"Mesta - Chios island - A medieval village" Mesta by StefanosS

Mesta Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 7 photos

Mesta is the best preserved of the fortified medieval villages on Chios island, 35 km southwest of the capital, in the area of Mastichochoria (meaning the "mastic villages"). It is a wonderful village with a very important historical past. Its construction, like other medieval villages, resembles an impregnable fortress. It was built in Byzantine times, during the 12th century and its fortification was improved by the Genoese. The houses were built one right next to the other, thereby creating a protective wall surrounding the village.

You have to enter the village by the main gate. One of its characteristics is that there was only one way-in and one way-out, but today there are more. When passing the doorstep of Kastroporta (=castle gate) of the village of Mesta, you will feel like participating in an old movie. The sightseeing tour through the narrow cobbled lanes, under the vaults connecting the grey stone houses, takes the visitor back to the past, giving a rather pessimistic air but in fact the inhabitants are extremely open-hearted and kind people. They still preserve the local traditions of their old village. The village's most important custom during the carnival festivities is the enactment of the "Aghas court", a satirical replica of the trials that used to take place under the Turkish Occupation.

Mesta is designated a preserved settlement. Today, life pulses throughout the village. It has been developed into an important tourist resort of the island. It is a crossroad by which visitors are afforded access to the majority of the noteworthy sites of the central and southern portions of the island of Chios.

The most important monument in Mesta is the small church of Taxiarchis (=Archangel) erected in 1412. (There is another church with the same name newer and bigger). Inside the old church, worthy of admiration is the wooden carved iconostasis which was made in 1833, a superb example of the Chios art.

The port of Mesta, named "Pasha-limani", is 3 kilometres north from the village; it is a natural port, deep and enclosed.

  • Last visit to Mesta: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated Nov 21, 2003
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StefanosS

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