Writing about this island I cannot help remembering the well known poem in
its honour by D.SOLOMOS which so vividly describes the importance in history
of this heroic and independent island.
PERPATONTAS I DOXA MONACHI
MELETA TA LAMBRA PALIKARIA
KAI STIN KOMI STEFANI FORI
KAMOMENO APO LIGA CHORTARIA
POUCHAN MINI STIN ERIMI GI.
Nor can I erase from memory the famous painting by Delacroix, showing Freedom carrying the bloodstained flag, a painting which was inspired by the sacrifice of the heroic people of Psara who lived free and preferred to die as they valued their freedom and independence more than their lives.
This complex of small islands is situated about 20 nautical miles N.W. of Chios and is 45 square kilometers in area. There are about 500 inhabitants today. Psara, the biggest, and Antipsara are inhabited, whereas Kato Nisi, Dascalio, and St Nicholas are not.
There is only one village, spread around the island ' port, and some houses in Antipsara. The village is built on the ruins of the old city near the hill of Mavri Rachi (Paleokastron).There are no trees on this island, only bushes and mainly thyme which is responsible for the very good quality of honey that is produced here. On the island of Antipsara there are many wild rabbits.The islands have many small bays which are natural refuges for fishermen and swimmers from any kind of winds.
HOW TO GET THERE
After the fall of Constantinople the inhabitants deserted it but during the 16th and 17th centuries AD some families from Thessaly and Evoia who wanted wanted to flee from Turkish oppression inhabited the island and developed shipping, shipbuilding and commerce. They consequently acquired a maritime fleet so strong that it enabled the island to remain free and independent with its own government and parliament. The Psara fleet took part in the Russian -Turkish war against the Turks.
In 1821 during the struggle for Greek freedom and independence the Psara fleet, together with fleets from Ydra and Spetsai assisted greatly in the fight for the freedom of our country. In 1824 however the Turks attacked the island with a large force, overpowered the defendants and massacred the inhabitants. Very few managed to escape death. This island, the birthplace of heroes, of Kanaris, of Papanicolis and others, was finally reunited with the motherland after the end of the First World War.
WHAT TO SEE
The house of Kanaris
The Monastery of Prophet Elias where old and rare ecclessiastical books are kept printed in Venice and in Moscow.
Mycenean tombs of the 13th century BC.
WHAT TO DO
WHERE TO STAY
Copyright: Hellenic Electronic Center
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