Sappho, the great representative of the lyric poetry, was born in Eresos around the 7th century BC. She was a strong and proud woman. The tradition wants Sappho to wander across the moonlit nights in Vigla, the small hill that crowns the port and singing about love.
The elderly residents show today to younger visitors the secret path followed by the poet to emerge in her loved sea and they talk about the “hole of Sappho”.
In Mytilene she had founded a School where girls from all over Greece were taught music, singing and dancing. From her high creations only a few passages are saved which show the grace, charm, the emotional richness and art that characterizes the work of Sappho.
For its contemporaries, but also for downstream, she was a poet and her acknowledged reputation was so great that not only pictures and statues were painted by ancient craftsmen as well as coins with the bust of minted in honor of Sappho, at Eresos, Mytilene and other cities.
Platon called her the “tenth Muse” and her poetry pedestal was erected next to that of Homer.
Today the visitor can visit and admire the portrait of Sappho in the homonymous village square.
Fort – Vigla
Vigla is now called the Acropolis of ancient Eresos occupying a rocky hill, a short distance from the beach, southeast of the present village of Skala Eresos. In the ruins of the old citadel the Byzantine castle was built, whose existence is attested since the early 14th century.
Naval city, Eresos was an important commercial center since the 6th century BC knowing prosperity and wealth because of her products (cereals, particularly barley, sesame seeds, figs and grapes) which were handled not only in Greece but also in Troy and the Hellespont until the distant Egypt.
Installing at the hill testified by the ancient and early Christian times and includes parts of the ancient city walls, a Roman building with houses and ruins. On the western slopes of the Acropolis, after excavations were conducted by the Greek Archaeological Society (1926) and by A. Orlandos two rooms with mosaic floors came to light which are considered as the modern basilica of St Andrew from Eresos.During the Middle Ages, life developed on the same site of the ancient city, near the sea where today Skala Eresos is. Over in the old citadel, the Byzantines erected a medieval castle of Eresos.
Today are only a few remains saved including a circular and a square tower and a water tank from the Byzantine castle of Eresos. The two towers differ in masonry. The square is constructed to close the isodomic building system, with regular rectangular stones and widespread use of ancient material. The castle has undergone alterations and additions originally from themselves the Byzantines and then by the Gatelouzoi rulers of the island (1355 onwards).
The tank water survives in good condition today which is for many other Roman and for others Byzantine. The roof is vaulted and has depth.
Moni Pithariou or Monastery of the Archangels of Eresos
It is a male Monastery and its name is due to the topography of the area which is located in a recess ravine among the hills that crown, forming around it a conceivable jar. The foundation dates to the 16th century and according to sources it was decreasing in the 19th century.
The next natural decline of the Monastery of Pithariou occurred in 1931 to merge with the neighboring monastery of Ipsilou. It has been transferred and also the file section of the monastery.
Seven years later it began operating as a church penitentiary, whose function was interrupted by the German occupation of the island in the II World War and continued for a few years since 1964.
In recent years Pithariou resurrected and currently operates with a small fraternity. The Catholic, the cells and the garden were restored, rebuilt where it was necessary and decorated with respect for the environment and the old image of the monastery and a fortified tower was built on the east side of the enclosure.
Ancient columns also surround the vestibule of the church with impressive characters in the overall view.
Monastery Ipsilou or Monastery of St. John, the Theologian
It is a male Monastery and is built on top of the Mount Ordymnos. Precisely because of its position it is better known since the 18th century as monastery of Ipsilou (Ipsilo means high in Greek).
The fortress architectures form, with battlements and a fortified tower, creates at first sight the impression of a monastery that over the centuries in many cases was forced to defend itself and offered shelter to residents of the surrounding area during raids. The monastery existed during the Byzantine period.
Wetlands of Eresos – West Lesvos
The scattered small wetlands of western Lesvos, in spring they keep water attract migratory waders and waterfowl and that season any small water surface can provide food and rest for exhausted migrants. An equally important parameter is the variety and heterogeneity of various terrestrial habitats that can cover even temporarily ecological requirements of migratory species.
Most natural wetlands areas are in Lapsana, in Faneromeni in Harbor Faros, Tsichliotas River, Chrousos, Elafi, Artificial Lake of the Monastery Pithariou, Skala Eresos etc. They are very small in size and often dried sufficiently early. They can accommodate large numbers of birds or support many couples during playback. In this sense each individual cannot generally be considered important. The ecological value however is that together they create a valuable network of stations feed and rest for the birds and therefore all the small wetland area should be protected. The presence of important species of amphibians and reptiles also requires the protection of fresh water on naked vegetation in western Lesvos.
Skala Eresos, at the mouth of the River Chalantara or Psaropotamo, has a wetland with turtles and a wide variety of rare bird species that are suitable for simple observation or scientific study throughout the year.