.
The Medieval Village of Mesta
Ελληνικά
.
A. GENERAL INFORMATION
.
.
I. Geographical site
.
Mesta lies on the South-West part of Chios, on the wider expanse of Masticochoria (Masticochoria means villages that produce mastic). One can reach Mesta by following two routes:
a. From Chios, the capital of the island, by taking the road to Armolia, Pyrgi, Olympoi and arriving at Mesta (this is the shortest and easiest way).
b. From Chios, by following the road to Aghios Georgios, Vessa, Elata and ending to Mesta.
Most of the visitors arrive at the village through one way and return through the other. Mesta is mostly chosen as a place of sojourn. That is because in spite of its location in the south site of the island, it is a village from which all the historically and touristically significant spots are easily accessed. The capital of Chios, Castrochoria (the villages that are built like castles), Nea Moni, Anavatos, Volissos, Aghia Markella and other sites of Chios are connected with Mesta through roads that are in a very good condition.
.
back to index         back to Mesta home page
.
.
II. Name
.
Mesta in old medieval texts is mentioned as Amista, Amistae and Lamiste. Perhaps in Greek it was named Amistha.
According to another view the name derives from the Byzantine word "mesta" which means "hard" (the opposite of "tender").
Click to view larger imageA third view is based on the shift of the initial letter of the word Vesta - Mesta. "Vestas" was the one responsible for the emperor's clothing. "Vestarhaton" used to be a feud given by the Emperor to "Vestas" in order to honour him.
Unverified tradition quotes that Mesta was founded by the dwellers of Meskia, a village in Peloponnese and by the natives that used to live in various small settlements up to then. They constructed the village by bordering it with a great wall.
Nowadays Mesta has 500 residents approximately. Many more are those who dwell in Athens, Thessaloniki and in the USA. Associations have been established by the communities of Athens and of the USA, whose primary concern is to be in direct contact with the manners and customs of their native land.
Many embellishment works have been taking place due to the villagers living abroad. In the past the communities of Egypt and Russia made great offers to the village whereas these days the communities of the USA and Athens contribute essentially to the promotion of the village.
The villagers themselves are vividly interested in the maintenance of their cultural heritage as well as in the environmental conservancy. As far as cultural issues are concerned there is the "Cultural Association of Mesta" and about the environment issues the Association of Amateur Fishermen "The Friends of Limenas".
.
back to index         back to Mesta home page
.
.
Mesta Home Page
Detailed Index
Picture Gallery
Tourism in Chios
.
.
All text included in the topic "Mesta", © 1993, 1997 by A. Pashardis

Page design and construction © 1997 by Iason Koufodontis for