Municipal Unit of Mitilini
Loutra, Moria, Mitilini, Pamfila,Taxiarchon, Agias Marinas, Alyfanta, Afalonas, Panagiouda
The city of Mitilini, which is also the capital of the island, has preserved great examples of its brilliant past and its extraordinary cultural course. It is an organized and animated city with intense night life covering every taste and need as far as hotels, restaurants and entertainment are concerned. The symbols of the city are the majestic castle, the church of Saint Therapontas with its impressive dome, and at the edge of the port, its very own Statue of Liberty. A classic meeting point for the locals is the area around Sappho Square but also the rest of the half horseshoe of the new southern port with its fashionable bars, restaurants and coffee shops.
Mitilini, also the capital of the North Aegean Region, was one of the first ancient cities that were built during the reign of King Makaras, taking its name after his daughter. The ancient city of Mitilini was originally located on an islet that was connected to Lesvos Island via stone-bridges. The castle of Mitilini is located on the top of a hill in the northern part of the town and is one of the largest castles in the Mediterranean area. It was built during the Gattilusi period of 1355-1462, in order to protect Lesvos from pirates. A day-trip to the castle of Mitilini is “a must”, as visitors can admire the cistern, the Ottoman baths, the Crypts, and the Queen’s Tower as well as arcades beneath the castle which were used during ancient times.
The Archeological Museum is located near the port of Mitilini, which disposes splendid mosaic floors from the Roman period. The Museum houses findings from excavations from the entire island. These findings date back to Ancient times until the Roman era and include tombstones, parts of ancient temples, sculptures, marble or stone statues, coins, heavy objects of daily use, jewelry and findings from excavations in the cave of St. Bartholomeo.
The most famous and emblematic landmark of Mitilini, and a symbol of the city is the stunning church of St. Therapontas with its magnificent dome, built in the beginning of the 19th century. It was designed by the famous native architect Argyris Adalis and is one of the grandest and most popular churches on the island. Opposite the church, visitors will find the Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum which exhibits ancient icons, bishop robes, manuscripts and antique chalices. The Metropolitan church of St. Athanasios, built in the beginning of the 18th century, is also a sight of great interest. It has an impressive neo-gothic style and a 33-meter-high bell-tower. The interior of the cathedral is majestic and the altar is impressive as it is wood-carved with great details. In the back yard of the Metropolis of Mitilini there is an impressive mosaic dating back to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
The Ancient Theatre of Mitilini, situated in the northern suburbs, near Epano Skala, is one of the largest in Greece and could hold up to 15,000 spectators. Built on a hill near the castle between 300 and 100 BC, the Ancient Theatre has been deemed of equal importance to the “Theatre of Epidavros”.
At Ermou Street, the shopping center of Mitilini, you can admire the Mosque of Yeni Tzami and the Tsarsi Hammam. The Mosque of Yeni Tzami was built in 1825 by Aga Koulaxizi Moustafa in the old Turkish market. It is reported that in its location predates an ancient stadium. Neighbouring the Yeni Tzami is the Tsarsi Hammam, the most outstanding Ottoman Baths of Lesvos which were built in the 19th century.
In the south suburb of Mitilini, visitors can visit The Teriade Museum, a museum and a Library that Stratis Eleftheriadis opened to the public in August 1979, with an astonishing collection of lithographs of remarkable artists such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger. The exhibition also includes works of the folk native painter Theofilos and paintings by the significant Greek artists: Vakirtzis, Tsarouchis and others. The Teriade museum is also a Library as it houses Teriade’s (“Teriade” was Stratis Eleftheriadis’ french name as an artist ) published work, so spiritual journeys can be made as well!
