PETRA village - LESVOS island, GREECE
Petra area is situated to the northwest part of the island. It is consisted of the villages of Petra, of Lafiona, of Skoutaro, of Stypsi, of Ypsilometopo and of the summer resorts of Anaxos and Petri.
55 kilometers from Mytilene, Petra is a seaside village built in the middle of a green plain, which according to tradition, it was the Achilles' anchorage during the war of Troy. Before we take down the hill, on our way to Petra, we have the chance to admire the view over the village facing the open sea, decorated by the wide beach, the rich vegetation, the cultivations of the villagers and the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the "Glykofilousa", situated on the top of a high rock in the middle of the village.
The greatest and brightest religious festival of the village in August 15th every year is the religious festival dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This festival is the most important event at least to the northeast part of the island. From every part of Lesvos We will see believers coming to the Blessed Virgin Mary to honour her sake. Popular dances and songs at the central square of the village accompany this celebration.
During the last years, the village of Petra has been developed in a modern summer resort. In the summer, a lot of tourists visit this place, which is the "centre of amusement" with a lot of bars, taverns and restaurants. In the village of Petra, the visitor will find also a branch of the Greek Organism of Telecommunications, banks, a public clinic, a veterinary, cars and bicycles to let. Just opposite the beach of Petra there are three isolated islands.
The biggest of them is called the island of St George. Caiques and fish boats that start from the port of Petra make regular trips to those islands. The visitor has the possibility to organize excursions and to spend the night in the open air. In Petra he will have his portrait made. He can either make sports or go for shopping.
Petra is the country of many personalities of the art and letters. Among them, we distinguish Neokli Kazazi, Thrasyvoulo Stavrou, K. Frilingo and Oresti Kanelli. The ancient (Greek) graves that were found at the position Keramidaria at a distance of 600 metres from the village prove that this place has been inhabited in the past. We have also found coins of the Roman era, Byzantine relieves, a two headed eagle surrounded by a wall in the yard of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and frescos of the 16th century in the church of St Nikolaos. During the 17th century, the fact that Petra was a high-developed place in the domain of commerce and culture attracted the rapacious interest of the French pirate Hugus de Crevellier, who in 1675 terrifies the islands of Aegean. In the same year, during March, in one night he managed together with 800 pirates to conquest the village of Petra. After the pillage he took with him 500 inhabitants as slaves.
Petra is the country of many personalities of the art and letters. Among them, we distinguish Neokli Kazazi, Thrasyvoulo Stavrou, K. Frilingo and Oresti Kanelli. The ancient (Greek) graves that were found at the position Keramidaria at a distance of 600 metres from the village prove that this place has been inhabited in the past.
We have also found coins of the Roman era, Byzantine relieves, a two headed eagle surrounded by a wall in the yard of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and frescos of the 16th century in the church of St Nikolaos. During the 17th century, the fact that Petra was a high-developed place in the domain of commerce and culture attracted the rapacious interest of the French pirate Hugus de Crevellier, who in 1675 terrifies the islands of Aegean. In the same year, during March, in one night he managed together with 800 pirates to conquest the village of Petra. After the pillage he took with him 500 inhabitants as slaves.
The village of Petra, like the whole island, did not escape the Turkish enslavement. On the 4th of December in 1912, three warships of the Greek fleet, Athenai, Mycali and Esperis into co-ordination with the Greek army of Mytilene liberated the village of Petra and beaten the Turkish army on the hill of Clapados (680).
The commander in chief of the three Greek warships that anchored in the port of Petra was the Admiral Koundoriotis. The Turkish army surrendered unconditionally, in the morning of the 8th December in 1912.
If the visitor prefers to enjoy a beach as beautiful as the beach of Petra and taste traditional delicacies by the sea, he can always visit the summer resort of Anaxos, 2 kilometres from Petra.
If he prefers, though, the places and the beaches that are intact from the tourist side effects he can drive another three kilometres from the summer resort of Anaxos to the area of Micri Tsihranda (Ambelia).
A little bit further, he will find the village of Skoutaros (7 kilometres from Petra) built on a green slope.
The village of Lafionas is situated to the northwest of Petra in a distance of 5 kilometres. It is a picturesque village with a fantastic view over the village of Petra and Mythimna, decorated by the traditional cafes and its beautiful countryside. A "Folklore Museum" is open to the public in the summer. It is established in the Primary School and its exhibition contains objects that the villagers lend to the Museum in order to keep the traditions and the past alive.
According to information that passes from generation to generation, the village must have been built 400 years ago (during the period of piracy and the venetian dominion) because, as it is said, every time the inhabitants heard about a raid they quitted the village and took refuge in the woods. In the village there is also a cross-shaped basilica dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was constructed in 1807 and was restored in 1920. Its reredos is made of cypress wood, with which the inhabitants had been supplied from a sailing vessel that was carrying lumber to Smyrna and that because of the bad weather it anchored in the port of Petra. The inhabitants of Lafiona bought it then for 300 gold liras. There are only three temples of this kind on the island of Lesbos.
