- Anemotia village in Lesvos Anemotia village in Lesvos
- Anemotian's church in Lesvos Anemotian's church in Lesvos
Anemotia is a charming mountainous village 55 kilometers away from the Lesvos capital of Mytilene. The third village to be encountered on the route from Kalloni towards Sigri and Eressos, it is perched on the eastern side of Mount Kouratsonas. Anemotia is situated on the caldera of one of the major volcanos of Lesvos (the same volcano whose eruption millions of years ago created the Petrified Forest of Sigri). With an altitude of 360 meters, it affords some wonderful countryside views stretching from the rich pine woodland in its surroundings to the nearby ravines of the Taxiarches and Potamia streams and all the way to the Bay of Kalloni. As its name suggests, Anemotia is subject to strong winds.
The area is steeped in rich history and a number of Byzantine or Medieval chapels, flowing springs and hundreds of chestnuts and pines adorn the mountainous landscape around the village. The valleys of Taxiarches and Potamia, in particular, are areas of huge botanical interest. The ever-presence of water creates a wonderfully fertile landscape defined by the rarity of its flora and outstanding natural allure and highly inviting of prolonged exploration. If you come to Anemotia, do make sure to enjoy the limitless views and take a trip to the ravine below: you will have the chance to observe a number of Rhododendrons luteum sweet, which can only be encountered on Lesvos, together with a variety of water-loving plant species.
Anemotians are a warm, welcoming people engaged mainly in agriculture and farming, occupations that have shaped the surrounding landscape, making it rich in watermills (in the northern side of Parakila), growing fields, beautiful bridges and quaint stone-built cottages. The majority of the area is served by a network of footpaths giving access to the locations of Zoodochos Pigi and Monastireli (both are organized resting spots for visitors) and numerous panoramas to the valley and Kalloni Bay.
The village grew out of the coming-together of a number of smaller settlements (Fkolia, Ksenotafia, Limochori and Mitropoli Agiou Georgiou) whose ruins may still be seen in Anemotia. Visitors to the area once occupied by Fkolia will be able to observe the surrounding walls of an old Medieval fortress and, within the enclosure, the foundations of numerous small residences, cobbled alleys, millstones and graves.
The residents of Anemotia are mainly olive farmers and producers of fine olive oil, however Anemotia is best-known for its grapes. Different varieties of grape have been grown in the village since antiquity and are considered the finest on the island.
The local Women’s Co-operative was established in 2000 and has been producing fine handmade pasta, spoon sweets, jams, traditional beverages and cookies ever since. Together with the Women’s Co-operatives of Parakila, Asomatos, Skalochori and Mesotopos, the Women’s Co-operative of Anemotia worked to create the Lesvoshop outlets encountered in a variety of locations on Lesvos.
Anemotia’s long history in the craft of stonecutting and sculpture is evident throughout the village. A spot once inhabited by many a renowned stonemason or sculptor, Anemotia is teeming with beautifully adorned stone-built houses and flower gardens that douse the village with their colors and flowery aromas whenever in bloom.
While in Anemotia, do make the trip to the village’s Ecclesiastical Museum and admire the religious treasures (old Bibles, clerical vestments and icons) on display, or wander around the area and discover the old Secondary School (circa 1898), the old Turkish bathhouse and the beautiful basilikas of I Metamorphosis tou Sotirous (The Transfiguration of the Saviour) and Zoodochos Pigi (Life-giving Spring).
Saint George (1702) is the main village church. It came to existence as a small chapel built to replace the village church of Saint Katherine the Wise, which the Ottomans had converted into a mosque. Situated at the lower end of the settlement, it boasts some truly stunning iconography depicting the martyrdom of Saint George and numerous scenes from the Apocalypse.