Thermi and Pyrgi Thermis

Loutropoli Thermis is formed by the villages: Pyrgi Thermis, Thermi, Pigi, Komi, Nees Kydonies and Mystegna. 11 kilometres, on the northeast side of the town of Mytilini, we find the village of Pirgi Thermis. 10 kilometres further from that village, on the east coast, we find the village of Nees Kydonies.

 

 Between these two villages, which are the physical boundary of the of Loutropoli Thermis, we see the villages and the fish-ports. The area named after its natural hot springs.
 

 

 

There is no doubt that, when the first inhabitants settled down at this area during the 3rd millennium a. C, they would have found Thermi covered with a natural forest, Mediterranean bushes and endless pine-trees' forests, like those we find today in our way to Pigi and to Nees Kydonies. These forests were of great importance for the inhabitants, as they needed material for their constructions, their boats, cooking and heating, but mostly for their pottery furnaces. So, the inhabitants had started to denude the plain of the trees, having this way material and free space for their cultivations and the construction of their villages.


There is no doubt that, when the first inhabitants settled down at this area during the 3rd millennium a. C, they would have found Thermi covered with a natural forest, Mediterranean bushes and endless pine-trees' forests, like those we find today in our way to Pigi and to Nees Kydonies.

 

The endless olive grooves, the oleanders and the osiers, all over the ravines, compose the greenest landscape on the island. The medieval rural villages, hidden among the hills, still remain intact from the modern tourism' s effects. The past of this place is all over the place obvious; through the marble bas-relief on the traditional houses' walls, through the ancient columns on the houses' thresholds, through the ancient pots' fragments shattered all over the area' s coasts, through the miraculous monasteries, as well as the old churches and chapels. 



5000 years later... At the beginning of the 20th century, the English archaeologist Lamb visits the area. From the excavations that took place, there were found 5 prehistoric villages belonging to the Early Copper Era (2800-2400 a. C) and two villages belonging to the Post Copper Era (1600-1200 a. C), built the one above the other and forming this way a small hill.

 



Since then, the sea level has risen three metres "rinsing", this way, half of the hill, removing the prehistoric houses' stones from the hill and accumulating them on the seashore. After the excavation, this archaeological site has been covered again with soil, for reasons of protection. Anyone who observes, at the archaeological museum, the exhibition of this rare prehistoric collection of ceramics coming from the area of Thermi, can not help asking himself about the slow rhythm with which the art of pottery has been developed until nowadays, 5000 years later!

 

 

 

We should mention that during the Ottoman Occupation, at the beginning of the 19th century, there have been constructed the modern bath-rooms with separated baths made of marble. Restored in 1997 and work until today. Most of the fountains that we find in the villages and on the old streets date back to the Ottoman Era. At the end of the 19th century, a Turkish businessman finances the construction of the hotel Sarlitza (meaning Yellow Spring)..

During the decade of 70s it stopped working due to bureaucratic reasons, not being able to deal with the new conception that regarded vacations. But the "Sarlitza Pallas" had been for many decades the most "in" hotel on the island and had managed to give back to Thermi some of the lost splendour of the Roman Era..



Most of the Greek refugees had settled down to the villages of Pirgi Thermis, Komi and Nees Kydonies.

PIGI-KOMI

The road that leads us to the village of Pigi follows the path that the river Tenegia opened through the woody mountains made of limestone on the west side of Thermi. In the evergreen landscape, where we can hear all over the ravines of the area the nightingales singing, the visitor will enjoy his coffee under the plane tree, at the central square of the very beautiful village of Pigi. We should not omit to visit and admire the Church of St Paraskevi, a remarkable monument built in 1859. A few years later, refugees coming from the Minor Asia, settled down to the village of Komi, which has been a Turkish village.

Another road leads to the chapel of St Charalampos on the mountain Tavros, where the ancient habit of the bull' s sacrifice takes place, followed by horses' races and prices. In the Tenegia ravine there are the unique caves of St Efthymios and of St Ioannis. It is a majestic place, where the hermits used to live, during the 14th century. There is also a third cave, the cave of St Philippos. We can easily approach only the first one. If we go further, at the north, we will find the beach of Agios Georgios, while, if we move on further, we will find the beautiful beach of Petalidi, where we can also enjoy our meal at the tavern by the sea. From Petalidi, there is a path that leads to the small monastery of St Akindini, built during the 17th century (there are no monks any more).

MISTEGNA-NEES KIDONIES

The village Mistegna is situated on a hill with a view over the horizon and the sunrise. It is a beautiful village, decorated by the Basilica dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (built in 1860), by the Plane tree and few mansions. During the summer, the inhabitants move to the village' s small bay, with the taverns, the ruins of a seaside, small, ancient village and of course the tourists. Here at Mistegna, a famous kind of stone is extracted. At the big square, called Plati, the view is wonderful, and there is a Byzantine castle built at the place of a big prehistoric town.

Along the river that comes from the valley, on both sides, there are ruins of churches and houses that probably belong to the medieval small town, called Kydona. It is of a great interest the fact that later, the refugees from Ayvalik that settled down to the Turkish village Baltzik changed its name to Nees Kydonies.

ΣAt the village Nees Kydonies, the mosque gave hospitality to the Christian religion, when the Church of St Georgios the Chiopoliti settled down in it. From here the roads lead to the mountain of Tavros and to the village Agia Paraskevi, through the wonderful pine-trees' forest. At the seaside of the village, the landscape is completed by the picturesque small port, the mole of an ancient port.

Small taverns give the visitor the possibility to enjoy a tasteful meal together with the wonderful view. On the small island, a little bit further on the north we can see the submarine ancient ruins of a small town. The village is the natural boundary of the Loutropoli Thermis on the north. The whole area is covered with olive trees, the basic product from which the Municipality earns its income. We can also understand that, by the big number of olive presses (8) that work at the area' s villages.

If the visitor takes a walk through the village of Thermi, he will have the chance to admire its picturesque streets and the traditional houses as well as to enjoy the inhabitants' hospitality. The school, a big and majestic building, constructed in 1931, is a remarkable monument. The picturesque cafes and the long-lived lilac that covers the market place, offer to the stranger tasteful coffee, ouzo and coolness. The history is all over the village present, in the face of the Enetic big mansion that stands above the plain of Thermi and the Basilica church of the village, built in 1843.


The visitor that prefers the excursions through the nature has the ability to visit the caves of Thermi, where it is said that monks belonging at the Byzantine era used to take refuge in.

Finally, the visitor should not omit to visit the famous "cypress" spring, whose water has refreshed until now many travelers.



At the small fish-port of Thermi the quiet waters colored by the tints of the sunrise, the picturesque cafes by the sea, the smell of ouzo, the pleasant walk on the seashore of Agios Georgios, the fishing and the sunset at on the paved pier compose an unusual and rare landscape.

During the kingdom of Gatelouzi, at the rural areas close to Mytilene, the wealthy landowners of Mytilene 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. From this type of house results the particular Lesbian mansion, the most original construction we meet on Lesbos.

We meet this particular type of mansion in the surroundings of the municipality of Thermi, but mostly at the area of Pirgi Thermis, named after these buildings.

These houses are made of stone. They have three floors, small windows at the ground floor and at the first floor, (for protection) and big windows with a view over the olive trees at the last floor. The old mansions (like those that belong to M. Niania and to M. Karapiperi) are influenced by the Byzantine and Italian tradition. The original mansion, though, has been influenced by the ottoman architecture (wooden roof with protrusions - sahnisinia).

 
 

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