The City of Chios is the capital of the island of Chios and the biggest town in it. It is located in the east coast of the island, facing the Eryrhrea peninsula on Asia Minor.
Right in the same position as it has been for thousands of years, Chios gained great significance over the centuries. This was mainly due to the fact that it is an extraordinarily wealthy area and strategic point on the route connecting the Southern Aegean with the Black Sea.
The city is locally referred to as “Chora” (=town) to distinguish it from the entirely of the island with which it shares the name.
Originally the site of an ancient settlement, the town was first built at the north side of a natural harbor. By the 16th century, the walled town had been further fortified by successive rulers into a massive medieval castle, the Chios Castle, located on the right when entering the harbor. The entrance is through the southern gate, the Porta Maggiore, over the moat surrounding the fortress.
The current town has expanded out from the “Kastro”, and the port in the last 200 years. After the devastating earthquake of 1881, the town was substantially rebuilt in neoclassical style, although much of the quayside and outskirts are more modern. Although the population is relatively stable, the town continues to expand with suburbs being built to the north and south.
Nevertheless, the centre of the town is still concentrated between the port and castle where the administration, several museums, the main shopping street “Aplotaria”, and the municipal gardens lie.
What to See
The Archaeological Museum
Korais Library & Argenti museum
The Castle of Chios with the Ottomans Baths fully restored
The Megjijie mosque home of the Byzantine Museum of Chios
What to Do
Eat at Hotzas tavern and ask for fresh Chios Beer
Walk the Aplotaria street, the main commercial street of Chios
Buy Chios T-Shirts