Leipsoi


Leipsoi

Infobox Greek Isles
name = Leipsoi
native_name = Λειψοί
skyline = Lipsi.jpg
sky_caption = Lipsi, viewed from the harbour


coordinates = coord|37|18|N|26|45|E
chain = Dodecanese
isles = 7
area = 17.350
highest_mount =
elevation =
periph = South Aegean
prefect = Dodecanese
capital = Lipsi (town)
population = 698
pop_as_of = 2001
postal = 850 01
telephone = 22470
license = ΚΧ, ΡΟ, PK
website =

Leipsoi ( _el. Λειψοί, also: Lipsi) is an island south of Samos and to the north of Leros in Greece. It is well serviced with ferries passing between Patmos and Leros and on the main route for ferries from Piraeus. There is varied accommodation on the island. Lipsi town is quaint though of little architectural interest - it was probably flattened by an earthquake some years back. Lipsi or Lipsous is a small group of islets at the northern part of the Dodecanese near to Patmos island and Leros.

Geography

The island contains springs at Fountani, alias Pikri Nero, in the area near Koimissi along with other minor springs also flowing in this region. The Cave of Ontas dominates the settlement. A 960 meter paved path carved into the hill connects the upper quarters of Koimisi with the lower ones.

Economy

Local products, namely thyme honey (produced the traditional way), wine, cheese, dairy products (touloumotyri cheese, the local version of mizithra) and grapes. Also loom-woven fabrics, carpets and "fookadia" (cloth pouches used to strain cheese).

Most of the secluded and protected bays like Moschato Bay in the north on this island have been spoilt by fish farming. The water in these bays is often very cloudy with fish farm wastage. The less protected beaches are not polluted and easily reached by the road network. Roads have recently been reconstructed using European Union funding.

Landmarks

There are several churches and monasteries scattered around the island dedicated to a multitude of saints. One that should not be missed is the church of Aghios Nektarios, built in or about 1980 by father Nikiforos, the parochial priest of Lipsi at the time and a favorite baptistry for the inhabitants of the island.

*Panaghia tou Harou: architectural style (purely islander, Byzantine in perception yet austere and unpretentious). Once specialists decide to study this construction more closely, there will certainly be some very interesting conclusions drawn referent to the time the church was built (some time between the 7th or 8th century AD.
**There is a holy icon of the Virgin in this church, reputed to be of miraculous powers, depicting Mary holding Jesus Crucified. The uniqueness of the concept and the artfulness of the rendition make of this icon one of the brightest moments in hagiography.

*Aghios Ioannis Theologos (St. John Evangelist), the building of which was financed by Lipsian immigrants. The church of Koimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition of Mary), dominating the little bay bearing the same name. Also to be found there are reliquaries containing the remains of monks reduced to martyrdom, slain by the Turks during the dark years of the Ottoman rule. Five of those monks have recently been beatified by decree of the Greek Orthodox Partriarch.

*The church of Panaghia (the Virgin) at Kouselio, built on the very foundations of an early christian church. Embedded in the walls of this church - and therefore still to bed seen - are inscription-bearing marbles of that earlier construction that were later used as building material for the new church. Yet another interesting visit is that of the two St. Nicholas churches, raising on the caps on either side of the mouth of the port, along with the churches of Aghios Theologos tou Moschatou (17th century), Aghios Panteleimon (at Katsadia), Profitis Ilias - a church dedicated to Prophet Elijah and naturally built on top of a hill dominating the port, true to the perennial tradition for churches dedicated to this Prophet to be built in elevated locations.

References


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