LESBOS East - Mandamados

The town of Mandamados is located 37 km to the north of the town of Mytilene, in the north-eastern part of Lesvos (Lesbos), on the road to Molyvos (Mythimna). It is built in a narrow valley; with its stone-built houses blending with the landscape so much that it is barely distinguishable from distance. Its location was carefully chosen, in order to be better protected from pirate attacks in medieval times.

The name of Mandamados derives from the Turkish word “Mantas” meaning “bull”.

Just outside Mandamados there is the Monastery of Taxiarchon, (Archangels Michael & Gabriel) one of the three most important pilgrimages in Lesvos.

The church which was completed in 1958 is a fine example of a church, built in Byzantine style. It boasts a beautiful marble temple with old icons and the sculpted face effigy of Archangel Michael made by a postulant monk after the slaughter of the monks and pillaging of the Monastery by Turkish invaders, using soil and the blood of the slaughtered monks. In the shaded courtyard by big cypresses and pine trees that surrounds the church there is 2-metre-high full-size icon of the Holy Archangel, with his silver body armour standing guard at the entrance.

The second Sunday after the Greek Orthodox Easter a big religious celebration is held at the monastery, to celebrate the inauguration of the Church as well as a folk festival visited by people from all over Lesvos and abroad. The highlight of the festival is the custom of sacrificing a bull and the preparation and sharing to the pilgrims the traditional meal made of wheat and the sacrificed animal called “kiskek”.

In Mandamados one may also visit the church of Agios Vasilios, built in 1750. Its wood-carved iconostasis is one of the best in Greece.

The Byzantine chapel of Agios Stefanos – probably one of the first Christian churches in Lesvos is also “a must see” for everyone interested in Byzantine architecture. The folk festival (panigyri) at theis chapel is held on August 2, attracting many visitors.

For some time now Mandamados is also famous for its pottery. In the summer of each year there is an exhibition of Potters taking place here with many Greek and Turkish potters exhibiting their products. The village is also known for the excellent quality of the dairy products, made in the local farms.

The best beaches in Mandamados area are those of Agios Stefanos, Kalostasi and the sandy beach of Lagada, all of them having crystal-clear waters.

 

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