of the Castle

  The Gateway of the castle is named by the natives as "door of the captain", that means the door of the governor (it derives from the Italian word "capitano"). The monoliths of which it consists are remarkable as well as the iron door that remains in an excellent condition. The door during the Genoan occupation was opened in the morning at sunrise and closed in at sunset. That did not happen only when there was a danger of a raid but on a daily basis. It is because the village was the place of the natives' dwelling but at the same time it used to exist as a camp for the conquerors. This gate was the only one on the castle so that the conquerors could easily check the entry of the products, especially of mastic. All that was due to defence and the facilitation of the conquerors, since it was according to the products that taxes were imposed.
  The house over and next to the door gate must have been the governor's-captain's residence (that is why it has been named after him). The small window through which the guards used to observe the residents' entry-exit is noticed at the inner part of the gate. On the way into the castle two of the most ancient churches of the village are located. The first one is that of Aghios Georgios and the second one is that of Aghia Paraskevi, the latter of which is more significant.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee URL below, which contains images.


Towers

The Tower

  The Tower is one of the four towers the castle used to have on the four corners of its rectangular part. It is circular and consists of two floors which communicate through a spiral staircase. Only three of the towers are redeemed nowadays (unfortunately, the one located at the corner where the parking area is these days has been destroyed). One of the three existing ones is now a residence, a very unique one since it has circular rooms. The towers used to be in direct contact with each other through a tunnel parallel to the outer road.
  The loopholes of the tower can be still noticed. From outside they look as narrow openings although from inside they look like tunnels. From the tower by taking the ring road one reaches the entrance of the village-castle.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below, which contains images.


The Tower of Militas

  The main road from the proskynima leads to the Northwest side of the castle, the so called "tower of Militas". It derives from the Italian word militare which means army. The tower can be seen more clearly from the square outside the castle and nowadays it has become a residence. The reason it was named after this word is because it was reinforced by a military force since it is located facing the sea from where all raids were expected.
  In order to conceive the significance of the tower in terms of the defence of the castle, as well as the effective of the entire system of defence of the village it is worth to mention the following:
  The castle was a quadrilateral with a triangular peak on the Northwest side that ended to the "Tower of Militas". This was the front line of defence. Inside, as it shows in the village plan, two roads which started from the square and converged just before the tower of Militas formed a castle inside the main castle. That was the second line of defence. The main tower where the church of Big Taxiarchis is located made the third line of defence. The central tower received all visual messages sent from Merovigli (=the watch tower of the daytime), the highest mountain of the area, and motivated the whole system of defence. As such if the enemies took the castle they would have to fight hard again so as to seize a second castle almost identical to the former. If they took that too, they should have much more troops in order to conquer the heart of the castle, the central tower.
  Anyway, the tower of Militas played the most significant role in the repulse of the raiders because of its position; it also protected the most important good for the besieged, the water. The well is located under the tower in a shed in the inner part of the castle. The ruts on the mouth of the well are very typical; they have been made by the ropes which have been going up and down for centuries so as to draw water out. Since the slabs showed signs of wear some new were placed over the old ones but they were also worn. An underground tunnel used to link the well with the central tower of the castle, so if the enemies conquered the village but not the tower, the besieged people would have water supplies. The gate which is located in the tower of Militas is more recent. Perhaps there was an emergency gate of the castle at that point. On the way back, the road from the tower of Militas leads to the triangle which is formed by the two inner roads of the castle. At the house which is in the corner of the two roads, remains of another tower can be seen; its existence confirms the idea that a second line of defence existed indeed.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee URL below, which contains images.


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