Castles & Monuments Lesvos
CASTLE OF MYTILENE
It is built on the top of a pine-clad hill, near the area of the southern port, and it is considered as one of the biggest castles of the Mediterranean. Its construction has started since the Byzantine era ( 483-565AD ) with the use of ancient structural material and was completed during the years of the domination of Genovese Gatelouzes ( 1355-1462 ). At the internal many small towers were built in 1373 with ramparts and ditches by the first dominator of the Gatelouzes family Francisco. In1384 a disastrous earthquake demolishes the castle and so it is reconstructed. Afterwards it is fortified with defensive works ( new ramparts, dikes and cannons ), until the Turks occupy it in 1462. Even today the Gatelouzes palace is preserved – a square stone built tower with a built-in slab. On this slap we can see well-defined sculpted figures, which represent the blazon of the family and representations of Roman duels. At the external gate we can see the blazon of the Byzantine Imperial Family Paleologon. During the Turkish occupation a Seminary was built – building preserved till today – and other additional works were made. Also inside the castle there are underground galleries -which have served as the shelter for the women and children during periods of war- and a water cistern ( capacity 4,000m3). Today the castle is used as the place where cultural happenings take place.
Ancient Theatre of Mytilene
It is on a pine-clad hill – hill of Ayia Kyriaki – at the Northwestern edge of Mytilene. It came to light during the excavations in 1958 and it is considered as one of the biggest theatres of the antiquity, with capacity 15,000people and with an extremely good acoustics. According to the tradition the Roman Emperor Pompey during his visit there – decided to copy its architectural structure and to built a similar one to Rome. The Greek State is gong – in long term – to restore it aiming at its opening as an open-air theatre.
Yeni Tzami ( Yeni Mosque ) and Turkish Bath
They are in the center of Mytilene, excellent buildings constructed during the period of the Turkish occupation but from Greek hands and with Greek architecture, as they have obvious elements of Byzantine architecture. Unfortunately both of them are in bad condition due to the lack of proper conservation. Today the Municipality of Mytilene is working out a scheme aiming at their total restoration and the proper development of the surrounding area.
Statue of Liberty
It is at the foot of the pine-clad hill under the area of the Mytilene ‘ s Castle. It took the place of the picturesque small castle “Kastrelli” in 1922. It is made of bronze in Germany, while its model has been created by the famous Greek sculpturist Gr.Zevgoli and the design was made by the Lesvian painter G.Iakovides.
ROMAN AQUEDUCT AT MORIA – LESBOS
It is at a distance of 600m. from the village Moria ( 6Km from Mytilene ). It is a unique -on the island – stone construction built during the Roman era ( 2nd AD century ). It aimed at the water-supply of Mytilene through the springs of Ayiassos’ area. Today it is under conservation and the visitor can admire one part of it – the so-called arcades (Kamares in Greek). Twelve columns stand erect, while among them there are seven arcades curved in grey marble of a neighboring quarry. On the top of the total construction through arcades constructed from plinths the water-main was placed. The water was coming from the lake Meyali Limni of Mt Olympus, and as it was coming through a distance of about 22Km, it was concentrating water from other springs too. Also the visitor can find pieces of this construction at some gorges of central Lesvos. At this particular area of Moria, the Aqueduct has length of 170m., height 27m.and it totally had 17 arcades.
CASTLE OF MOLYVOS
It was built during the Byzantine era on the ruins of ancient extensive walls and it was completed in 1373 by the dominator Francisco Gatelouzo. Later it was been fortified by the Turks ( after 1462 ). The castle is a well-built construction with strong walls (built-in slabs ) with inscriptions, blazons and other distinctive elements. The space is divided into many levels and the central gate ( entrance ) is constructed from rough wood covered with artistic metal slabs. The castle is built on the top of a pine-clad hill and is considered as one of the best preserved castles in Greece. Today the Municipality of Mythimna organizes there cultural
CASTLE OF SIGRI
t is a small stone built castle, constructed during the period of the Turkish occupation ( 1757 ). The visitor can admire inset Turkish inscriptions and artistic decoration, elements that give to it an Eastern character. Its main entrance is constructed from iron with successive stone arches. The castle is at the suburbs of Sigri and has a wonderful view to the Aegean Sea.