Next to The Teriade Museum in Varia is “The Museum of Theofilos” (Theofilos Hatzimichael- the most representative artist of Greek folk painting) which houses 86 of his own paintings. His themes were a combination of ancient Greek mythology, Greek history of all periods and folk life of his time. http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/1/eh151.jsp?obj_id=3435
Strolling around the city of Mitilini you can admire glorious Mansions and neoclassical buildings which represent different rhythms due to the fact that many were built by foreign importers from all over Europe, Egypt, Russia and the Ottoman Empire, who were drawn to Lesvos for business. One such glorious building is The Municipal Art Gallery of Mitilini which is housed in the gorgeous, restored mansion of the Turkish commander Halim Bei, displaying works of great Greek and foreign painters.
Visitors can also enjoy various hiking and biking paths along the seaside, lined with hotels, rental apartments, cafes, bars and taverns. Official biking paths have recently opened above the port, leading to the Castle. Interesting Cultural events take place all year round here in Mitilini, but more often so during the summer period, such as book and painting exhibitions, food and ouzo festivals, concerts, performances at the Ancient Theatre and at the castle of Mitilini.
Taxiarches or Kagiani, is a beautiful settlement just 3km from Mitilini, with a panoramic view to the shores of Asia Minor and amazing taverns. The village has taken its name from the Taxiarchis Church which has a special wood-carved iconostasis.
Loutra village is a village situated amongst beautiful olive trees on the western slopes of Mount Amali. There, you will find the church of St.George, a site of archeological interest, built in 1815, with an ornate three-colored mosaic floor and a tall bell tower. Skala Loutron, the seaside village of Loutra, was created in 1930 by the refugees who came from the shores of Asia Minor. There, you will find the “Refugee of Minor Asia Museum”, the only museum of this kind on Lesvos Island, housing a small historic, folkloric museum with 300 exhibits, heirlooms that refugees brought from their country, historic documents, books, precious items, holy icons, items from their daily life, apparels and other exhibits.
Moria is a highly picturesque village of old, stone-built houses, traditional cafes, narrow alleys and long stretches of green. Moria is said to have taken its name after the huge amount of mulberry trees (mouria in Greek) growing in the region. The Roman Aqueduct of Moria is regarded as one of the largest architectural feats of antiquity and was built to transport water from the springs of Olympus to the ancient city of Mitilini, on a route of about 28 km. It is estimated that it supplied the city with 127,000 cubic meters of water per day. Because of the different ground levels, by bridging the valleys with rows of arches, the engineer achieved a continuous water flow over irregular terrain. At Moria there are remarkable stone fountains. Also the Church of Agios Vasileios (St. Basil) built in 1769, is worth visiting. According to experts, the religious icon of “Panagia ton Asmaton”, (The Virgin Mary of Songs, 1766) is the only one of its kind in the entirety of Orthodox Christian art. This is because the icon was made by a priest out of clay, mastic, roses, carnations and frankincense. Moria used to be a resort for wealthy people, so visitors can admire an array of mansions and impressive tower houses.
The impressive coastal settlement of Panagiouda is well known for its beautiful harbor where you can enjoy eating fresh fish and a variety of local dishes at the taverns while admiring the small fishing boats which are lined at the port. The imposing structure of Virgin Mary Church, built in 1896, is a gothic-styled dome church dedicated to the “Panagiouda” of the local dialect which means small Panagia. The Palm Tree Forest of “Kalamiaris” or “Finikodasos”, is very close to the village and is a beautiful location for hiking.
Another village that neighbors Mitilini is Pamfila. In this village you will discover old Mansions, interesting old soap factories and olive presses, worth admiring. At Pamfila you can visit the church of St. Varvara, which has an impressive marble iconostasis, carved in 1878 by Giannis Chalepas, the father of the famous Greek sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas. At the entrance of the village you can see the Secondary School Katsakoulion, a beautiful Neo-classical building adorned by two Ionic columns and a marble gate, built in the beginning of the 20th century.
Agia Marina is a small settlement that belongs to the region of Mitilini, surrounded by olive trees. Hiking is a wonderful idea to do here, if you want to explore the green scenery. Don’t miss the Mansion of Dimitrios Vernadakis who was a famous dramatic poet, born here.
