LEMNOS (LIMNOS) (Island) NORTH AEGEAN
The relative delay of the tourist growth and the up to recently limited reconstruction had as positive consequence the maintenance of the traditional popular architecture of the place.
According to the researchers, with apropos facility samples of all phases of development of the popular residence are located, via the centuries mainly in the removed villages and the settlements of S.E. Limnos. Unfortunately, in the last years the intense reconstruction bore important alterations with the introduction of models of home manufacturing, especially in the tourist western department of the island and the installations of foreigners with the architectural deposit of Northern Aegean and more specifically with those of Limnos.
Common architectural type of home is the two-storied residence with exterior stone scale, which shapes the "axata" (built balcony), in the front side of the house. In the old days, the obvious stone of the stonemasonry and the roman tile of the roof were incorporated absolutely in the environment chromatically and morphologically as the villages are usually built in the interior of the island in smooth slopes of hills, in cavities or in flat locations away from the sea.
The initial type of residence, the "loft", that is to say, a one- room hovel, is still maintained in use as residence, but more usually, is incorporated in the main two -floor house as barn or stable and with the built and roofed oven they shape the sovereign type of popular residence in the villages of the island.
The lack of lime mortar in the island, compelled in solid and powerful stonework, often with only conjunctive the mud with use of the abundant stone, which depending on the place where the pit of the stones was being done, coloured also the settlements either with tons of grey as in the region Kaspaka or with reddish colour as in Limnos.
The insulation of the roof was ensured with the use of seaweed mixed with mud and straw, on which the tiles were placed, fixed usually with stones for protection by the powerful winds. The most characteristic samples of the precocious phases of the popular architecture are found in the villages of south-eastern Limnos, Fysini, Skandali, Agia Sofia, Kaminia, but also in Katalako, in Palio Pedino and in the rural settlements, Agjo Alexandros, Vounohori, Aminiou, Komi and others, in northern and north-eastern side of the island.
The common type of the two-storied house is met in all the villages of Limnos with small differentiations. Interesting built-up aggregations constitute:
Kontias, with the stone houses scrambled in the abrupt rocks, the windmills in the first entry of village and the row of trees with the platans in the other. The rows of trees (mainly with mulberries) constituted characteristic of the entries of the villages up to the recent widening of the streets. Impressive row of trees meets someone in Tsjmandria, in Atsjki and in Varos.
Kornos with the marvellous provision of the well-built houses and its mansions, Kaspakas with obvious the taste of craftsmen of stone, Katalakos with the exceptional view and the absolute naturalness of the settlement and landscape, Thanos and Platy in the western Limnos which despite the pressures they suffer from the growth of tourism they maintain their physiognomy, Portianou and Varos with obvious the traces of older seasons of prosperity, Moudros and Kondopoulj with beautiful mansions and old commercial shops.
The visitor discovers interesting architectures and aggregations in each village of the island as all of them have the same roughly typical provision with the central square and the traditional cafes, they constitute the centre of the resident's daily life. Separate and very important category of the folk architecture of Limnos, constitute the "stone yards" that is to say the agricultural cattle-breeding residences of the countryside that are found scattered, almost in each hill in entire the island. The stone yard, is usually built in elevation that creates a level space, next to a stepped from stones round threshing floor and more seldom a well, paled with stone yard "xerotrahalo". It impresses, with the extraordinary for a cattle-breeding installation quality of stonemasonry and it is equipped with the elementary for the survival of the cattle-breeders and their families, in the usually one-room house with fireplace that is placed in a corner with the loggia for the accommodation of the sheep. In certain points of the island, stone yards are assembled in small numbers, constituting in that way small settlements that today most of which are abandoned but, show with unique way, the simplicity and the ancient structure of the rural economy and life of the island. It won't be hard for the visitor of Poliohni, to recognise the resemblances, in the manufacture of the folk house and the stone yard, with the corresponding manufactures of the precocious era of copper.
This text is cited March 2004 from the Municipality of Moudros URL below, which contains images.
KOTZINOS (Port) LEMNOS (LIMNOS)
The name of the city was probably Kokkinos, which in Greek means Red. This name derives from the red clay which was dug nearby and which - as it is said - had medical abilities. The clay could heat effectively dysenteries, hemorrhages, the wounds caused by the snake bites. The fact is that this clay, known as "Limnian earth" to the European travelers - the local population called it "sacred earth" - became a sumptuous good, in great request in the East and West Europe till very recent times. The only ones who had the exclusive right to exploit it were those who dominated the island at the time. Such was the fame of the earth during antiquity that the famous doctor of Hellenistic period, Galinos, came to the island twice in order to attend to the celebrations which took place during the extraction of the earth. These celebrations did not change very much through the ages independently of religious beliefs and aspects. All the dominants respected them, Roman Catholics as well as Moslems. In antiquity, the extraction took place during the days when goddess Artemis was honoured at the beginning of May, in the Christian ages on the 6th of August, when people celebrated the Metamorphosis of Our Christ.
This text (extract) is cited June 2003 from the Lemnos Provincial Government tourist pamphlet (1997).
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