North Chios differs greatly from the southern part in respect to physical environment and productivity. Housing communities are small and isolated, and always far from the sea. The houses were roughly built, and the only sign of the Genoese influence, aside from written sources, are the central towers in the villages.
Anavatos, 16 Km from town, is an exception. It has no defense tower and is not mentioned in Genoese sources of information. The village was probably built for defense, as an outlook post over the bare western shores of the island. It is not as old as the medieval villages of southern Chios, it peaked during the later years of the Turkish occupation.
The village of Anavatos is built on a conical cliff 450 meters above the sea, with steep sides to the south and west, and with only a single access to the north. The people took advantage of the natural fortification of this cliff, and strengthened it with a circular wall surrounding the houses that seem to be glued, one to the other. Together with the cliff, the village made up the defensive perimeter of the fortress.
The 400 houses inside the walls were narrow, and built of gray stone with flat wooden roofs, low doors, tiny arched windows and wooden terraces.
The village was abandoned after the horrible slaughters of 1822 and in our days it is a national Monument for all the Chians and Greeks. Although Anavatos is deserted today, as most of the villages of northern Chios, a considerable number of houses still stand, as well as the wonderful "three storey" building where the olive press was housed, the School, the church of Taxiarchi and the Virgin Mary. The site is a unique picture of a ghost town in a wild, imaginative, impressive environment. One can get to Anavatos in 45 minutes following a wonderful road which connects Anavatos with the Town of Chios. There is also a climbing path in the forest which starts from "Provatas" mountain and leads to Anavatos.
Sign up to comment.
Sign in if you already did it.
Photo taken in Omiroupoli, Greece
Misplaced? Suggest new location