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EVERYTHING ABOUT LESVOS
Lesvos is found in the Aegean Sea and is one of the larges Greek Islands. The island now has a population of around 86,000 people, who are all very proud of their beautiful lush green island that manages to keep its ancient time charms.
The Roman Aqueduct at Moira is an ancient site on the island that is well worth seeking out. An impressive archaeological sight but also a feat to ancient engineering. The aqueduct was built to supply water as far as 26 kilometres away to Mytilini.
There is a castle both at Molyvos and Mytilini. Both afford amazing views over the island and beautiful waters that surround it. These castles date back to Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks.
There are many beaches on the island of Lesvos. The best and most well known on all the island is Skala Eressos – Skala Eressos has one of the most dramatic landscapes for all beaches in all of Greece and you will find a good choice of cafes and restaurants lining the waterfront. You will also find hot springs at the beaches around Eftalou.
Before you leave Lesvos you must visit the natural monument of Petrified Forest. Dating back over 20 million years ago it is the islands oldest antiquity. It is a true wonder of the world and should not be missed. You will find petrified wood and trees that cover a large area that has been preserved from the volcanic ash from nearby Mount Ordymnos.
Lesvos dates back all throughout ancient history and modern history times. It gets its name from Lesbos – the son of the King of Thessaly. Greek mythology states that Lesbos sailed to the island to marry Mithymna, daughter of the local King Macares. From here on in the island was known as his name to honour the man. Dating back as far as 456 B.C, where the Persians seized the Lesvos and took it under their control. It remained under their rule until the Peloponnesian War when the island revolted against the Athenians and they managed to conquer the island. In 405 Lesvos succumbed to the Spartans where there was a continual exchange of power them and the local Athenians. In 375 Lesvos participated in the second Athenian league where after the battle of Granikos, the Mytilenians allied themselves with Alexander the Great. After Alexander the Great died around the end of the third century BC, Lesvos then came under the Ptolemies of Egypt before Romans arrived in 88 B.C.
The Romans dominated the island throughout their rule. It is said that the Apostle Paul even visited in 52 AD. The island was used as a place of exile for Roman eminent figures that had fallen into disfavour. As the Roman Empire was crumbling Lesvos became part of the East of the Roman divide and Lesvos became a Byzantine state. It was under their rule that the island lost its beauty and power. There were repeated attacks by the Slavs, Saracens, Russians, Venetians and the Crusaders.
By 1354 Lesvos was given to a Genoese noble, Francesco Gattelusi. He showed an interest in the well-being of the island and its people. He started to rebuild the island to contribute to some of its glory. He renovated the fortress of Mytilini wherein 1401 it was sadly destroyed by an earthquake that saw Francesco II killed when his own palace collapsed on him. 1445 saw the island attacked by the Bulgarian Baldaoglou and then in 1459 Domenicos Gattelusi was assassinated by his brother Nicolo, who then became the ruler of the island.
By now the Turkish Empire was taking over the world and in 1462 Lesvos was taken over by Sultan Muhhamet II, the Conqueror. Majority of the population was exterminated or sent to Constantinople – now Istanbul. The Turkish rule did nothing for the island and saw the island fall into disarray. However, many monasteries and churches were kept and they became secret schools prepared to spark the faith and the hope for a national renaissance and liberation. There were many attacks on the island whilst under Turkish rule. In 1771 the Russians attacked the harbour of Mytilini and in 1817 members of the Philikoi Etaireia appeared on the island and in 1821 the Turkish Frigate Moving Mountain was shelled, sinking it in the bay of Erressos. The Turks retaliated by killing all the Christians which in history became known as The Great Assault. In 1867 there was a large earthquake that left the island with thousands of dead and buildings in ruins. In 1905 Mytilini was then under international occupation.