"Chios city" Top 5 Page for this destination Chios by StefanosS
Chios Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 155 photos
Chios island page
Chios city, which is also called "Chora" by the locals, is built in the central east part of the island facing Asia Minor and is the most significant harbour in the island.
According to archaeological findings the island has been inhabited since 6,000 BC. Chios city was built a little before 1000 BC. So it has a history of more than 3,000 years. During this period Chios enjoyed great prosperity but also difficult times of decline.
Chora has a population of about 30,000 people and is the capital of the island, for this reason is considered to be the administrative, spiritual, cultural, educational and business centre of Chios prefecture.
Being an important educational and spiritual centre, it has many excellent schools of all degrees of education, the famous "Adamandios Korais Library" and the great Spiritual and Cultural Centre of the island "Homerion", dedicated to Homer, where conferences and lectures of any kind are held, cultural manifestations, theatrical performances and generally many different artistic activities. Chora is the place where the most trading transactions take place because of the big market with many stores that have many and different products of any kind. It gives great opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. Finally, it has a well-organised tourist substructure that covers the visitors needs.
The harbour is connected with the other two islands of the prefecture, Psara and Inousses, also with the biggest harbours in Greece, and with Turkey. As a result we have a great trading development and frequent journeys and trips both from tourists and residents.
Today Chios city has kept its basic civil planning schedule without big changes during the course of time, with the castle, the harbour, the streets and the settlements. But the Massacre of 1822 and the terrible earthquake of 1881, followed by the general reconstruction have ruined its historic architectural physiognomy. For all its extent, the old city affords a unique opportunity for wandering on foot among the narrow streets of the settlements and the central arterial roads. In summer, and especially during boat time, the streets around the harbour and the city centre prove insufficient and traffic-jam confusion is inevitable.
At the centre of Chora is the famous "Vounaki" (or Plastira) square, where the Municipal Park takes up the biggest part of the area. From there, the official gate of the medieval Castle of Chios is not far away.
The Castle is constantly inhabited since the end of the 10th century until today and has kept the main characteristics of the old castle, narrow streets, many ruins and buildings of various ages.
Near the square there are remarkable buildings constructed during the Turkish domination on the island, the Bairakli Mosque, the Osmaniye Mosque and the Metzitie Mosque, where the Byzantine Museum of Chios is housed. Around there is also the church of Aghios Vassilios Petrokokkinon, where by the end of the 16th century the cathedral of Chios was housed, and the church of Saint George.
From the south part of the square is extended the main street of the city, Aplotaria, where the most of trade shops and markets are located. The most buildings here are old mansions of the 19th and the beginning of 20th century. At the end of the main street to the east side, the street leads to the Highschool, established in 1792, the Cathedral, Korais Library, the Art Gallery and the Folklore Museum of Chios.
A little further to the southeast the Archaeological Museum, the University of Aegean, the Maritime Museum and the Sports Centre of Chios are situated.
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