Anavatos Village | Chios | The Climbing Towers
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Anavatos (meaning “climbing”) is a byzantine deserted naturally self-defensed tower-village on a rock in the center of the island of Chios, 16 Km from the city of Chios.
The village has preserved its history which is associated with the Greek period of Ottoman domination, the war of independence in 1821 and the Chiot massacre in 1822. On the top, there is the medieval castle and at one of the sides there is the church of Taxiarhis.
There are two versions for the establishment of Anavatos. The first is that it was created by the workers who arrived in Chios for the construction of the New Monastery (Nea Moni). The second is that it was created due to the pirate raids that plagued the west coast of the island.
The first core of the settlement was built in the middle Byzantine times in the area of the Castle, at the top of the hill, and was surrounded by a fortification. It was destroyed during the events of the Chios massacre.
During the reign of Genoa, the settlement expanded to the east, creating Mesochori. At the end of the 17th century, Anavatos had about 150 inhabitants.
The main settlement was permanently abandoned after the earthquake of 1881, and the remaining inhabitants settled in its lower part.
In recent decades, adverse living conditions and the isolation of the village have led to the desolation of Anavatos, which in the 2011 census has reached just one permanent resident.