Clinging to the N.E. slope of Mt.Olympus, Agiassos is one of the most picturesque villages on Lesbos. You’ll be impressed by its significant commercial activity and local traditions which are fervently preserved.
Picturesque, steep, narrow roads, evoke memories of the by-gone days. Its houses are unsophisticated in their architecture yet impressive with their wooden “Turkish Style” balconies decorated with an assortment of potted flowers.
The somewhat “ eccentric” temperament of the villagers, who are known for their acuteness, their industrious nature, profound faith but also for their unrelenting, but well-intentioned mockery, shed light on the souls of all those they associate with. Agiassos is considered to be the “Mother” of School teachers. Indeed this is true, since a large number of teachers come from Agiassos.
This town is built amidst lush verdure. Large areas of land are planted with chestnuts, walnuts, apples and wild cherries that create a landscape of unique beauty in both winter and summer. The florescence of the area is significant, particularly in Spring. Anemones with beautifully coloured petals, cyclamens, peonies and wild orchids complete this picture of scenic beauty.
There are two main routes of access to the village; the upper road which leads to the upper quarter and the lower road to the lower quarter. If you wish to access the village by the upper entrance, when you reach the crossroad on the main road artery, take the road on the left that leads to Megalochori.
A large number of people moved to Agiassos in the early 1800s, among them many fine craftsmen of a variety of trades. This significant inflow of people and subsequent increase in and creation of new ones lead to the establishment of a large number of workshops that produced fine quality products and thus soon became known to the general public and were in great demand all over the island.
Indeed by the end of the 19th century the five steam-driven olive presses that operated, created the need for the establishment of a number of manufactories for the production of special sacks in which the olive pulp was stored.
Today these sacks are far less in demand and production has diminished due to the introduction of modern technology. This is one of the reasons why Agiassos experienced a population bleed during the years following 1952 ; migration, both domestic, that is to other parts of Greece and abroad resulted in a loss of a significant part of the labour force of Agiassos.
Its name originates from the inscription on the Holy Icon of Our Lady which the monk Agathon brought from Jerusalem MITIR THEOU AGIA SION (MOTHER OF THE LORD, AGIA SION). Agia Sion the icon, Agia Sion the monastery. Believers who went there as a pilgrimage would say “We are going to (Saint) Agia Sion” or “we are going to AgiaSon” and thus the accusative which was sonically “Agiason” became the nominative “Agiassos”.
Therefore Panagia (Our Lady) not only brought about the foundation of the village but also lent her name to it. The inhabitants of Agiassos are well aware of the above and show deep respect for the Mother of Our Lord. They show a respect for Panagia that is far greater than that shown by any other believer.
In Agiassos you can visit some sights: the Sacred Church of Trinity, the Market Square, the church of Panagia, height Kasteli and some other.
“The Garden of Our Lady” is a cool area with a lovely view of the village from below. Here stands the 600 year-old towering plane tree with its enormous branches, under which Eleftherios Venizelos is said to have danced.
The chapel of “Holy Apostoles” (Agion Apostolon), located inside the yard walls of the Church of Panagia is of remarkable architecture and the chapel of “ the Life-giving source” (Zoodochou Pigis), where, legend says, Agathon the Ephesian, the monk who brought the miracle-worker icon of Panagia from Agiassos, built his hermitage during the Iconoclast times.
Also Agiasos is popular by ceramic. Agiassos has a great number of craftsmen from Tsanak-Kalι in Asia Minor, have contributed to a greater development of the art of ceramics in Agiassos than in the eastern areas of the island. Every year in Agiassos is folk festivals that you can visit and enjoy traditional music, handcraft and nice atmosphere.