Municipal Unit of Agia Paraskevi
Agia Paraskevi, Napi
The village of Agia Paraskevi is situated almost in the center of the island of Lesvos and has a permanent population of a little over 2000 inhabitants. The village is built in a basin surrounded by low mountains with olive trees and low bare hills and almost all of the settlement consists of farm and urban houses built in the traditional architectural style of Lesvos. It is often referred to as the “Little Paris of the Aegean”, due to its elegant “agora” and stunning architecture, with mansions and traditional houses that highlight the Venetian and Roman occupation of the island, of which the elementary school, the former town hall and the church of Taxiarchis stand out. The village is said to be named after the unique church of Agia Paraskevi which is situated in a cave!
The area of Agia Paraskevi has been declared by law as a protected area of archaeological interest. The ancient temple of Klopedi (6th century BC)is a sight that someone must visit. The temple is believed to have been dedicated to the god Apollo and has 46 Aeolian columns. Here you can admire the only remains of an Aeolian building to be discovered in Greece. . .
A few kilometers outside of the village lays the ancient “Temple of Messon”, a place of worship for the entirety of ancient Lesvian cities. The temple was dedicated to Zeus, Hera and Dionysus and dates back to the 3rd century BC. Ιt was situated near the northern border of the territory of the ancient city Pyrra and in the middle (center) of Lesvos, where the area got its name from, as “Messon” means “middle” in greek. The temple was of the Ionic kind, with eight columns, which makes it also unique in Greece. Later, when Christianity flourished, it was converted into a Byzantine basilica church, dedicated to the archangel Michael (Taxiarchis).
On the outskirts of Agia Paraskevi you will find the “Kremasti Bridge”, built during the Venetian occupation by the Genoese Gattelusi family in the 1300s for transportation to and from the castle in Mithymna. The bridge is 8.5 meters high and is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval stone bridges in Greece. This stunning stone bridge is a gem. According to oral tradition the story goes that the builder of the bridge , bricked in his wife here, an act that would ensure it could remain strong over the centuries.
At the entrance to the village there are old industrial buildings, mostly oil presses. One of them has been restored and houses the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of the Pireaus Bank Group Cultural Foundation. A building from 1910 it is a typical example of industrial architecture. The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production is the perfect place to visit if you’re keen to discover the different stages of olive-oil production, storage and trade.
The Paleo-Christian Church of Chalinado and the Watermills of Mylopotamos are also worth seeing.
Carnival season and the feast of Agios Charalambos are a perfect time to visit Agia Paraskevi to get a feel for the local traditions, music and dishes. Olive oil, dairy products, sweets and honey are exceptional here and can be found at the local agricultural and women’s cooperatives!
The village of Napi is situated 3 kilometers north of Agia Paraskevi and is built on the side of a hill, which happens to be also a favorite spot also for hikers and birdwatchers!
If you are near the area, visit the Archaeological and Folklore Collection of Napi, which is housed within the premises of the Napi Secondary School and is currently accessible upon request. Visitors here can admire a number of agricultural tools and old household utensils, traditional costumes, traditional pieces of furniture and jewelry donated by the local population, a painting of the local artist “Theofilos”, and five Aeolian capitals of ancient times. . Vsitors must also not miss paying a visit to the Holy Church of Agios Ioannis the Theologian with the Byzantine iconostasis of the 18th century.
|1. The Sanctuary of Klopedi, dedicated to Apollo (Napaios Apollo), with remments of two temples with Aeolian capitals back to the 8th and 6th Century BC. The sanctuary is located 4km southwest of Agia Paraskevi, surrounded by olive grooves and with a view to the Gulf of Kalloni. Considered one of the most important archeological sites of Lesvos.|
|2. The ancient sanctuary of Messon built during the 4th century BC, one of the most significant archelogical monuments of Lesvos, to the south of gia Paraskevi right after the saltpans of Kalloni in the direction of Mytilene.|
|3. The medieval arch bridge of Kremasti – the largest stone bridge on Lesvos, built by the Gattilusi over Tsiknias river, very close to Agia Paraskevi.|
|4. The ruins of the old Christian Basilica of St. George “Chalinados” located 6km southeast ofAgia Paraskevi.|
|5. The remains of a medieval village name “Gerna” 2km south of Agia Paraskevi.|
|6. The amazing traditional and neoclassical architecture of many mansions, commercial and idustrial buildings in the region. Don’t miss the beautiful Elementary School in the main square of Agia Paraskevi, the former Town Hall today housing municipal offices, the “Kafenoion Alampras” and many more.|
|7. The Church of Taxiarchis built in 1856.|
|8. The Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production Lesvos, priorly an old communal olive press built in 1910 according to the same standards of the industrial buildings of Ayvalik and Smyrna.|
|9. The Chapel-Hermitage of St. Paraskevi in a rock cave in the foothill of Profitis Ilias.|
|10. The main square of Agia Paraskevi lined with traditional “kafeneion”, taverna, cafes and shops, booming with life.|
|11. The agriciltural Cooperative of Agia Paraskevi and olive oil production.|
|12. The women’s Cooperative of Agia Paraskevi|
|13. The “Panigyri” – local festival of St. Haralambos in June.|
|14. Carnival Season festivities inAgia Paraskevi.|
|1. The Archeological and Folklore collection of Napi and painting from Theofilos housed within the premises if the Napi Secondary School. Viitors here can admire a number of agricultural tools and old household utensils, traditional cosumes, traditional pieces of furniture and jewlery donated by the local population, a painting of the local artist “Theofilos”, and five Aeolian capitals of ancient times.|
|2. The Holy Church of Agios Ioannis the Theologian with the Byzantine of the 18th century|
|3. Walking Routes and birdwatching.|