Sitia, Makrigialos, Ierapetra... Everything about East Crete...

Traditional Villages in Eastern Crete :

Sitia :: Palekastro :: Ierapetra





The hilly village of Ziros spreads over the lower slopes that the locals call Egremno (the Cliff) at an altitude of 590 m. at the pictureque Armeni-Handras plateau.

The village is the seat of the Municipality of Lefki. It is 31 km far from Sitia. The village was first recorded as Siros in 1577 in the Venetian Barozzi's catalogue of the villages of Sitia. In a census carried out by the P. Castrofilaka it was listed under the same name in 1583, with a population of 448. In 1928 with the first census after the union of Crete with Greece, the population was 742. Today the population of the village is approx. 742 but diminishing.The Ziros community includes the villages of Kalo Horio, Hametoulo, the coastal settlement of Xerokampos, the deserted Lamnoni and some settlements inhabited seasonally like Agrilia, Lethi, Achladias, Makri Livadi and Anargyros.
An important peak sanctuary of the Middle Minoan period existed at the Plagia hill but now it is ruined. The Ziros area has many antiquities from all periods, however no methodical excavations have yet occured. Ancient sited can be found at Plakospilios (roman settlement and tombs), St. John (an Archaic set-tlement), Fonias (a Minoan settlement), Stalos (Minoan tombs and settlement), Katsoulianos (Minoan tombs), Pentalitro (Minoan Acropolis), Katergari Papa Pigadi (Minoan Settlement), Anemomilia (Minoan building), Pirgales (Minoan Villa), Vrisi Hametoulou (Minoan settlement), Limnia or Palaki Mantra Hametoulou (Minoan buildings).

Ziros has some old churches, the most interesting of which is Ayia Paraskevi. The walls have paintings and on the lintel over the east door is an inscription with the date 1523. Ιn the church of Ayios Nikolaos the dates 1507 and 1515 have been scratched on the walls. During the 1821 uprising against the Turks, the notorious blood­thirsty janissary Afendakis organised the mass murder of the Christians from Ziros and the surrounding villages of Hametoulo, Kalo Horio, Achladia, Tso and Apidia. The massacre took place about a kilometre from the village, near to where the road branches off to Apidia.

Present-day Ziros shows considerable development, particularly from the financial point of view. This is the result not only of the abilities of the people, but also of the unsurpassed vineyards of the plateau which, together with olive oil from the district, bring in a considerable revenue. The caves of Agrilia and Ligias Spilios are to be found in this district.

From the book "Sitia", N.Papadakis, Archaeologist,1983

Ziros by Winter



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