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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Architecture

Until the 60s the island was mainly rural and due to the fact that it is inaccessible, people were not able to build big houses or extended settlements. The stone constructions that characterize the landscape were usually ‘zevgospita’ (old farmhouses) and the so-called ‘katikies’ (residences), combined with the underground arched tanks, the windmills, the churches and the country churches. The single-roomed buildings had the so-called ‘parastia’ (a type of fireplace where they used to cook) and ‘apokrevato’ (elevated bed). The house was connected to the wood burning oven and the ‘voudospita’ (stables). There are exquisite samples of Amorgian houses in Kato Meria (Lefkes, Agia Thekla, Skeparnies, Vroutsi, Kamari) or in Apano Meria at Tholaria and the small settlement of Stroumbos.

Big and rich houses were built only in Chora, Lagada and Katapola.

People settled in Chora when the danger of the Arabs’ invasions ceased (7th-9th century). The castle which was fotified by the Ghisi brothers, enclosed the fort rock and during the Venetian rule it was extended. The way of the settlement’s development  had as a result the existence of many typological styles of the Amorgian house in a residential complex which includes the rural accommodation in the North and the defensive fronts with the shaded ‘emprostiades’ (passes) of the Venetian rule, the half-urban residences and the mansions of the 18th and 19th century. The churches constitute the epicenter of the settlements’ social life –many of which, in fact, have been built upon ancient ruins.

 

 

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