MILOS



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Milos - Adamas, Plaka and environs - The catacombs

The catacombs

Trypiti­ is the southern extension of Plaka, a village which winds attractively along a ridge overlooking the entrance into Milos Bay. Its name comes from the word ‘τρυπητός’, meaning ‘perforated’ or ‘shot through with holes’: this refers to the extensive network of *  Early Christian catacombs (signposted) which lie a short distance beneath the village to the southwest. (Generally open daily 8.30–1, except Mon. If closed, telephone custodian on 6978 323050.) Their development dates primarily from the 3rd and 4th centuries ad, though the original, central burial which gave rise to them may have been earlier still. There are five main galleries, extending to a total 185m; but only the principal gallery is currently open for visits.
   These are the most extensive catacombs in Greece found to date (the only others in the Aegean being near the village of Skopelos on Lesbos)—even though the catacomb is a phenomenon of the Early
Christian world found all over the Mediterranean area, from North Africa to as far north as Paris. They often derive, as here, from the initial burial place of some important holy person or martyr, followed by other pious souls who wished to be buried in their physical proximity so as to benefit from the ‘spiritual protection’ which that proximity afforded. Hence the generally organic growth of catacomb complexes. The large ‘sarcophagusof living rock in the centre of the main gallery here probably represents the original burial and the initial nucleus of the complex. The galleries are cut from a soft, volcanic tuff containing lapilli. The size of the loculi remains more or less the same, with the borders often picked out in red; there are inscriptions (scarcely visible) and later graffiti. Areas of the walls, in particular in the arcosolia, show evidence of have been rendered with plaster and painted with abstract designs. Individual catacomb burials, of which there are over 120 here, were originally lit by oil lamps which were maintained by visiting relatives and the faithful: no vent for the oxygen supply is apparent here, however. The original entrance would have been much smaller so that it could be closed with a stone. By the time the catacombs came to the public attention in the 1840s, they had already been robbed and despoiled of any objects of value, and the colours and inscriptions have since begun to fade with exposure to the atmosphere. Nonetheless the complex remains a historically and architecturally interesting space.

The road down to the catacombs from the ridge at Trypiti­ passes the church of the Panaghia Phaneromeni beside a huge cypress tree in the crook of a sharp bend: its altar is a fragment of ancient column and there are vestiges of painting in the apse.


Milos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.
Early Christian Catacombs in Milos.

 

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access

Milos Island, Greece.

By air: Olympic Air operates two 40-minute flights from Athens to Milos daily. The airport is 4.5km from Adámas.
By boat: Ventouris Lines run a daily car-ferry service from Piraeus (dep. 7.05 am, arr. c. 3 pm), which calls at the other Western Cycladic Islands both on the outward and return journey, guaranteeing daily connections with them. This is supplemented by at least one high-speed connection (4 hrs 30 mins) every day in the summer only.
There are three weekly connections between Milos and Santorini. The F/B Panaghia Phaneromeni makes 5–6 crossings daily from Pollónia (in northeast Milos) to Kimolos; it accommodates vehicles, and the journey takes 25 mins.

Milos Travel Guide

beaches

Milos Island, Greece.

 

Milos Travel Guide

eating

Milos Island, Greece.

To Petrino in Zephyría is one of the most trustworthy places on Milos for simple, fresh Greek cooking, and it remains out of the tourist loop.
The Mezedopoleion Phocas in Pláka, and Zygos in Adámas, prepare their dishes well and freshly, and offer local wine in the spring.
For good fish, Pelagos, the easternmost taverna on the beach at Palaiochori, is to be recommended: it remains open all year.
The speciality of the tavernas at Palaiochori is a succulent lamb dish, slow cooked in terracotta vessels on the geothermically heated sand of the beach outside.

Milos Travel Guide

further reading

Milos Island, Greece.

An Island Polity: the Archaeology of Exploitation in Melos, edited by Colin Renfrew and Malcolm Wagstaff, CUP, 1982.
Disarmed—The Story of the Venus de Milo, by Gregory Curtis, Vintage Press, 2004.
Milos—Geologic History, by Ian Plimer, KOAN Publishing House, Athens, 2000.
James Theodore Bent, The Cyclades (1885), reissued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series.
Thucydides’s Peloponnesian War, V, 84–116 is poignantly relevant to Milos.

Milos Travel Guide

lodging

Milos Island, Greece.

The island offers mainly simple accommodations.
In Adámas, Giannis Apartments are spacious and pleasant and in a quiet neighbourhood (T. 22870 22204, fax 22144, www. giannisapartments.gr).
Attractively situated above the harbour of Klima, and close to the archaeological areas, is the Hotel Panorama (T. 22870 21623, fax 22112); while higher up in the alleyways of Pláka are two charming alternatives with good views: Archondoula Studios (T. 22870 23820) and Betty’s Studios (T. 22870 21538).
Across the island, be hind the beach at Palaiochóri, are the pleasantly appointed Artemis Bungalows (T./fax. 22870 31221).
At Pollónia, the Kostantakis Farm and Studios offers comfortable and attractive studios, as well as wine and produce grown on its own farm, (T. 22870 41357, fax 41500, www.kostantakis.gr)
The most unusual solution of all, is in a converted windmill on the ridge at Trypití: there are three units at the Marketos Windmill and its out buildings, all with clear views (T. 22870 22147, fax 22384).

Milos Travel Guide

museums

Milos Island, Greece.

Ecclesiastical Museum
Milos Archaeological Museum
Mining Museum of Milos

Milos Travel Guide

practical info

Milos Island, Greece.

848 00 Milos: area 158sq km; perimeter 139km; resi dent population 4,736; max. altitude 748 m. Port Authority: T. 22870 23360. Travel information: Milos Travel, T. 22870 22000, fax. 22688, www.milostravel. gr, (Pollónia) Blue Waters Travel (Patrick and Sheila Warwick), tel. 22870 41234. General information: www.milos-island.gr

Milos Travel Guide

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