MESTA

Findings that discovered in the Port of Mesta area indicate the existence of ceramics and pottery workshops in ancient times. These workshops created a tradition that lasted until the early 20th century. These products were traveling to distant places.
The great commercial activity is shown by the following. The traveler Stravonas mentions a second port in the area, the South one. According to the information we have from Stravonas, but also from later sources, the port must be located in the bay of Avlonia or Salagona, located south of Mesta.

The well of Milita

The well of Milita was 16 meters deep and was serving the water needs of the villagers in case of attack by the enemy. During the period that Mesta was occupied by the Genoans, the well was only serving the Genoans and was guarded by Italian soldiers , so that`s why it was named well of Milita from the Italian word militare which means military. The other villagers were forced to procured water from wells and springs that were outside of the village.

The outer city walls

The village eventually, with the passage of time, acquires pentagonal shape and each corner of it consists of a two-storey circular tower with loopholes and battlements with the primary purpose of better visual guard of all sides of the wall. The thickness of the wall exceeds the one and a half meter and the height reaches the twelve meters in order to protect the villagers. Later on population growth starts the housing construction, which are soldered at the inner side and extend the range by enhancing the strength of the wall since the houses were joined to each other.

The gate of the Castle

The main gate of the castle was the only entrance and exit from the village for reasons of defense. It was a single-wing door – preserved in excellent condition even today – made with thick iron rods connected crosswise with each other. Over the blades there were fastened thick boards for safety. Right above the door and in the entire width there was an opening about 26 cm to ensure maximum security, because from there they were throwing boiling oil on any enemy was going to approach. The door, in the years of the Genoese occupation was opening at sunrise and was closed by sundown. Next to the gate there was the garrison headquarters, which was the residence of the governor and his garrison, so they called the gate “door of Captain” from the Italian word Capitano which means commander. The governor was installed there to control the villagers and to supervise better the production of mastic.

The watchtowers

Almost throughout the whole island of Chios in the coastal areas and mountains are scattered watchtowers. Watchtowers there are also around Mesta. The watchtowers are stone towers, guardhouses circular shaped with battlements and a height of around 14 meters. The watchtowers were used in patrolling the surrounding marine areas. Access to these was by rope ladders while on the floor there was a trap door that served as place to stay for those guards who had not shift. When they were realizing that an enemy ship was approaching , they were warning the surrounding watchtowers by lighting fires and these, in turn, the central tower of the castle. In this way the villagers were taking defense positions, to be able to engage the enemy.

 Vigla

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