The Doors of Mastichochoria IV

The village of Vessa on the Greek island of Chios lies north of the other Mastichochoria (mastic villages) of Mesta, Pyrgi and Olympoi. Vessa is off the general tourist path through the mastic growing area. And unlike the other Mastichochoria I’ve posted about, Vessa no longer retains its fortification walls, many of its stone vaulted passageways or its central tower (although the latter is missing in Mesta, too). It appears to be a much more open village lying in a valley.

The devastating wildfire of 2012 is also more evident here than further south. Growth is slowly coming back, but blackened stumps still remain.

This sleepy village, however, displays amazing colour. During our late afternoon stroll through the village our only companions were a few friendly little dogs and many watchful cats, the latter slinking from passage to passage. The doors here pop out of blue-washed walls. Only traces now remain of this vivid blue as the plaster peels from the walls.

Some doors are also bright – this one turquoise set against the local yellow building stone.

More blue plaster survives around this faded carved double door with its ornamental cross in the archway.

This door appears high above street level and acts now as a niche for flower pots. Perhaps there would have been exterior stone stairs up to the door as there is evidence for this elsewhere in the village.

What was once a stately door is now a bit tattered.

But, what really struck me about this door was the detail of its key hole plate – obviously one of a kind.

This concludes my series on the doors of the Mastichochoria. Check out the doors of the other Mastic villages of Mesta, Pyrgi and Olympoi – or check out my Photo Album for a complete list.

And also Norm’s Thursday Doors for many more posts on fascinating doors.


  1. Fabulous photos. I love the colors and unique character of the old doors of Mastichochoria. It’s so sad to me that this type of craftsmanship doesn’t seem to exist any longer. It’s wonderful you captured their beauty when you visited the island.


    • One thing I have noticed in my long association with Greece is the various revivals of traditional crafts. Who knows? Perhaps woodworking (chests, lintels, doors, etc) might also resurface. And still we have these lovely old doors that (in my opinion) are more beautiful and full of character when they are in a tattered state.

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  2. Wonderful! Nothing can beat the passage of time and the affect of the elements for creating character. If only those doors could tell us of the people who have passed through them


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