At Alyfanta village you will find the unique cave of Magara which is the largest of Lesvos (120m. length). Important archeological findings from the Roman and Byzantine period such as pottery shards have been discovered inside the cave.
Afalonas is one of the oldest villages of the island. Its basilica type church which is dedicated to Virgin Mary and the church of the ‘Holy Trinity’ are very impressive.
One thing is for sure, the region of Mitilini has to offer wonderful experiences and memories that can last you for a lifetime!
|The Roman Aqueduct of Moria was built to transport water from the springs of Olympus to the ancient city of Mytilene, on a route of about 28 km. It is estimated that it supplied the city with 127,000 cubic meters of water per day.Because of the different ground levels by bridging the valleys with rows of arches the engineer achieved a continuous water flow over irregular terrain.
|The remarkable stone fountains of Moria
|The Church of Agios Vasileios (St. Basil) built in 1769
|The Palm Tree Forest of Kalamiaris
|The seaside tavernas and coffee shops- once a renown soap-producing region of the island
|The imposing structure of Virgin Mary built in 1896, a gothic-styled dome church, dedicated to the “Panagiouda” According to the local dialect
|The church of Agia Varvara with an impressive marble iconostasis carved by the famous Greek sculptos Giannoulis Chalepas in 1878
|Old soap factories and olive presses and outstanding mansions
|The Olive Woodhouse workshop with impressive hand made olive wood works of art
|The High school Katsakoulion, a beautiful Neo-classical building adorned by two Ionic columns and a marble gate. Opposite the High school is the Secondary School of Pamfila built in 1928, with an imposing Doric-styled entrance.
|The picturesque harbor of Skala Pamfilon
|The beaches of Vigla and Niselia
Mitilini – Capital of Lesvos
|The castle (fortress) of Mytilene – one of the largest castles in the Mediterranean area, built during the Gattilusi period of 1355-1462. Under this castle there are many arcades which were so useful during ancient times.
|“Epano Skala- next to the castle of Mytilene, lined with fish taverns, café bars. Here you will also find the statue of the “”Asia Minor Mother “””
|“The bronze Statue of Liberty of Mytilene, located in the entrance of the Port of Mytilene, where in the past the small fortress called “”Kastraki”” used to be.”
|The remarkable building that houses the Courthouse of Mytilene and across from the Courthouse the impressibe mansion housing the offices of the Secretary General of the Aegean and Island Policy
|The Archaeological Museum of Mytilene which includes significant exhibits from the Hellenistic and Roman Periods on Lesvos
|The Municipal Art Gallery of Mytilene, housed in the gorgeous restored mansion of the Turkish commander Halim Bei. It displays works of great Greek and foreign painters.
|The Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum of Mytilene, located opposite the Church of Agios Therapontos.
|The amazing architecture of Mytilene, full of Mansions, industrial buildings, neoclassical listed buildings and imposing tower houses built in the 17th century, mainly located on the outskirts of the town.
|Guided tour around the ancient city of Mytilene and to the Refugee Synikismos district of Minor Asia Museum from 1922 at Skala Loutron
|The Ancient Theatre of Mytilene,situated in the northern suburbs, near Epano Skala,is one of the largest in Greece and big enough to hold 15,000 spectators. Built on a hill between 300 and 100 BC.and has been deemed equal in importance to the Theatre of Epidavros
|Valide Tzami Mosque is situated at Epano Skala. The mosque was built in 1615 and it is considered to be one of the oldest Islamic temples in
|“Tsarsi Hamam the most outstanding Ottoman Baths of Lesvos, built in the 19th century. In Turkish “”tsarsi”” means “”market””. Hence its name, as it is situated in the historical centre of Mytilene and neighbours Yeni Tzami complex”
|The Yeni Tzami, a mosque built in 1825 by Aga Koulaxizi Moustafa. You will find this on Ermou Street in the old Turkish market. It’s also reported that in its place predates an ancient stadium.
