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Mytilini parish
Δημοτική Ενότητα Μυτιλήνης
Mytilene (Greece)
Basic data
State : GreeceGreece Greece
Region : North Aegean


Regional District : Lesbos
Municipality : Mytilene
Geographic coordinates : 39 ° 6 ′  N , 26 ° 33 ′  E Coordinates: 39 ° 6 ′  N , 26 ° 33 ′  E
Height above d. M .: 0–527 m
Aegean – Kourteri
Area : 107.460 km²
Residents : 37,890 (2011)
Population density : 352.6 inhabitants / km²
Code No .: 530101
Structure: f124 city districts
5 local communities
Located in the municipality of Mytilene and in the regional district of Lesvos
File: DE2019 Mytilinis.svg

The port city of Mytilene [ mitiˈlini ] ( Greek Μυτιλήνη ( f. Sg. ), Ancient Greek pronunciation Mytilēne , Turkish Midilli ) is the economic, administrative and cultural center of the Greek island of Lesbos . The city is the administrative seat of the municipality of the same name Mytilini ( Δήμος Μυτιλήνης Dímos Mytilínis ), the North Aegean region and the main location of the University of the Aegean .

After the conquest of Lesbos by Greek troops, Mytilene was recognized as a township (dimos) in 1918 . In 1997 the municipality was greatly enlarged by numerous incorporations. On the occasion of the administrative reform in 2010, this municipality was absorbed into the newly created municipality of Lesvos, which covers the entire area of ​​the island, and forms one of thirteen municipal districts in this.


The municipality is located on the Amali Peninsula (Χερσόνησο της Αμαλής), the southeastern and smallest of the three large peninsulas of Lesbos and extends a few kilometers northwards beyond it. Overall, the north-south extension is 20 km, from east to west a maximum of 7 km. The Amali Peninsula is bounded in the east by the Strait of Lesbos (Στενό Μυτιλήνης) and in the west by the Gulf of Gera (Κόλπος της Γέρας), Cape Agrilia (Ακροτιριο Αγριλιά) is the southernmost point. The small Machera peninsula (Μαχαίρα) forms the northern end of the municipal area. South of it and east of the small port of Skala Pamfyllon is the small uninhabited island of Pamfyllon (Ν. Παμφυλλον).

Neighboring districts are Loutropolis Thermis and Evergetoulas in the north, and Gera in the west across from the Gulf of Gera .

The district of Mytilene is located in the middle of the east coast at the narrowest point of the Amali Peninsula with about 3 km.


According to Diodorus , (5,81f) Mytilini bears the name of one of the two daughters of King Makar, mentioned in Homer , the other daughter was called Mithymna .


In ancient times, Mytilene was important because of the port. It is worth mentioning the siege of the city in 406 BC. By the Spartan fleet under Kallikratidas , who had enclosed the general Konon with the bulk of the Athenian fleet in the port. The Athenians sent an auxiliary fleet and were able to free those trapped in the battle of the Arginus . During the Alexanderzug , Mytilene changed hands several times and at the same time experienced a stasis that finally ended in a reconciliation, which is documented in writing.

Localities and settlements

The former municipal districts of Mytilinis have been managed as a municipality or local community (gr. Topiki kinotita for a population of less than 1000, dimotiki kinotita for more than 1000 inhabitants) depending on the number of inhabitants since 2011 . You choose your own local representatives. In the district of Moria there is a reception center for refugees ( Camp Moria ), which is designed for 3000 people. Most of the time, however, it is several times overcrowded and with over 20,000 people (as of April 2020) it is Europe's largest refugee camp.

