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Pyrgi Village | Chios | The Enigmatic Xysta Architecture and the Cultural Delights

Updated: Mar 6


George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI

Pyrgi Village stands as a timeless testament to Chios's rich history and artistic heritage. Renowned as the "painted village" for its unique architecture, vibrant facades, and intricate geometric designs known as "xysta" (the special decoration of its houses with mainly black and white motifs in different shapes), Pyrgi captures the imagination of all who visit it. This captivating village offers visitors an immersive experience where history, art, and culture seamlessly intertwine. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the enchanting beauty of Pyrgi Village and uncover its hidden treasures.

Pyrgi Village | Chios | Shiny Greece

The village is located in the south part of the island and it is known as the traditional seat of the Mastic Villages (some more are Mesta, Kalamoti, Olympi, Emporios and more), the group of villages where the residents engage with mastic agriculture which have been added in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity of UNESCO.

Ancient Roots

Pyrgi Village boasts an ancient history that dates back to the 14th century. Originally established as a medieval fortress, the village played a crucial role in the defense of the island against invaders. The remnants of its defensive walls and towers serve as a tangible reminder of the village's strategic significance.

Exploring the narrow alleys and winding streets, visitors can't help but feel transported back in time.

The Enigmatic Art

One of the most captivating aspects of Pyrgi is its distinctive architectural style. The village is renowned for its mesmerizing facades adorned with elaborate geometric designs known as "xysta". These intricate patterns, created by etching the black and white plaster of the buildings, lend an otherworldly charm to the streets of Pyrgi. Each design is unique, and the motifs range from floral patterns to mythological figures, showcasing the artistic prowess of the locals.

Traditional House at Pyrgi  |  Shiny Greece

Traditional House at Pyrgi | Photo by: Kostisl, Pyrgi house1, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

The Streets of Pyrgi Chios

As you wander through the labyrinthine streets of Pyrgi, you'll encounter a plethora of hidden gems. The village is a treasure trove of traditional tavernas, quaint cafes, and local craft shops where you can discover authentic Chian craftsmanship. Pause to savor traditional Greek delicacies or sip a cup of strong Greek coffee while immersing yourself in the vibrant ambiance of Pyrgi.

Pyrgi Village Chios  |  Shiny Greece

Pyrgi Village Chios | Photo by: Eva-tzi, Pyrgi village photo 1, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pyrgi's Cultural Heritage

Pyrgi's rich cultural heritage extends beyond its architecture and art. The village is home to several museums and cultural sites that offer insights into Chios's fascinating history. The Maritime Museum of Chios, located in Pyrgi, exhibits a remarkable collection of nautical artifacts, showcasing the island's strong maritime tradition. Additionally, the nearby Church of Agios Apostolos, with its beautiful frescoes, provides a glimpse into the island's religious heritage.

Pyrgos Dotion Pyrgi Village

Pyrgos Dotion Pyrgi Village | Photo by: George Ntekas, Pyrgos Dotion, cropped by Shiny Greece, CC BY-SA 4.0

Unwinding Surroundings

Pyrgi's allure extends beyond the village itself. The surrounding countryside offers breathtaking natural beauty waiting to be explored. Venture into the lush valleys and rolling hills adorned with fragrant citrus groves, olive orchards, and mastiha trees — the unique resinous product that has been cultivated on the island for centuries. Take a leisurely hike or bike ride and revel in the tranquility of Pyrgi's idyllic surroundings.

Pyrgi Village Chios Post Office

Pyrgi Village Chios Post Office | Photo by: Dimitris Eleftheriou, Pyrgi post office, CC BY-SA 4.0

A Tranquil Retreat

Pyrgi Village of Chios is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, art, and culture. Its enchanting xysta-adorned facades, narrow streets, and rich cultural heritage make it a truly unique place to explore. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Pyrgi has something to offer everyone. Lose yourself in the beauty of this timeless village and create lasting memories that will stay with you long after you depart.


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Apr 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A beautiful mastic village, the largest of the villages of southern Chios.


Apr 05
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Olimpi and Mesta are nice villages but Pyrgi was our favorite! A lively place with a sense of community. Musts are the mastic coffee and the narrow streets. The patterns on the buildings are unique and the Mastic Museum so interesting!


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