Mansion of Vareltzidaina
In Petra, the mansion of Vareltzidaina is one of the few examples of traditional princely residences in Lesvos. This structure of the 18th/19th century belonged to the secular architecture of Lesvos at the late Ottoman time by marrying locals and oriental elements with neo-classicism, Byzantine architecture and the baroque style. The current name of the mansion is a translation of the adjective recent owners, Bardaktsoglou (Bardaki, Turkish keyword: barrel), which marks the wine.
The architecture of the mansion follows the widespread provision of formal housing mansions, which is often built in the center of agricultural land, with sealed enclosure. The building has two storeys with a solid stone floor, which gives a fortress-like character, similar to old fortified country houses. Unlike the austere style of the floor, the floor which is built from lightweight materials to technical bagdati (wooden frame, plastered with mud), characterized by strong decorative expressed through the paintings and carved wooden ceilings. The internal configuration of the mansion fully meets their daily needs and lifestyle of residents. The ground floor was mainly for storage use and the perfect family life, everyday, formal, unfolding on the first floor where there is a large hall and surrounding rooms. All access is via a wooden floor scale. The interior of the mansion floor follows the shape of isosceles cross registered in inglenook quadrilateral shape, completely subservient to a balanced composition. Mobile furniture almost certainly didnt exist. The provision of furniture was, therefore, with architectural means. Low Sofas in the rooms were used for sitting during the day and beds at night. The sleep bedding were folded in the morning and placed in mesantra (closets), covering one side of the room. Decoration was found in all components of the floor. Frescoes decorating the main room were a topography, dominated by the water element, images of cities and loved patterns of the era, as rosettes, garlands and vases with flowers, etc. The compositions are distinguished from neo-classical style with elements of Turkish baroque.
The mansion of Vareltzidainas has a classic feel with controlled symmetry and balanced structure in architecture and decoration. The luxury was achieved with very simple tools, offering an impressive result. The mansion of Vareltzidaina is an important example of civil architecture of the late Ottoman period of Lesvos, very characteristic in the organization plans, thematic decorative, functional and typical construction details.
Petra Agricultural Association
In 1983 the first Greek Agricultural Association of Women in Petra of Lesvos was launched, the 580,000 women farmers in Greece were at the margins socially and in business. The 40 farmer women of Petra succeeded in creating a successful business and gave the message of social and professional integration of farmer women in all Greece, first of all, in the department of Lesvos.
Builded on the model of the historical association of Ambelakia, the developed business is based on work and not on the funds and it failed to conquer in 1992 one of 5 prizes from the UN women’s entrepreneurship, to develop respect for the environment.
The Association provides accommodation in rooms around the village of Petra and offering traditional homemade breakfast. There is also a restaurant in the village square on the first floor of the main building where guests can taste delicious homemade dishes, prepared with local ingredients and traditional recipes from the island.
Holy Temple of Virgin Mary
On the northwestern side of the island in the enchanting and cosmopolitan village of Petra there is the Virgin Mary church which is built on a rock, where 114 steps at the northern side are leading to the church. It is an important pilgrimage site of the island and visitors are coming during the days of August, the shrine of the Virgin Mary, as well as the sequence of the Good Friday and the Conduct of Epitaph.
The prominent church is three-aisled basilica with narthex, rare Byzantine icons and exceptional beauty carved bishop’s throne. In its place was built in 17century church with more cells. The renovation of the church as presented today was by a Sultan in 1840 by a master builder from Anemotia Stratis Karekos.
Church of Agios Nikolaos
At a short distance from the church of the Panagia, the church of St. Nicholas is conveniently located, a beautiful small monument near the huge plane tree in the village. This is a basilica aisle of the 17th century with rare frescoes on which stands the unique of the time of the hanging of Judah is displayed.