The municipality of Mytilene with localities
local community
official name Area (km²) Residents Settlements (residents)
Mytilene Δημοτική Κοινότητα Μυτιλήνης 15.805 29,656 Mytilini (Μυτιλήνη ( f. Sg. )), 27.871
Varia (Βαρειά ( f. Sg. )), 1,133
Neapoli (Νεάπολι ( f. Sg. )), 422
Pligoni (Πλιγόνι ( n. Sg. )), 230
Agia Marina Τοπική Κοινότητα Αγίας Μαρίνης 20,481 746 Agia Marina (Αγία Μαρίνα ( f. Sg. )), 522
Agia Paraskevi (Αγία Παρασκευή ( f. Sg. )), 137
Agrilia Kratigou (Αγριλιά Κρατήγου ( f. Sg. )), 87
Alyfanda Τοπική Κοινότητα Αλυφαντών 9,628 646 Alyfanda (Αλυφαντά ( n. Pl. )), 360
Kedro (Κέδρο ( n. Sg. )), 89
Outza (Ουτζά ( f. Sg. )), 36
Pyrgi (Πυργί ( n. Sg. )), 161
Afalonas Τοπική Κοινότητα Αφάλωνος 7.976 482 Afalonas (Αφάλωνας ( m. Sg. )), 482
Loutra Δημοτική Κοινότητα Λουτρών 22.137 1,420 Loutra (Λουτρά ( n. Pl. )),
1.085 Ano Charamida (Άνω Χαραμίδα ( f. Sg. )), 41
scale Loutron (Σκάλα Λουτρών ( f. Sg. )), 259
Charamida (Χαραμίδ . ) ( F. Sg. Sg. )) , 35
Moria Δημοτική Κοινότητα Μόριας 16.179 1,450 Moria (Μόρια ( f. Sg. )),
1.164 Achlia (Αχλιά ( f. Sg. )), 118
Larisos (Λάρισος ( f. Sg. )), 168
Marmaro (Μάρμαρο ( n. Sg. )), 0
Pamfila Δημοτική Κοινότητα Παμφίλων 11.303 1,477 Pamfila (Πάμφιλα ( n. Pl. )),
1.413 Niselia (Νησέλια ( n. Pl. )), 33
Paralia (Παραλία ( f. Sg. )), 31
Panagiouda Τοπική Κοινότητα Παναγιούδας 0.825 906 Panagiouda (Παναγιούδα ( f. Sg. )), 906
Taxiarches Τοπική Κοινότητα Ταξιαρχών 3.126 1.107 Taxiarches (Ταξιάρχες ( m. Pl. )), 1.107

Culture and sights


Ancient buildings

Pier of the ancient port with an Ottoman tower
Ancient port

The northern port of Mytilene (Αρχαίο Ακρομόλιο) was called Malois Limin (Μαλόης λιμήν) after the local sanctuary of Apollon Maloen. It was created by two piers from the 5th century BC, which are still in exceptionally good condition. Secured. The eastern pier in the Epano Skala district, which has been preserved up to the surface of the water, is 350 m long and begins at an Ottoman tower of the fortress. According to a drawing from the 18th century, there was a lighthouse at the northern end. The second 150 m long pier delimits the harbor basin to the north and begins near an abandoned factory in the Kalamaris district . The facility represents an early port facility and is still used by fishermen today.


On the coastal road by the old port of Epano Skala was in the late 4th or early 3rd century BC. An agora . The foundations and stylobates of the columns have been preserved from the former 150 m long portico .

Ancient theater

The ancient theater (Αρχαίο Θέατρο) is located near the church of Agios Kyriaki above the Synikismos district . In antiquity, the theater built into a slope (Αρχαίο Θέατρο) was known for its view over the Acropolis, the harbors on the coast of Asia Minor. In the late Roman period, the Hellenistic theater was built in the 3rd century BC. (~ 330 BC) rebuilt. According to Plutarch , the 10,000 seat theater is said to have served as a model for the theater of Pompey in Rome. The round orchestra with a diameter of 24.2 m was separated from the semicircular auditorium (koilon) by a wall.

Late Roman building

The late Roman building behind the Agios Athanasios Cathedral is probably a public building due to the preserved architectural parts. A semicircular foundation with bases and remains of Ionic columns have been preserved. Together with the numerous mansions discovered around Mytilene, the remains of the buildings testify to the heyday of the city and the region during the Roman period.

Roman aqueduct at Moria
Roman aqueduct at Moria

The Roman aqueduct at Moria probably dates from the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd century AD. The aqueduct was part of the 26 km long aqueduct from the vicinity of Agiasos on Mount Olympus to the city of Mytilene. Other remains of the line can be found at Lambou Myli. The 27 m high aqueduct has been partially preserved over a length of about 170 m and had seventeen arches. It is estimated that the aqueduct could deliver 127,000 cubic meters of water per day to the city.



