Municipal Unit of Loutropoli Thermis
Loutropoli Thermis, Komi, Mistegna, Nees Kidonies, Pigi, Pyrgoi Thermis
Continuing on the road leaving the city of Mitilini towards the northern part of the island, we find the region of Loutropolis Thermis with its 5,000 year history. The region took its name from the hot springs that have welled up there for centuries. In Turkish it was called ‘Sarlitza’ a composite word from ‘sari’, meaning yellow colour, and ‘litza’ which means tepid therapeutic water, thermal spring. Here you may find the most outstanding of all architectural sites, the Sarlitza Palace Hotel, built in 1909 by French architects by order of the Turkish Sovereign Hasan Mola Moustafa, once a popular destination for kings and Heads of State, due to its elegance in combination with the thermal springs it is home to. Its doors attracted celebrities and visitors from all over the world until 1980, when it finally closed. Currently efforts are being made to restore and reopen this once-known masterpiece.
In ancient years, the goddess Artemis, protector of thermal springs, was worshipped in this area. Although various excavations have been made, the temple of Artemis has yet to be found. However, Ionian and Corinthian columns appear in the stone walls of quite a few traditional buildings of Thermi. Of great interest is a rare selection of ceramics from the prehistoric period of Thermi which are housed at the Archeological Museum of Mytilene. The School of Thermi, built in 1931, is an impressive architectural structure made of stones. In the region of Thermi, the wealthy people of the island during the Genoan period, built mansions with some defensive characteristics. Apart from admiring these mansions you can also visit the Prehistoric settlement of Thermi, dating back to the Early Bronze Age (3200-2400 BC), close to Kanoni Beach. At the small picturesque port of Thermi you can see the beautiful restored stone windmill as well.
At Pyrgoi Thermis there is a particular type of mansion in the surroundings that resemble towers. As a result of that, the area was named after these buildings (pyrgoi means towers in Greek). These houses are made of stone, have three floors, small windows on the ground and first floor for protection and large windows with a view overlooking the olive trees on the top floor. During the reign of Gatelouzi, in the rural areas close to Mitilini, the wealthy landowners had begun to construct houses with rustic characteristics. The conditions of general insecurity and poverty led a lot of people to steal. That is the main reason these houses are very well secured. One of the most important Byzantine monuments of Lesvos, the cruciform church of Panagia Troulloti, estimated to have been built in the 14th century, is the oldest Christian building preserved with almost no changes from the Byzantine period. The wooden temple dates back to the 18th century and is one of the finest examples of woodcarving on Lesvos. One of its walls is decorated with human figures and animal forms, perhaps originating from the ancient temple of Thermia Artemis.
The monastery of St. Raphael, Nicolaos and Irini, is situated near the village of Thermi and stands on the hill of Karyes. The Monastery is part of a complex which also houses cells for nuns and visitors, a two-storey gallery of Greek painters, an underground holy spring, a small zoo where animals such as peacocks, goats , dear, chickens etc. are bred. It is one of the most important places of pilgrimage on the island. Miracles and supernatural phenomena surround the fascinating story of this monastery.
At Mistegna you will find traditional houses, old mansions, picturesque squares and old churches. The name of the village either comes from the translation of its meaning in greek: “not dry” or from the word “mistika” which means secret. Both are equally possible, as Mystegna most of the year is wet and also not easily visible. The village is located in a beautiful green scenery full of trees. The main attractions of the village are the church of “Kimisi tis Theotokou”(the Assumption of the Virgin) which was built in 1836 and the restored olive press with its characteristic tall chimney. At Skala Mistegnon there is a pretty harbor with taverns and a pebbled beach which is ideal for swimming. The area is famous for the red stone that adorns several stone-built houses, churches and alleys.
The big Turkish Mosque, the olive press and the old Turkish fountain are sights worth seeing at Komi.
Pigi has a beautiful cobblestone square and alleys which will surely impress you. The two villages: Pigi and Komi, organize the religious festival of Saint Charalambos, well known to locals as “Panigiri tou Tavrou”- The Bull Festival. The event is celebrated for over three days, starting from July 11th.
Nees Kidonies or “Mpaltziki” is a small village with beautiful surroundings, cobblestone streets and used to be very famous due to its traditional stone made “kafeneia” which made Greek coffee on hot ciders (the old traditional way) and filled the area with aromas. It was a lively meeting point for all villagers.
Loutropolis Thermis & Pyrgoi Thermis
|The famous luxury hotel, the Sarlitza Pallas,l ocated next to thermal spa, which was built in 1909 based on the designs of French architects for Hassan Efendi Mola Mustafa. It began declining in the 60s and closed in 1980.|
|The School of Thermis, built in 1931 – an impressive architectural structure made of stones|
|In the region of Thermi, the wealthy people of the island during the Genoan period, built mansions with some defensive characteristics. Some of them still survive.|
|The Prehistoric settlrement of Thermi, dating back to the Early Bronze Age (3200-2400 BC) close to Kanoni Beach|
|The beautiful restored stone windmill located close to the small port of Thermi|
|The Monastery of St. Rafael|
|The Church of Panagia Tourloti, built around 1100|
Nees Kydonies and Mistegna
|Lovely beaches and seaside tavernas|
|The Church of “Kimisi tis Theotokou” built in 1836 in Mystegna|
|Traditional houses, old mansions and picturesque squares|
Pigi and Komi
|St. Thymnianos, a small chapel erected inside a cave at Pigi|
|St. Charalampos Church at Tavros, where villagers hold a three day festival making Traditional “Kisketsi” dish|
|An old olive press, an old Turkish fountain and a Mosque in Komi|