Moria - A Traditional Lesvian Village by a Great Roman Aqueduct
- Festivities in Moria of Lesvos Festivities in Moria of Lesvos
- Roman Aqueduct of Moria in Lesvos Roman Aqueduct of Moria in Lesvos
- General Information
- Moria Attractions:
2.1 Religious Sightseeing
2.2 The Roman Aqueduct of Moria
Set at a distance of just over 6.5 kilometers from Mytilene, Moria is a highly picturesque village of old stone-built houses, traditional cafes, narrow alleys and long stretches of green. Believed to have earned its name from the multitude of mulberry trees growing in the region, Moria received its first textual reference by the Genoese line of the Gateluzzi in 1456.
Moria’s church of Agios Vasilios (Saint Basil) dates from the year 1769. The religious icon of Panagia ton Asmaton (The Virgin Mary of Songs, 1766) takes pride of place in Agios Vasilios. According to experts, it is the only one of its kind in the entirety of Orthodox Christian art. Moria’s church of Agios Dimitrios was built in 1889 and becomes the centre of festivities on October 26th every year, on the feast of the homonymous Saint.
The village bears an important degree of historical significance. Home to one of the few remaining ancient quarries of Greece, Moria once supplied the marble (Marmor Lesbium) from which its great Roman Aqueduct and the ancient theatre of Mytilene were built and numerous columns were sculpted (and discovered in different parts of the island in more recent years).
Some 50 meters away from the village, in the location of Outza, there is a cave believed to have led to the ancient castle of Mytilene. A secret tunnel would have connected the castle to the cave, where a wealth of ancient statues and works of art are said to have been hidden just before Mytilene became occupied by the Ottomans in the year 1462.
The Roman Aqueduct of Moria
Few lovers of Lesvos are unaware of the great Roman Aqueduct a short distance away from Moria. Regarded as one of the hugest architectural feats of antiquity, the Aqueduct remains one of the most significant attractions to the village.
If you set off from Moria and venture towards the west, you will soon encounter a construction of incredible technical expertise. Built in the late 2nd / early 3rd century BC, the Roman Aqueduct of Moria would have run from Agiasos to Mytilene, its grey marble arcade, blocks, arches and abaci gracing the intervening distance.
Resembling the propylaia of a classically-styled temple, the Aqueduct commenced at the foot of Olympous Mount and ran a distance of 26 kilometers. Its series of underground tunnels would have traversed a number of secondary locations (such as Lampou Mili and Larsos) and supplied water to Mytilene. Around 127.000 cubic meters of water would have flown through the Aqueduct and into the estates, spas and fountains of the great Lesvian city. Today, 17 of its arches can still be admired 600 meters west of Moria.
The Acqueduct is certainly worth a visit even if archaeology is not high on your list of interests – an unequalled feat of Roman architecture, the amazing structure lies in a wonderfully serene landscape that’s highly suitable for a picnic.