The fortress of Mytilene (Κάστρο Μυτιλήνης also Φρούριο της Μυτιλήνης) is located today on a peninsula in the northeast. Probably in the 6th century AD during the reign of Justinian I , the fortress was built over the remains of an ancient acropolis on the former island of Kioski (Κιόσκι). In Byzantine times the island was still separated by the almost 800 m long and about 30 m wide Evripos (Εύριπος) channel. A gate on the north side, fortifications on the east wall and a cistern in the central area of ​​the fortress are still preserved from this period.

Fortress of Mytilene

As a thank you for the arms help in the fight against the Byzantine counter-emperor John VI. got Francesco Gattilusio 1355 the island of Lesbos as hereditary reign of John V. awarded. Other sources report that Mary, the sister of John V, brought the island as a dowry to the marriage with Francesco Gattilusio. It remained in the possession of the Genoese patrician family until 1462 . According to a Latin inscription on the west gate, the fortress was extensively expanded and reinforced from 1373 onwards. The new fortification followed mainly the Byzantine predecessor buildings, but the interior was divided into today's "Lower Kastro" (Πάνω Κάστρο) and "Middle Kastro" (Μεσαίο Κάστρο). A strong earthquake on August 6, 1384 caused great damage, which was apparently repaired by 1403. Under Domenico Gattilusio , the fortress was equipped with additional cannons, his brother Niccolo , the last Archon of Lesbos , had walls and ramparts reinforced, the battlements erected and ditches and other observation posts carried out. The ruins of the church of Agios Ioannis (Άγιος Ιωάννης) bear witness to the Genoese era.

After a 27-day siege, the fortress was conquered by the Ottomans through betrayal in September 1462. In 1501, Sultan Bayezid II had the destruction that had arisen on the north side of the port of Epano Skala in the wars with the Republic of Venice (1499–1503) repaired and had two gun turrets built. Further modernization and construction work was carried out between 1643 and 1644, probably after it was destroyed by an earthquake.

Ottoman bath

The Ottoman bath Tsarsi Hamam (Τσαρσί Χαμάμ) is the only remaining hammam of three in Mytilini. Tsarsi is derived from the Turkish Çarşı for “market”. The Tsarsi Hamam , built between 1800 and 1825, is located on a side street of Odos Ermou near the Yeni Mosque in the historic center of the city. The architecture of the bath expresses the general tendency of neo-Ottoman art of the 19th century, which is expressed in a revival of the classic models of the 16th century. Since the restoration, the rooms have been used for cultural events.


Valide Cami (Sultan's Mother Mosque)
Valid cami

The Valide Cami ("Mosque of the Valide Sultan ", gr. Βαλιδέ Τζαμί) is located near the sea in the Epano Skala district in Platia Kornarou Street (Πλατεία Κορνάρου). The mosque was built before 1791. An inscription above the entrance indicates 1615 as the year of foundation, but it is assumed that this inscription belongs to an older building. The 15 m high cylindrical minaret with a six-sided base on the northwest corner is the only one that has survived in the city. The multi-sided marble fountain decorated with arabesques is in the ancient Archaeological Museum of Mytilene.

Yalı Cami

The Yalı Cami (Greek Giali Tzami Γιαλί Τζαμί, also Vezir Hasan Paşa Cami ) is located on the coastal road near the port of Epano Skala and was built by the Muslim community around 1880. A marble plaque with an Arabic inscription placed above the entrance shows that the mosque replaced a previous building from 1690 after the earthquake of 1867. The entrance to the women's area was on the northeast side, on the northwest side there was a five-sided minaret that collapsed in 1939.

Yeni Cami

The Yeni Cami ("New Mosque", Greek Geni Tzami Γενί Τζαμί) is located in Epano Skala on the Odos Ermou and was in the middle of the former Turkish market. In the immediate vicinity are the Muslim cemetery and the Turkish bath Tsarsi Hamam (Τσαρσί Χαμάμ). Yeni Cami was built in 1825 and was the largest and last built mosque in Mytilene. After the "Asia Minor Catastrophe" refugees were housed in the mosque. The roof was later demolished and the building materials sold. Only the base of the former minaret remains; it was on the northwest corner, about 30 meters high, and towered over the cathedral's bell tower. During the Greek military dictatorship the mosque was supposed to be demolished. Conservation measures have been carried out since 2000 and the structure is used for cultural events such as theater performances and exhibitions.


