LESBOS East - Mytilini

The main gate to Lesvos is via its capital Mytilene, currently populated by about 30.000 inhabitants. It is one of the oldest towns in the Aegean Sea with a rich historical and cultural past, founded in early 10th Century B.C. Resent excavations have revealed ruins from all its periods – archaic, classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine and they also show that it was built on seven adjoining hills.

It spreads amphitheatrically within two ports and with many neoclassical buildings adorning the neighbourhoods, right across the coastline ending at the airport. Some of these renovated buildings house various civil services such as the Ministry of the Aegean, the Court of Justice, the District of the North Aegean, the Prefecture etc.

There is a castle located on the north side of Mytilini and overlooks the city. It is one of the largest in the eastern Mediterranean. It's foundations were laid during the time of Justinian on the ruins of an even older fortification which can still be seen in sections of the walls. It has been used and rebuilt by the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and the Turks and is now used in the summer for cultural events for example a concert by the Scorpions, or local opera singer Joanna Karvelas. There is a Roman or Byzantine reservoir with a 4,000 cubic meter capacity. There are also underground tunnels which cover a large area beneath the castle and the hill.

 When approaching Mytilene by the sea at first glance you are attracted by the view of the sprawling Castle and the Statue of Liberty towering over the port. Notable historical monuments such as the Ancient Theatre can be found all over the city. The theatre was built on the pine clad hill of Agia Kyriaki at northwest of Mytilene during the Hellenistic period with a seating capacity of 15,000 and perfect acoustics. According to tradition, the Roman Emperor Pompey during his visit to Lesvos decided to build one just like it in Rome.

Nowadays Mytilene is a vibrant, busy city, living a modern life to the full with high numbers of the younger generation due to the 3000 University students, studying at the University of the Aegean. It has a busy town centre with its associated traffic challenges and variety of shops catering to diverse requirements.   There is also lots of choice for nighttime entertainment to satisfy all the choices, moods and tastes of the crowd.

 PLACES TO VISIT :

Two Archaeological Museums,

The Museum of Byzantine Art,

The Folk Art Museum,

The Traditional Lesbian House,

The Yeni Jami

The magnificent Churches of Agios Therapon &  Agioi Theodoroi

The Cathedral of Agios Athanasios.

The surrounding area outside of Mytilene in some places is covered with the silver green blanket of olive-groves and in others by pine forests. Lovely beaches unfold along the coast and invite any traveller to relax in the hot Lesvian sun savouring the crystal clear Aegean. Heading south towards the airport and ending up north of Mytilene, you can “loop the loop” around the peninsular of Amali  - from Varia to Pamfilla -  and visit the many picturesque villages, each one with its own identity.

 

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OR Vatera - Polichnitos, Lesvos 81 300 - Greece

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