Chios - Chios Town

The city of Chios is the administrative economic and cultural center of the island of Chios. It has a population of 30,000 and it is situated on the east coast of the island and is the capital. Archaeological discoveries have shown that Chios has been inhabited continually since 6000 BC The ancient city, was built by Greeks shortly before 1000 BC so, we can certainly say that the history of the city goes back  for more than 3000 years.

From its inception until now it has experienced long periods of prosperity and decline and in each rebuilding, the city has always covered the same geographic area. For this reason, one can find evidence in the modern city from all periods of its long history. This makes Chios, like other great Greek cities, a living embodiment of a rich Greek and Aegean past.

During Ancient times the city of Chios knew periods of great economic and intellectual wealth. Apart from being famous for its formidable navy and for its great commercial strength which profoundly affected scientific and cultural growth, Chios is regarded as the birth place of the greatest poet of Ancient times Homer. Chios was undoubtedly one of the most important cities of the Greek Colonies in Ionia (Asia Minor). During the Roman Period Chios declined but in the Byzantine era it recovered and for about 1000 years it became one of its most important provinces.

In 1346 it was occupied by the Genoese. In 1566 the Ottoman Turks, having already conquered the Byzantine Empire drove out the Genoese, took Chios and occupied it until 1912. In that year Chios was liberated and became an integral part of Greece.

The city of today is going through a period of renewed prosperity. Its inhabitants are mainly engaged in seafaring (it’s the home of a great number of shipping magnates) commercial, farming and fishing activities. In recent years tourism has taken off because of the natural beauty and historical sites which entice visitors from Greece and abroad.

The numerous remains of Chios historical past are everywhere to be witnessed and enjoyed. Some of the most important of them can be found in the Archaeological, Byzantine and Naval Museums and the famous Koraes Library. Other important places are: the Byzantine Castle, the villas of the Genoese in the Kambos area among the citrus orchards and the neo-classical buildings; all these constitute the pride and the joy of Chios.

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