The Archaeological Museum, newly built in 1995.
Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Mytilene (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Μυτιλήνης) is housed in two meters away buildings.

  • The old archaeological museum is located in a listed neoclassical villa built in 1912 in the Odos Argiris Eftaliotis (Οδός Αργύρης Εφταλιώτης) near the port. The exhibits in the main building from prehistoric to Roman times come from the entire island. In addition, items from private collections and donations are presented. Larger finds such as the capitals of the ancient temple of Klopedi, carved in the Aeolian style, gravestones decorated with reliefs and statues from the Archaic to Roman times are shown in the outdoor area and in the forecourt.
  • The new building completed in 1995 (Νέο αρχαιολογικό μουσείο), financed by the Greek state and the European Community, is located in Odos 8. Noemvriou (Οδός 8ης Νοεμβρίου) in the Kioski district , where recent excavations have shown a temple of Aphrodite. On March 23, 1999, the permanent exhibition Lesvos, from the Hellenistic to the Roman period (Η Λέσβος από την Ελληνιστική στη Ρωμαϊκή Εποχή) was opened. The exhibition leads the visitor into the way of life from the 2nd century BC. Until the 3rd century AD. In addition to the late Roman floor mosaics from the House of Menander , which show motifs from comedy scenes and a portrait of the poet, wall paintings, everyday objects and sculptures from stately mansions on the hill of Agia Kyriaki are presented. These testify to the economic prosperity of Mytilini in the 2nd century. The collection is completed by grave reliefs, statues and portraits from the Hellenistic and Roman periods as well as with texts, maps and models that help to better understand the exhibits.
Museum of Byzantine Art

The Museum of Byzantine Art (Μουσείο Βυζαντινής τέχνης) was built in 1978 opposite the church of Agios Therapon in the center of Mytilini. The collection includes sacred objects from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods, priestly robes, carvings, rare manuscripts and old worship books. From the icon collection, which includes works from the 13th to the 19th century, the three icons of the Almighty , St. Ioannis Theologos and St. George are of importance.

Municipal picture gallery

The municipal picture gallery (Δημοτική Πινακοθήκη Mυτιλήνης) is housed in a three-story villa from the end of the 19th century in Epano Skala. The gallery shows an important collection of paintings that the Greek art critic Giorgos Simos-Petris bequeathed to the city of Mytilene after his death in 1998 and his sister Elli Simos after her death in 2001. The so-called "Petris Collection" includes 138 paintings, engravings, books and engravings by the Greek painters Giannis Tsarouxis, Giorgios Gounaropoulos , Yannis Moralis and Alekos Fassianos and foreign painters such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse . In addition, works by important painters from the island are exhibited in the municipal picture gallery.

Theofilos Museum (Μουσείο Έργων Θεόφιλου)
Theofilos : Adamantios Korais and Rigas Ferreos are helping Greece to rise

The Theofilos Museum is located in an olive grove in the southern suburb of Varia, about 4 km from the city center. The museum was built in 1964 according to plans by Giorgos Giannoulellis. The museum and the 86 paintings by the naive painter Theofilos were donated to the city of Mytilene by the art critic Tériade.

Teriade Museum

The museum - library Stratis Eleftheriadis - Teriade (Μουσείο - Βιβλιοθήκη Στρατή Ελευθεριάδη - Teriade) is located in the southern suburb of Varia, about 4 km from the city center and was opened in 1979. The building was financed by Tériade , the design by the architect Giorgos Giannoulellis from Lesbos is characterized by simple architectural features. In sixteen of the twenty rooms on two floors, publications by the publisher and original editions of Tériades magazines Minotaure and Verve are shown. The museum also contains the 27 illustrated art books with works by Marc Chagall , Le Corbusier , Alberto Giacometti , Henri Matisse , Joan Miró , Pablo Picasso and other modern artists, which have been published in an edition of 180-250 copies and have been signed by the artists. Each book is exhibited in a showcase, and the last proofs of the numbered books are shown on the walls. There are also 37 works by Theophilos , six by Yannis Tsarouchis and three by Kaligiannis.


