Mastic villages, Pyrgi and Mesta!
Chios Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
The village of Pyrgi is one of the most beautiful villages of Chios. ( thats my opinion )
It is located south-west of Chios Town, in the area called Mastichoria (Mastic Village) and its inhabitants used to produce great quantities of mastic.
It has a population of about 1200 inhabitants. It was named after the central medieval tower that still stands in the village and has maintained its traditional architecture. Pyrgi is also called the painted village, because of the superb decoration of its houses, grey and white geometrical shapes decorate the facades of the houses, in a style originating from Italy, when Chios was under the occupation of the Franks.
Like in the other medieval villages of the island, the stone houses of Pyrgi are built close one to each other, forming a defensive wall.
Narrow stone-payed streets, superb churches, unique architecture and balconies full of flowers and sun dried tomatos are composing the magical scenery of the village of Pyrgi.
Another favorite town in Chios is Mesta, a completely intact fortress town of 300 inhabitants, the best preserved of the mastic villages, a living history and cultural museum where life goes on the way it has for hundreds of years.
In the Turkish genocide of 1922 many of the inhabitants were captured to be used as slaves. Because mastic was so important a product, those who knew how to grow and process it were freed and sent back to the village. In 1858 the defensive tower which was no longer considered necessary was demolished to build the Church of the Taxiarchis, still the largest in Chios. It overlooks the main square which has two cafes and the very good taverna O Meseonas, owned by the lovely Despina Bournia, who along with Anna Floradi is very active in promoting the village. The restaurant has a varied menu that features many local Chios dishes such as their tomato keftedes, local cheese and Imam!! It's free to take a look in the kitchen.