Agiasos

Agiasos, is the “mountanous” island village with its unique verdurous nature and “temperamental” locals, who are well known for their astuteness, hard work, intense spirituality and permanent well-meant demeanor.
 Narrow, scenic, uphill and downhill streets, transport you to a different age. A religious and spiritual center, a source of handmade carvings and pottery that can satisfy many of your expectations, especially if they are of a religious or cultural nature (theatre, dance, music) or of a love of nature, by and large of tradition.
 It is the end of the 8th century during the iconoclasm. In Istanbul, the priest of the palace chapel Agathon of Ephesus an iconolater, falls from emperor Leo the 1st’s grace and was self exiled to Jerusalem. In the beginning of 802 A.C he is informed that the Empress Irene the Athenian, also an iconolater, was exiled in Lesvos. Wishing to meet her but also wanting to be nearer to Istanbul, he makes for Lesvos taking with him an icon of the Virgin Mary holding the Child (which was rumored to have been painted by the Evangelist Luke), a silver cross made with True Cross relics, a handwritten Evangel and other relics. Around 803 A.C he arrives at the island. In the meantime Irene the Athenian had died and Agathon, following the torrents came to a wooded and deserted place in which he stayed and safely familiarized himself with the environment. In this place which is in Karya, where today you will find the chapel of the Life Giving Fountain with the Holy Water, he hid the Holy Relics and made a hermitage. He came in contact with the nearby habitants of Karyni and Penthili, gained their trust and respect and revealed his secret. In time many people came to the hermitage to pray and some of them stayed with Agathonas. Therefore, in the beginning of the 9th century a small monastery is created, around which houses were gradually built and people form nearby villages settled down. That was the very beginning of today’s village.

[The text is by Mr. Michalis Koromilas and can be found in the first Tourst Guide of Agiasos, which was published by the Progressive Club of Agiasos.]

Further information:
•    Agiasos reading room “ I Anaptiksi”
•    Tourist guide of Lesvos