Messaria (Chora)

Photo: © Niki triple, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Μετάφραση Greek Version

Messaria (Chora)

Scenic Chora or Hora, is the island’s capital. Although Chora, is a slightly inland village higher up from the port and other seaside villages, it still very charming with a unique atmosphere. Chora, also known as Messaria (meaning village in the middle of the island), is a classic Cycladic village of white houses with blue shutters and narrow alleyways that make walking through such a delight. The village was built in the 17th century and since then has been relatively unchanged and constantly inhabited. According to legend, the small rural settlement developed into a larger village when the Frankish rulers of the island, were forced to leave the Castle of Oria in 1537 AD after the pirate’s Barbarossa attack and settle away from the coast for safety.

Undoubtedly Chora is one of the most beautiful villages of Kythnos, dotted with cobbled alleys, numerous quaint churches, arches, whitewashed houses with colored doors and windows and the ruins of some old windmills that add to the scene. The village is practically one street that meanders its way with shops selling folk art and local products as well as with many cafes, restaurants and bars. In the small alleys, there are some remarkable churches, distinguished for their architecture and rich interior decoration. The church of Agios Savvas dates back to 1613 AD, the church of Sotiras (the Savoir of Christ) with its wooden-carved iconostasis of the 17th century and the church of Agia Triada (the Holy Trinity) which is the oldest on the island, are all worth visiting. In Messaria Square is the church of the Panagia the center of activities on the 15th of August, the feast day of the Virgin Mary. Of great interest, is also the Monastery of Panagia Nikous, built in a marvelous location on the outskirts of Chora. The basement of the monastery served as a secret school during the years of the Ottoman occupation. In Chora, you will meet hospitable people and you will have the opportunity to buy local products and taste authentic local food.

To the northeast of the settlement, there is a park with wind turbines, which is the oldest built in Greece. The plant produces electricity from the wind and covers the needs of the island in electricity. Chora can be the base for visiting other parts of Kythnos, such as the spa town of Loutra, and some of the island’s loveliest beaches, including Potamia, Agios Sotis, Schinari and Agios Stefanos. The island’s capital is 8 kilometers from Merichas, the island’s main port. Access is easy, but vehicle trafficing in the village is prohibited, therefore you will have to leave your car or moto in the parking area at the entrance of the village. Even if you are staying in a seaside resort, Chora is a must visit place whilst on Kythnos Island.

Photo: Niki triple, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons