The Doors of Mastichochoria III

Third in my series of the doors of the Mastichochoria (mastic villages of Chios) is the village of Olympoi. If you visit the region’s wonderful Mastic Museum – part of the fabulous group of Piraeus Bank intangible culture museums scattered throughout Greece – the village of Olympoi is used as a type site to demonstrate life in the Mastichochoria. It is similar, but smaller than the neighbouring village of Mesta, with vaulted passageways, but only one gate into the walled town. Also, Olympoi sports a few scraffito Xysta black and white decorations like the much larger village of Pyrgi.

Olympoi is a friendly village, well lived in and not experiencing frantic reconstruction like its near neighbour. It is a village for its villagers – a sentiment embodied by this door of the syllologos (community centre) of Olympoi located in its centre square. The building once held a girl’s school estabished in 1908 from donations from the Greeks of Contantinople.

There are many other interesting doors here, from well-worn to well-tended. The blue one tucked into the corner of a building on the main square was one of the first to catch my eye – full of character with interesting curves and angles.

The centre square still retains its fortified tower unlike its neighbour, Mesta, and it is in much better shape than the tower at Pyrgi. Around this tower are lovely doors. This one with faded burgundy paint and a substantial stone surround.

Another blue door, full of character, is located on the far side of the tower.

A substantial newish double door – carved like older examples – with a nineteenth century date on its stone lintel lies in one of vaulted passageways.

In contrast – just opposite – is this door set ajar – well worn and a bit tattered, probably slated to be replaced.

And, as you head out of the village, you will see another door leading into open space. It might have once belonged to a house that has now tumbled down and the ground put to thrifty use as a garden.

Check out the my other posts on the doors of MastichochoriaMesta and Pyrgi. Coming up soon: the doors of Vessa.

Also, check out Norm’s Thursday Doors for intetesting doors worldwide.

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