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Mesta

Description

The medieval village of Mesta, is dominating on a small valley at the southwest edge of Chios island, in the wider Mastihohoria ( mastic villages ) area, roughly 35 kms distance by the city of Chios. A combination of magnificent natural beauty  and usnpoiled medieval architecture, reminish of a fortress. Mesta is the most well preserved medieval Mastihohori. Together, with the area of Kambos and village Pirgi, consist what can be described as Chios's jewels.

Mesta was built during the byzantine era, later though, the Genoese have had improved it's fortification, to deal with the upraising numbers of pirate raids. The settlement is characterized by it's closed quadrilateral shape and it's labyrinth type of arrangement. Houses at the outer edges of Mesta, served the role of defence walls and that's why those specificly do not have windows installed into the sides that ''look'' towards the outer part of the settlement. At the edges of the village existed and are saved up until today, small circular towers. Defence during most commonly pirate raids, was executed from the the roofs of the houses, so as the withdrawal towards the main central tower too. It's dominating arches and the narrow- covered dy rooftops- alleys, the domes, are making the village like a huge labyrinth.  Aim of this urban planning, which is also similar to the village of Kalamoti, was to prevent intruders from invading at the inner levels of thr settlement and especially towards it's centre, that hosted some of the most important buildings and the main defence tower.

Heart of the village and also the one and only open space inside the settlement, is the Square, named by it's residents Livadi (meadow). From it's numerous temples, stands out that one of the Old Taksiarhi (archangel), with it's one aisled basilica that later expanded and become double aised during the year 1794. It's wood carved holy pictures temple, created in the 19th century, consists a magnificent specimen of the local technotropy and folklore art. Close to it, can be found also the temple of the Great Taxiarhis, one of the biggest churches of Chios island, that took place of the old central main tower.

The peculiarity of the village is enriched by it's wall art and tiny stores with old objects. The village is an atrraction for tourists, such because of it's special achitecture, pointing out straight to the middle ages, as for the astonishing natural beauty of the wider area, but also because in a very close vincinity some of the best beaches of Chios island can be found.

During the ''Kathara Deftera'' (first day of the greek orthodox fasting and also last day of the carnival exhibitions) revives in Mesta village, but also in many other villages of Chios, the traditional custom of Agas. On that specific date, there is being reenacted a peculiar law court, that has the validation to ''judge'' potentially everyone visiting the village's square on that day, with a fine!!! That way, locals are making fun, regarding the way Ottomans served justice during their reign on the village. The custom is supported by many special happenings and events with traditional music and dances. Mesta residents show their beautifull sense of humour and in the same time, their wonderfull hospitality, treating visitors with local souma drinks and other delicacies.

 

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Characteristics

Access: Bus, Car, Motorcycle
Located at: Southwest of the city
Shops in the area: with shops in the area

Photos

Sights in the area

Businesses in the area

Map

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