Lesvos

Molyvos, Lesbos

 

    
Coordinates: 39°10′N 26°20′E

Lesbos (transliterated from Modern Greek as Lesvos, sometimes also referred to as Mytilini after its major city Mytilene) is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1632 km² (630 square miles) with 320 kilometres (almost 200 miles) of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island and the largest of the numerous Greek islands scattered in the Aegean. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait.

Plomari, LesbosIts population is approximately 90,000, a third of which lives in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Plomari, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos (the ancient Mythymna). Mytilene was founded in the 11th century BC by the family Penthilidae, who arrived from Thessaly, and ruled the city-state until a popular revolt (590–580 BC) led by Pittacus of Mytilene ended their rule.

The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks, Mt. Lepetymnos at 968 m (3,176 ft) and Mt. Olympus at 967 m (3,173 ft), dominating its northern and central sections. The island’s volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs.

According to Classical Greek mythology, Lesbos was the patron god of the island.
You can read much more of the mythology and history of the island at Wikipedia’s website

Roman Aqueduct in LesbosThe oldest artifacts found on the island date to the Paleolithic period. Important archaeological sites on the island are the Neolithic cave of Kagiani, probably a refuge for shepherds, the Neolithic settlement of Chalakies, and the extensive habitation of Thermi (3000–1000 BC). The largest habitation is found in Lisvori (2800–1900 BC) part of which is submerged in shallow coastal waters. There are also several archaic, classical Greek and Roman remains. Vitruvius called the ancient city of Mytilene “magnificent and of good taste”. Remnants of its medieval history are three impressive castles.

In the days of Sappho by John William Godward (1904)Lesbos is the birthplace of several famous persons. In archaic times, Arion developed the type of poem called dithyramb, the progenitor of tragedy, and Terpander invented the seven note musical scale for the lyre. Two of the nine lyric poets in the Ancient Greek canon, Alcaeus and Sappho, were from Lesbos. Phanias wrote history.  In modern times the poet Odysseus Elytis, descendant of an old family of Lesbos received the Nobel Prize.

Ipsalou, LesbosTwelve historic churches on the island were listed together on the 2008 World Monuments Fund’s Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. Exposure to the elements, outmoded conservation methods, and increased tourism are all threats to the structures. Hopefully the increased attention to their declining states will aid in their preservation.

Petrified forest, LesbosLesbos contains one of the few known petrified forests and has been declared a Protected Natural Monument, included also in the European Geopark Network. Fossilised plants have been found in many localities on the western part of the island. The fossilised forest was formed during the Late Oligocene to Lower–Middle Miocene, by the intense volcanic activity in the area. Neogene volcanic rocks dominate the central and western part of the island, comprising andesites, dacites and rhyolites, ignimbrite, pyroclastics, tuffs, and voncanic ash. The products of the volcanic activity covered the vegetation of the area and the fossilization process took place during favourable conditions. The fossilized plants are silicified remnants of a sub-tropical forest that existed on the north-west part of the island 20-15 million years ago.

External links:
• Hotels with booking.com
• Travel Guide to Lesvos
• Practical Guide to Lesvos
• Travel to Lesvos

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