- General Information
- Asomatos Attractions
2.1 The Church of the Great Archangels
2.2 The Ecclesiastic Museum and Folklore Exhibition of Asomatos
- Asomatos Crafts
- Asomatos Events
- Nearby Attractions
Asomatos is a quiet village 22 kilometers west of Mytilene. Built on the foot of Mount Olympos, it boasts a green location, a long history and traditional architecture that has been preserved to this day.
The village was established in the Middle Ages, when, for fear of pirate invasion, the residents of Chorafelia moved southwards. A number of small settlements were formed, the larger of which was ‘Kastania’ (Sweet Chestnut Tree). As the population of Kastania grew and grew, the village of Asomatos became established.
By 1940, Asomatos had reached a population of 900, however the number began to decline following the Greek Civil War. Today, a wander in Asomatos is akin to a visit to a bygone era. The village has retained the entirety of its traditional character and visitors here can have a leisurely walk in the old cobblestone alleys and admire the many tiny chapels, old-fashioned cafes and beautiful stone-built houses of Asomatos. By many, Asomatos is the prettiest village in the region of Evergetoulas.
Asomatos (meaning ‘disembodied’ or ‘incorporeal’) drew its name from the church of the Great Archangels Michael and Gabriel - Saint Michael is patently referred to as a disembodied spirit in the Orthodox Christian faith. The three-tiered basilica dates back to 1796 and takes pride of place in the village. The impressive, well-maintained church is surrounded by a variety of flowering plants and a retreat in the cobblestone churchyard will afford you a few moments of relaxation amidst the flowers growing abundantly in the gardens of Asomatos church.
An Ecclesiastic Museum and Folklore Exhibition are housed within the churchyard and include a variety of religious items such as age-old books, manuscripts, coins, religious icons and liturgical vestments, together with various samples of traditional Asomatos crafts. The accumulation of historical pieces relating to the religious tradition and cultural life of Asomatos is of crucial importance - the population of Asomatos has been in decline and, to many, the preservation of its religious and creative history is tantamount to keeping the village alive. A visit here is highly recommended, whether you wish to admire the array of ecclesiastical exhibits or gain a sense of the history of Asomatos. To gain access to the collection, contact Father Christos on telephone number 22520-22504.
As the population of Asomatos has been in decline, efforts have been made to draw attention to the village and breathe new life into Asomatos. A Centre of Environmental Training run by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and a Boy and Girl Scouts Environmental Training Centre are present in the area, and organize school visits to Asomatos and its Ecclesiastical and Folklore Exhibitions.
A number of traditional crafts are being kept alive by the remaining residents of Asomatos. Basket weaving is an art traditionally passed down from father to son, yet many Asomatos women engage in the weaving of baskets and beautiful textiles. If you are interested in acquiring one or more wonderful examples of these age-old crafts, the Agrotourist Cooperative of the Women of Asomatos (est. 1999) sells a multitude of local products such as fruit preserves, aromatic herbs, woven textiles and baskets in all sizes and shapes. A number of traditional dishes are prepared in the Cooperative, where you may - if you are eager to taste a traditional delicacy - purchase and consume a number of snails dishes.
Should you happen to be in the area on the day of the Taxiarches, you will be able to join the ‘panygiris’ (celebration) of the village’s main church and participate in the Snail Festival (‘Giorti Saligariou’) taking place on 8th November each year. Snails are a local delicacy and many varieties of snail are present in the area. A dish of ‘Saligaria Stifado’ (snails cooked in a red, highly aromatic sauce) will give you a flavor of the culinary delights of Asomatos.
Agii Anargyri (you might also encounter the spelling ‘Agioi Anargyroi’) is a stunningly verdant location that invites visitors to take a break in one of its numerous small cafes and ravish the coolness and shade afforded the area by its multitude of plane trees and running streams.