|A beautiful neoclassical building that houses on of the houses one of the schools of Mytilene, built in 1888, at the entrance of Ermou St.
|The Church of St. Therapontos, built in the beginning of the 19th Century and designed by the local architect Argyris Adalis.
|In the back yard of the Mitropolis of Mytilene there is an impressive mosaic dating from the 3rd or 4th century AD.
|Ermou Shopping center of Mytilene
|The Neoclassical building that houses the Lesvos Prefecture
|The Public Theatre of Mytilene
|“The ex-hotel “”Grand Bretagne””, a remarkble building on the waterfront of Mytilene”
|The Catholic Church of Metastasis of Virgin Mary, where the holy relics of Saint Valentine lie
|The Metropolitan Church of St. Athanasios, built in the beginning of the 18th century. It has an impressive neo-gothic style and a 33-meters-high belltower
|The waterfont of Mytilene Port lined with an array of coffee houses, restaurants, patisseries, kafeneions, tavernas, with amazing night life as well
|Sapphous Square, a popular meeting point for the locals on the waterfont of the port
|Hand-made soαps using traditional recipes, a big variety of herbs, essential oils and organic olive oil made by Maro Vati.
|The University of the Aegean
|“The Teriade Museum which is located in Varia, a south suburb o fMytilene, is a museum and a Library that Stratis Eleftheriadis opened to the public in August 1979.””Teriade”” was his french name as an artist.This museum has an astonishing collection of lithographs of remarkable artists such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger. The exhibition also includes works of the folk native painter Theofilos and paintings by the significant Greek artists : Vakirtzis,Tsarouchis and others.Teriade museum is also a Library as it houses Teriade’s published work, so spiritual journeys can be made as well! “
|“Next to The Teriade Museum in Varia is “”The Museum of Theofilos”” (Theofilos Hatzimichael- the most representative artist of Greek folk painting) which houses 86 of his own paintings. His themes were a combination of ancient Greek mythology, Greek history of all periods and folklife of his time.”
|The impressive Fykiotrypa Lighthouse, built in the 19th century, an excellent example of lighthouses in the North Aegean, located above Fykiotrypa beach.
|Hiking and Biking paths alongside the seaside, lined with hotels, rental apartments, cafes, bars and tavernas
|A rich summer cultural festival and The Ouzo Festival
Taxiarchis or Kagiani
|A beautiful settlrement 3km from Mytilene, with a panoramic view to the shores of Asia minor and amazing taverns
|The Taxiarchis Church with a special wood carved iconostasis
|The Cave of St. Vartholomeos with goergeous stalactites
|The stone fountain of Valide-Hanoum, built in 1753
|The Church of Agia Marina built in 1797
|The Mansion of Dimitrios Vernadakis, the dramatic poet born in Agia Marina
|Lovely natural hiking paths
Loutra – Skala Loutron
|A seaside settlrement with cobblestone streets and outstanding old olive presses.
|St. George church with an ornate three-coloured mosaic floor
|Skala Loutron fishing port with a lovely beach and fish taverns
|A beautiful olive press that has been converted into an excellent venue for hosting special events such as weddings and parties
|The beaches of St. Ermogenis and Charamida, with a scuba diving center
|The ruins of an ancient settlement in the location of Palioloutros, north of the main village
|Ruins of a Byzantine temple at “Palia Ekklisia” (Old Church), where the Empress Irene the Athenian is said to have been exiled and later died
|Six ancient graves dating back to the late 5th-early 4th century BC on the slopeso f Mt. Divolo
Pyrgi, Kedros, Alyfanta
|Lovely coffee houses-kafeneions and tavernas
|The impressive cave of Magaras, one of the largest caves on Lesvos
|Once of the oldest villages on the island with the basilica type church dedicated to Virgin Mary and the Church of the Holy Trinity