Western Pelion. A wonderful trio. Milies, Vyzitsa, Pinakates
Again in Pelion. Now we’ll visit three of the most beautiful villages. You can combine them in a single visit since they are close to each other.
We started from Milies (on foot, of course) because we lived closer to this village.
The view to the gulf of Pagasitikos from the wonderful guesthouse “Rastoni” (Indolence). If you don’t mind the wilderness, we highly recommend it
Milies from “Rastoni”
In 1943, the nazis destroyed the village. That’s why it has no old houses. But its inhabitants rebuilt it, fortunately with respect to Pelion’s traditional character.
Milies is the hometown of the Masters of the Nation Anthimos Gazis, Gregorios Konstantas and Daniel Filippides. They founded in 1814 the famous School of Milies. It operated in the place where the high school is today.
It was an important cultural home and centre of the liberation struggle of 1821. Moreover, Milies was the first village of Pelion that rebelled.
The school had a famous library. It’s currently housed in a new building of traditional architecture. In front one reads the inscription «Ψυχής Άκος» (healing of the soul), which was at the school’s entrance.
The library of Milies
In the village, there is also the church of the Archangels. It was renovated in 1741, but it’s unknown when it was built.
The church is a typical example of local traditional architecture. It also has remarkable post-Byzantine frescoes. It’s built in a way that every sound in it is not heard outside, because of interdictions imposed to non-Muslims during the Ottoman domination.
Here was raised for the first time the banner of Revolution in Pelion.
The Church of the Archangels. The churches dating from the Ottoman domination are low and without a dome, because that was imposed by the conquerors
An Irishwoman in Pelion
In the square in front of the church, a friendly bitch came to welcome us. Her mistress, who was sitting opposite at the cafe, came to take her away, lest she annoyed us.
So we met Jennifer, an author from Dublin . As she told us, since many years she spends much of her time in Milies. We added her to the list of the -always interesting- foreigners who were enchanted forever by Pelion. A very long list. Very natural…
In Pelion with Moutzouris
Descending from the square, through a wonderful route, we arrived at the railway station. Here ends the famous “little train of Pelion”, known as “Moutzouris” (Smudgy). It was constructed in the late 19th century by the Italian engineer Evaristo de Chirico.
If the name reminds you of something, it’s no coincidence.
He was the father of the famous surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico, who thus, completely by chance, was born in Volos.
The train was connecting Volos with the rich region of western Pelion. In 1985 it was declared a protected historical monument. After a series of repairs, it was again put into service in 1996.
The station of Milies
Milies Station. End of the route. Here the train rotates in order to turn back
It functions from April to October. It covers a total route of 16 km from Ano Lechonia to Milies.
A route with lush vegetation, a view to Pagasitikos, arched bridges, tunnels and an iron bridge, all works of de Chirico. Thanks to them, it’s one of the most beautiful railway routes in Europe.
The constructions of Evaristo de Chirico
From Milies we walked up to Vyzitsa. This is one of the most important traditional villages of Pelion. Here everything is authentic old. So it’s under strict protection regulations.
In the traditional architecture of Pelion, as elsewhere, the ground floor is of stone with small openings for security reasons. On the contrary, the floor is wooden, in order to be light. Thus it can have many and large openings. Moreover, it can protrude for aesthetic reasons, but also to gain space
From Vyzitsa we walked up to Pinakates.
Vyzitsa from Pinakates
According to one version, the name Pinakates comes from one of the first inhabitants of the village. They called him pinakàs, namely a manufacturer of clay or wooden dishes. These are called “pinakia” in the local dialect. They say that the ending -ates comes from the Albanian language.
Pinakates is a very quiet village since it receives fewer visitors. But wrongly, because it’s definitely one of the most beautiful traditional villages of Pelion.
The fountain in the square of Pinakates
From Pinakates you can continue to Aghios Georgios Nilias. But if you have come from Milies, you’ll probably not be able to go on and you’ll decide to get back.
As we did. But it was comforting to think that the wonderful “Rastoni” was awaiting us. True to its name…
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