At the rural position "Tekes", which is three kilometres from the village, we will find the first Monastery on the island constructed in 325 p. C. It is dedicated to St Alexander, who had been Mithimna' s First Bishop. St Alexander participated to the A' Ecumenical Synod of Nikea. The church is a paleochristian basilica and among the various founds we will find well maintained the engraved monument made of stone, where the relics of St Alexander was kept.
Στον Δήμο Πέτρας θα συναντήσουμε στη δυτική πλαγιά του όρους Λεπέτυμνος το χωριό Στύψη, χαρακτηριστικό δείγμα ορεινού γραφικού οικισμού. Στη θέση ΄΄καστρέλι΄΄ δε, σώζονται ερείπια μικρού μεσαιωνικού κάστρου.
Την πανοραμική άποψη όλης της περιοχής της Πέτρας θα απολαύσετε από το Πετρί, τον μικρό οικισμό του Δήμου που βρίσκεται ανατολικά, χωμένο στις καρυδιές και στις λεύκες. Το καλοκαίρι το Πετρί γίνεται ένα διεθνές ΄΄στέκι΄΄. Το μοναδικό καφενείο που λειτουργεί, εκτός των παραδοσιακών μεζέδων, προσφέρει - κατά παραγγελία - και ΄΄κόκορα αλανιάρη΄΄. Το Πετρί είναι σε απόσταση 2,5χλμ. από την Πέτρα και αξίζει να πάτε με τα πόδια το απόγευμα, για ν' απολαύσετε ένα μαγευτικό ηλιοβασίλεμα. Αν είστε λάτρης της παράδοσης δεν θα παραλείψετε να επισκεφθείτε τους νερόμυλους στην περιοχή Λιγώνα Β.Α της Πέτρας και σε απόσταση 2χλμ. Σώζονται ακόμη τα αυλάκια και τα κανάλια που μετέφεραν το νερό του πλατανοσκέπαστου ποταμού στους μύλους, με την αξιοπρόσεκτη αρχιτεκτονική. Φροντίστε να έχετε μαζί σας νερό και φαγητό.
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MANSION OF VARELTZIDENA
The "Mansion of Vareltzidena has been characterized a preservable monument. Its architectural rhythm is Macedonian with a characteristic painting and a wooden sculptured decoration. It is built in the beginning of the 18th century and it is named after its last inhabitant, an old lady, who died in 1940,
when she was 100 years old. In 1963, the Ministry of Civilization bought it from Vareltzidena' s heirs. The house consists of two stories (a ground floor and one floor upstairs). In the ground floor there is a big storeroom, where olive oil and wine was stored. In the upstairs floor there is a big reception room
and around it rooms. In one of these rooms the landlord used to invite the notables of the village in order to discus the village' s problems. The throne of the landlord still exists and on it we can see his coat of arms. The ceiling is decorated with a pigeon, the symbolism of the Peace. On the roof of the
mansion there is a hiding-place, where the owners were hiding from the pirates. In the ladies living room, on the walls there are paintings that represent Constantinople
Most of the houses in Petra are made of stone and their roof is covered with tiles. In the beginning of the past century, the houses of the rich people had two stories (ground floor and one floor upstairs), where the ground floor was built only from stone and had no windows. The first floor from its three
sides was made of wood and had balconies (called "sahnisinia"). The ground floor consisted of a big yard paved with flat stones from Malta and of a big storeroom.
The greatest and brightest religious festival of the village in August 15th every year is the religious festival dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This festival is the most important event at least to the northeast part of the island. From every part of Lesvos We will see believers coming to the Blessed
Virgin Mary to honour her sake. Popular dances and songs at the central square of the village accompany this celebration.
The Association was founded in 1983. The initiative of its foundation belongs to the General Office for the Equality of the two sexes. Twenty-four women, who come from Petra, founded the first Agricultural Association of Women in Greece. Their main goals were and still are the increase of the family
income on behalf of the woman and her economic independence. These women rent rooms with a view over the sea or the narrow paved streets of the village, which is decorated with beautiful gardens. You have the possibility to stay with your family either to the rooms rented by the association or stay
to a small house on your own. In the morning, a delicious homemade breakfast expects you. During the summer, the women of the Association own a restaurant at the central square of the village, where traditional food is served.
Religious Festivals of Petra.
The Religious Festival of St Kyriaki. It is celebrated on the 7th of July
The Religious Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated on the 15th of August.
Religious Festival of Lafiona.
The Religious Festival of St Paraskevi. It is celebrated on the 26th of July.