CHIOS - ZIFIAS
8 kilometers away from the town of Chios, built in a hill, further down from
Agios Georgios Sikousis, is the small village Zifias. The people who lived
in Vassileoniko used to call it Zofia,
those who lived in Agios Georgios called it Joufia. It was also mentioned
as Zofades or Zifia. Some people believe the name comes from the last name
Zizifias and some others from the "zuffe", the Arabian "zuffore".
It is an old village, even older than that of Agios Georgios, as there exists written testimonies that the village Agios Georgios was built by the citizens of Zifia. At the border of the two villages the Monastery of Agios Georgios Sikousis was built, which was then called "old Monastery". There the three Agioi Pateres (=Holly Fathers) who led a hermits life lived. Later they built the monastery of Agioi Pateres that has their name, and with the financial help of the Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos Monomachos they built the famous monastery of Nea Moni, which is a very important religious monument of Christians.
Walking through the narrow paths of Zifia, the way that the houses are built so close to each other is very impressing. They are houses built in bad times, when the island suffered from conquerors and the citizens had to jump from roof to roof many times, to escape.
Still, on every old house that remains, you can read the date of its construction, as it is written on plaques of marble, usually on the wall above the main entrance. A typical one is found above the wooden door of the old municipal school (1869).