Air traffic

The Mytilene International Airport Odysseas Elytis (Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Μυτιλήνης, Οδυσσέας Ελύτης) is located less than 10 kilometers south of the city center. Scheduled flights from Athens and Thessaloniki are operated by the Greek national airline Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines . Olympic Airlines also offers direct flights from Limnos , Chios , Samos and Rhodes . In the period from May to October, charter flights from Düsseldorf , Munich , Vienna and Amsterdam are also available .


Most of the major ferry companies in the Aegean Sea call at Mytilene. Connections from Piraeus across the Cyclades and on to Thessaloniki are offered as well as from Alexandroupoli to Rhodes . After Ayvalik in Turkey links exist daily with a passenger ferry. A passenger ferry also serves the connection across the Gulf of Gera from Koundouroudia to Perama in the neighboring municipality of Gera.

Bus transport

Although located in the southeast of the third largest Greek island, the central bus station is in Mytilene. The bus company KTEL Mytilinis (ΚΤΕΛ Μυτιλήνης) operates the network for both city buses and intercity buses.


University of the Aegean

Mytilini is the main location of the University of the Aegean (Πανεπιστήμιο Αιγαίου) founded in 1984 and the location of two of the university's five schools.

Town twinning

Mytilene has twinned cities in Greece

outside Greece


born in Mytilene

died in Mytilene

lived in Mytilene

  • Sappho (* between 630 and 612 BC; † around 570 BC), Greek poet, place of birth and death unknown
  • Eustace C. Grenville Murray (1824–1881), British sub-vice-consul on site, from winter 1853 to December 1854.

born in Varia

  • Theofilos (* around 1870–1934), Greek naive painter
  • Tériade (1897–1983), Greco-French art critic, art collector, editor and publisher

Web links

Commons : Mytilene  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 212 Lesbos, 1: 70,000 (map) . Road Editions, ISBN 960-8481-92-9 .
  2. Results of the 2011 census, Greek Statistical Office (ΕΛ.ΣΤΑΤ) ( Memento from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (Excel document; 2.6 MB)
  3. Robert Rollinger, Brigitte Truschnegg (Ed.): Antiquity and the Mediterranean: The ancient world on this side and beyond the Levant: Festschrift for Peter W. Haider on his 60th birthday . Franz Steiner Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-515-08738-9 . online , p. 92
  5. Alexander Göbel: Corona risk in Camp Moria: "What is the EU waiting for?" Tagesschau, April 3, 2020, accessed on June 7, 2020 .
  6. ^ Matthias Gelzer, Elisabeth Herrmann-Otto : Pompeius: Life picture of a Roman . Franz Steiner Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-515-08474-6 , pp. 244 . online , p. 104
  7. Mytilene Ancient Theater. Greek Ministry of Culture (Greek)
  8. Roman aqueduct. Greek Ministry of Culture (Greek)
  9. Tsarsi Hamam. Greek Ministry of Culture (Greek)
  10. Valide Tzami (mosque). Greek Ministry of Culture (Greek)
  11. Newspaper Aiolika Nea (Αιολικά Νέα), January 23, 2009, Greek ( memento of the original from October 2, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. Geni Tzami (mosque). Greek Ministry of Culture (Greek)
  13. ^ Wilhelm Geerlings: The commentary in antiquity and the Middle Ages: New contributions to his research . Ed .: Wilhelm Geerlings, Christian Schulze. Brill, ISBN 90-04-13562-6 , pp. 276 (Roman Comedy Pictures, p. 63ff). on-line
  14. ^ Roman mosaics from Greece
  15. ^ Archaeological Museum of Mytilene. Greek Ministry of Culture
  16. ^ Theofilos Museum. Greek Ministry of Culture
  17. ^ Mytilene Airport. ( Memento of the original from March 29, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (greek and english) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Ferry connections in Greece
  19. University of the Aegean - Faculties ( Memento of the original from November 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /