THASOS



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Thasos - Thasos town - Limenas - In the town - The residential quarter beside the hermes Gate

The residential quarter beside the Hermes Gate
This is an area of considerable interest which takes it name from the northernmost gate of the town which leads out to the ancient commercial port. It bears a rather damaged, early-5th century bc relief showing the god Hermes entering the town accompanied by the faintly discernible form of three female figures—perhaps the three Charites that accompany the god also on the relief in the ‘Passage of the Theoroi’. A faint cross has been incised just above the relief. At ground level to left and right of the gate there are two carefully-constructed channels—small tunnels almost—that perforate the walls to allow for the effluence of rainwater at this low point in the city. Originally these were fitted with iron grills for security: on the wall above, beside the modern street, can be seen two large, curiously fashioned stones of ogival form, whose size and shape correspond to the entrances to these drain galleries, and which were probably used as further security for closing them in times of flood, siege or attack.
   The ancient street runs along the inside of the walls; from it radiate other streets going inland, and dividing the excavated area into housing blocks. The plan of these streets did not change in centuries, but the housing blocks it defined evolved constantly. There were latterly substantial dwellings here: some were two floors high with pitched roofs, built around open peristyle courtyards which had a paved impluvium to collect rainwater from the roof into cisterns below the building, still marked to day by the round caps and perforated flagstones at their mouths. These upper-level remains are mostly from the late Hellenistic and Roman Imperial times; but the area has been continuously inhabited since the late 8th century bc—i.e. before the colonisation of the island from Paros. The constant rebuilding after destructions by earthquake, enemy, or the attrition of time, means that a variety of different kinds of ancient masonry can clearly be seen here, from the decorative, polygonal stonework of the 6th century bc at the base-level of the southern and eastern blocks, through the smaller rectangular blocks of Hellenistic stonework built on top of it, up to the 2nd century ad alterations at the highest levels. Different again in method are the beautiful, regularly alternating layers of thinner (gneiss) and thicker (marble) rectangular blocks in the southeast corner under the hill, which constitute the massive terracing walls for the higher levels and are probably of the late-5th/ early-4th century bc. These walls are all grey today with the patina of time: but it is important to imagine them with the much more brilliant surface of newly quarried, white marble.


Thasos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.


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access

Thasos Island, Greece.

Access to the island is by car-ferry from two harbours close to Kavala—(Nea) Péramos to the west, and Keramoti to the east—and from the port of Kavala itself.
   The service from Keramoti is now the most practical and reliable, and is the only one that serves Thasos town/Liménas itself with departures approximately every 90ms (crossing time, 40mins);
   The other connections are all to Prinos Skala which lies 16km to the west of the main town of Liménas. In the summer there are generally 6 car-ferry services (90mins), daily from Kavala to Prinos Skala. All these services are reduced in the winter. The service from Nea Péramos to Prinos Skala runs only April–end Sept and takes c. 75mins: its schedule is currently being renegotiated (2010).
All the above are operated by Thassos Ferries: T. 25930 24001/2, www.thassos-ferries.gr, from whom information on costs and schedules can be obtained. Kavala ("Megas Alexandros") Airport is served by three daily flights from Athens (Olympic Air and Aegean Air lines), and is close (c.10km) to Keramoti for the crossing to Thasos .
Taxi transfer from the airport to Keramoti costs in the region of €10.

Thasos Travel Guide

eating

Thasos Island, Greece.

In Limenas, the Taverna Mouses by the modern harbour has well-prepared local dishes and welcoming hospitality. The plateia of Kazavíti is one of the most picturesque places on the island to dine, though it has recently become popular with tour groups: the family-run Taverna Vassilis on the square takes appropriate care with both food and setting.
At Theologos, both Kleoniki and Stelios serve a variety of good dishes prepared with locally-raised meats. Nowhere especially recommends itself in Liménas but the Taverna Platanaki be side the "old harbour" provides a pleasant setting and a good selection of fish dishes.

 

Thasos Travel Guide

further reading

Thasos Island, Greece.

Yves Grandjean & François Salviat, Guide de Thasos (Paris/Athens 2000)—an exemplary account of the ancient city which will long remain unsuperseded.
Thasos Travel Guide

lodging

Thasos Island, Greece.

In spite of its size, Thasos still has no truly ‘simpatico’ places to stay and little that seems satisfactorily to combine comfort with tastefulness. In the main town of Liménas, the best and most genuine hospitality is offered by the Acropolis Hotel (T. 25930 22488, fax 58118, www.acropolis-hotel.com). At Panaghia is the pleasant Thassos Inn, in a traditional style building (T. 25930 61612, fax 61027); below, at Chrysi Ammoudiá, is the Hotel Dionysos (T. 25930 61822, fax 61823, email: dionyso1@ otenet.gr), an unpretentious and comfortable hotel just above the beaches of Potamiá Bay. All of the above are moderately characterful and of good value, in the medium price range.Thasos Travel Guide

practical info

Thasos Island, Greece.

640 04 Thasos: area 383 sq. km; perimeter 116km; population 13,447; max. altitude 1,206m. Port Authority: 25930 22106 Travel and Information: www.gothassos.comThasos Travel Guide

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