Agia Paraskevi - Ancient Temples and Olive Oil Museum
- Olive Oil Museum In Agia Paraskevi Olive Oil Museum In Agia Paraskevi
- Ancient Temple of Klopedi in Lesvos Ancient Temple of Klopedi in Lesvos
- Ancient Temple of Messon in lesvos Ancient Temple of Messon in lesvos
Agia Paraskevi is located at a 40-kilometer distance from the Lesvos capital, Mytilene. The large settlement boasts an array of traditional buildings, an advantageous location by the Kalloni salt pans and Skala Kalloni, and numerous sights of historical, archaeological and cultural interest. Its array of neoclassical mansions, hillside views and rich fauna and flora attract a significant number of visitors, who roam around the village, enjoy a shady retreat in one of its cafes and continue their journey towards Kalloni, Mandamados or Sigri.
The village has been inhabited since the 7th century AD and is considered one of the most prosperous on Lesvos.
Agia Paraskevi has to be one of the best-preserved settlements on the island. It is worth coming here if only to admire the well-maintained neoclassical mansions, municipal buildings, the churches and museum spaces of Agia Paraskevi: its residents take great pride in their village, and this is evident throughout the settlement.
Agia Paraskevi Attractions:
The Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production
At the center of Agia Paraskevi, the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production takes pride of place in the village. The museum is housed in the premises of a former communal oil mill (circa 1910) whose original architectural features and mechanical characteristics have been restored. An events hall, a café and an outside theater are included in the premises of the museum. The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production is the perfect place to visit whether you’re keen to discover the different stages of olive-oil production, storage and trade, a variety of associated machinery and the way that the advent of technology has reshaped traditional production practices. The museum is open daily, between 10.00 am and 18.00 pm from March 1st to October 15th and between 10.00 am and 17.00 pm between October 16th and February 28th. It is closed on Tuesdays.
The Wildlife Hospital of Agia Paraskevi
The majority of visitors to Lesvos have a deep fondness for wildlife. If you are one of them, do visit the Wildlife Hospital of Agia Paraskevi. The team at this privately-run hospital will appreciate any kind of assistance and you can be certain your donations and time will make a difference.
Other Places of Interest
Wander towards the central square of Agia Paraskevi and admire the ‘Ekpaedeftiria’ (school) buildings (circa 1923) and proceed to the premises of the village Secondary School, visitors to which can observe a small exhibition of items of local folklore.
Agia Paraskevi Products
If you are keen to purchase a variety of local products such as fruit preserves, confectionary, breads, wheat rusks, handmade pasta, white ‘graviera’ cheese, traditional ‘trahanas’, free-range poultry and meat, honey and locally distilled ouzo, venture to the village’s shopping area. The Agricultural Women’s Cooperative ‘I Sellada’ is also worth a visit. You will find a multitude of local products to tantalize your taste buds and make wonderful presents to your loved ones at home.
Agia Paraskevi is a protected area of archaeological interest and justifiably so. A number of significant archaeological sites are located in the vicinity of the village, where one may visit the ancient temple of Klopedi (6th century BC) with its 46 Aeolian columns. The temple is believed to have been dedicated to the god Apollo. Visitors here can admire the only remains of an Aeolian building to be discovered in Greece.
A few kilometers outside of the village lays the ancient temple of Messon, a place of worship and an early meeting point for the entirety of Lesvian cities. The temple was dedicated to Zeus, Hera and Dionysus and dates from the 3rd century BC. The advent of Christianity meant that a basilica was constructed in the eastern side of the temple, followed by a chapel dedicated to Taxiarches (the Archangels) in the Byzantine era.
The church of Chalinado is an early Christian temple in the pine forest of Mylopotamos. It was built between 550 and 600 AD and was partially destroyed by an earthquake.
Agia Paraskevi is traversed by the Tsiknia stream and its stone-built Kremasti bridge reaches a height of 8.5 meters. The bridge was built in the Middle Ages and has remained intact to this day. It is believed that the material for its construction was drawn from the ancient Klopedi temple.
The area has a huge religious tradition and the village is home to some 64 chapels and the magnificent temple of the ‘Pamegisti Taxiarches’ (the Great Archangels), the second largest basilica of Lesvos.
Agia Paraskevi Events
The residents of Agia Paraskevi take immense pride in the age-old traditions and customs of their area and coming here at the end of June is a splendid opportunity to discover one of the oldest celebratory practices on Lesvos. The feast of Agios Charalambos takes place on the 30th of June. On this and the following three days, the ancient custom of animal sacrifice is revived in a lively celebration involving music, traditional dances, horse-racing and the slaughter and consumption of a sacrificial ‘Tavros’ (bull). The ‘panigiri’ (celebration) has been taking place annually over the course of the last 200 years and attracts a multitude of local and foreign visitors to Agia Paraskevi. If you happen to be one of them, brace yourself for the sight of many elaborately adorned horses, a taste of traditional ‘kiskets’, and plenty of music and dance.
The area surrounding Agia Paraskevi is a treasure-trove of marshes, salt pans, peaceful country scenery, fields, olive groves and pine forests reaching all the way to the shore of the sea. A variety of birds and wild animals can be spotted here, together with the numerous water mills, olive presses, stone bridges and tiny remote chapels you will encounter along your way.
The area comprises numerous marshes. The Messa marshes, the estuary of river Vouvaris and the saltpans in the south of Agia Paraskevi are ideal places to visit whether you are keen to savor a walk in the lushly green area or eager to enjoy a spot of bird watching.
If you venture east of Agia Paraskevi, you will arrive at the area of ‘Milli’ (Mills) three kilometers away from the village. The area is traversed by Mylopotamos river, making it lavishly green, and here you may wander around the ruins of four old water mills and imagine yourself in a bygone era, in a forested setting tucked safely away from industrial development.