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Sightseeing

Mithymna (ancient name) or Molivos (Byzantine name) is an enchanting sight. It is a small town rooted in a rock crowned by a Medieval Castle. Tall stone houses built next to each other forming a fortress and crooked cobble paved narrow streets cascade down the slope of the hill towards the sea.

ARCHITECTURE
Most of the traditional houses are two floor buildings made of wood and stone. When the upper floor is made of wood its exterior walls are slightly projected forming “sachnisia” which enlarge the main space of the dwelling. Such houses are the Giannakos’ Mansion, the House of the School of Fine Arts (Old Krallis’ Mansion) and the Municipal Gallery all decorated with frescos and woodcarvings dating from the 18th century.

CASTLE
The Castle is Mithymna’s point of reference since the town has been built in semicircle beneath it. The oldest part of the fortification, which was 2,900m long, dates from the 8th century BC. The Genoese family of Gatelousi due to frequent pirate attacks renovated the Castle in 1442AD. They also constructed a tunnel leading to the beach as an escape route.
Inside the Castle there used to be other buildings too. Today it spreads at an area of 310m.

ANCIENT MITHYMNA
Ancient Mithymna is placed on the North of the Island of Lesvos opposite the area of Troy.  The city was built on a peninsula towards the Port and was protected by natural hillocks. Fortification walls were following natural ground formations. However, up until today excavations haven’t reviled any foundation or dwellings therefore we cannot have a complete idea of the city’s layout.
Unfortunately due to the lack of an appropriate protected space all the findings coming from Mithymna’s excavations are hosted at the Archaeological museum of Mitylene. However, there are efforts made to find a place in order to regain them.

ANCIENT CEMETERY
At the entrance of the village opposite the Primary School of Mithymna lies the Ancient Cemetery dating from the Archaic Period. In the excavation ground there are stone urns and walls built in the special polygonal stone building style of Lesvos. Further down the road, opposite the bank, there is another excavated sight with urns, most probably a continuation of the ancient cemetery.

CONFERENCE HALL
 The Conference Hall of Mithymna is situated at the center of the Old Market Street above the tunnel. At the time of the Turkish Occupation it used to be a mosque. After the liberation of the Island the tower was partly brought down and in the early 20th century the main hall became a club of the Bourgeoisie. Later on it was used as cinema and theatre hall. Today only the base of the mosque remains while the main hall has been renovated and fully equipped to be a Conference Hall that can host 200 people. Many important international and national conventions have taken place there in the last decade.
Above the old mosque there is the Public Library with 10,000 publications some of them extremely rare. Opposite the library there is the traditional building of the Municipal Youth Centre which hosts the Computer Centre funded by the European Community Program “Society of Information”.

TURKISH PUBLIC BATHS
A few metres up from the hairpin at the center of the Old Market Street on the right there is a dead end alley leading to the Turkish Public Baths. There is a marble-tiled foyer leading to an antechamber under a pierced dome. Further inside there is an impressive circular bathhouse; the walls are lined with individual cubicles in white marble. The floor is made of marble too and the roof is a large pierced dome. The baths are currently closed due to safety reasons since the roof has collapsed. Efforts are made to raise funds for its restoration.

TURKISH FOUNTAINS
In Mithymna (Molyvos) there are many public fountains remaining from the period of the Turkish Occupation with Turkish inscriptions and decorations.

MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY
It was founded in 1961 and it is hosted in a traditional building at the beginning of the Old Market from the side of Main Road leading to the Harbour. There is a bust of the author Argyris Eftaliotis at the garden in front of the building. The Gallery owns works of Tsarouchis, Botsoglou and other famous Greek and Foreign Artists.

HOUSE OF ARTS “S.TRYPHON”
The House of Arts “S.Tryphon” is situated on the first floor of one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings of the harbour of Molyvos.  Stelios Tryphon, its owner, assigned it to the Municipality of Mithymna to be used as a space of art exhibitions and events during the summer months.

CHURCHES
Taxiarchis Basilica, situated beneath the Castle, was built in 1795 and is one of the most important architectural monuments in Mithymna. Saint Panteleimon was built in 1844 and has a lot of neoclassic architectural elements. It was constructed by Statis Karekos from Anemotia, the same apprentice who built the church of Mother Virgin in Petra. Another worthy specimen of church architecture is that of Saint Kyriaki. Finally, one of the most extraordinary chapels of the area is that of Saint Theoktisti, the Mithymnean because it is built in Cycladic Style (white plastered walls and arched windows). Every year at the last Weekend of July there is a feast in honour of the Saint with an ox procession through the village accompanied by traditional local musicians, horseracing and all night preparation of Traditional Greek Food Kiskek in big cauldrons at the churchyard.

ARGENOS-VALETAS MUSEUM
At the Municipal Settlement of Argenos lies the Valetas Museum with an exhibition of Folklore artifacts and the personal objects and books of the local author G.Valetas.

SIKAMIA-FOLKLORE ART MUSEUM
At the Municipal Settlement of Sikamia, at the basement of the primary school there is the Folklore Art Museum with an exhibition of traditional objects of every day rural life, farming tools, a weaving loom and beautiful needlework artifacts. In addition, you can see some personal objects belonging to the writer Stratis Mirivilis.