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Emporios

Description

Emporios, or else Kamari, at the southern part of the island, 6 kms by the village of Pirgi, whose it consits a haven, dominates at a wonderful circular cove. It's name points out a port with great commercial traffic and it's related with the commerce of Mastiha. It hosts signs of human prescence since the ages of copper.  Excavations by the British Archaeological School since 1953 revealed a three thousand years old ancient settlement. The archaeological findings though, do not represent solely the civilisation of the prehistoric ages, due to the fact that t he city was rebuilt during the Archaic period in the 7th century. Inside the walls of that rich settlement, were revealed the temple of Athena, an impressive palace and roads that were either carved or built on the rocks of the mount of Profitis Elias. The most spectacular findings were the ruins of more than 50 houses of fine building architecture and beauty. It is, most probably, the already mentioned by Thucydides Lefkonio or Lefkonia that owed it's name to the white stones that were used as construction and crafting materials. According to the tradition, this city was built by Chios citizens who were exiled from Chios Town, due to a dispute that led to the murdering of their king. When the settlement of Profitis Ilias was left abandoned during the 7th or 6th century bc, another temple was raised probably richer than Acropolis, whose architectural parts are dated back to the 5th century bc. That temple was dedicated to the greek godess Hera and Apollo.

During the Byzantine era and the reign of Ioustinianos, here was built a basilica with big baptistery while parts of the ancient temple were used for that purpose. Also, during the 6th century was erected on the mountainous hill a dominating byzantine fortress. Towards the point of land, the fortress facilitated three rectangular towers of a different size. It's north side was located towards the location of the bay. A smaller gate at the south side allowed the descent towards the beach. The biggest of the towers hosted a warehouse with supplies to be easy accessible by the guards. Around 674-678 the fortress, the basilica and the baptistery were ruined by the arabs. The resistance of the fortress of Emporios contributed drastically, according to the historians, to the failure of Arab planning to conquer Constatinople. After the destruction of Emporios, the inhabitants were withdrawn at inner land, towards the today's village of Pirgi.

Next to the village can be found the Beach Mavra Volia ( black stones ), one of the most well known of Chios, that owes it's name to the characteristic black pebbles, residue of a prehistoric volcanic eruption. It is distinctive due to the deep blue volour of it's crystal waters. It essentialy consists of two seperate beaches, Mavra Volia or Mavros Gialos and Foki. On summertime, during the sun's setting magnificent colours are filling the landscape. While it might be tempting, it is kindly advised not take with you pebbles from the beach, since it is  strictly prohibited. Emporios offers all kinds of accomodation like housing, variety of food and drinks at it's port and also special fishtaverns.

 

 

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Characteristics

Access: Bus, Car, Motorcycle
Distance from the city: 20-30 km
Located at: Southeast of the city

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