Pyrgi, or otherwise called the “painted village”, is the largest medieval village of Chios and is located in the area of Mastihohoria, 25 km away from the island’s city. The village has become a preservable monument and it remains unchanged since it was not destroyed by the great earthquake of Chios in 1881.
The visitor will be impressed by the unique beauty of the village due to the special painter’s motifs on the facades of the houses, which are the result of a special technical carving with the hand of geometric motifs in white and black in plaster, a technique that continues until today by the locals. The houses of the village’s square and some other houses of the village have an outer calcareous strange coating, with several linear engraved patterns (or ornaments), which, in others, are oriental styles, and others of Italian origin (STUCCO). This painting with the various designs is known as “scratches” (xysta). Scratches (xysta) always start from almost half of the door and in others above the door. Their designs consist of squares, diamonds, triangles, many of them have bouquets in vase, storks, tree branches, leaves narrow, etc. Scratches are firstly made with a good coating of paint and then a second black sand coating is carried by the sea. When these are jointed, they put a third coating on which, when still wet, patterns are carved with diabetes and ruler and then drawings are created with a fork. The rest of the wall remains white. The engraved color gets dark and then a strange smooth pattern is created.
Its architecture, which creates the feeling of seeing a castle, with houses built one next to each other, narrow small streets, outer small towers and the one and only entrance to the village, was established as a method of protecting the residents from the frequent hostile raids.
Another characteristic of the village is the multitude of churches, most notably the 13th century Byzantine church of the Holy Apostiles. The Temple of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, built in 1694, the 19th century St. George monastery and the church of Taxiarchis dated back to 1680 are also very interesting.
For all these reasons Pyrgi is considered a must-see destination for all travelers who visit South Chios since it is a unique experience that can be combined with a visit to the nearby beaches of the area, especially Mavra Volia beach, one of the most beautiful and unique beaches in Greece due to the black color of the landscape.