Samothraki is an island in the Thracian Sea. It is located in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea between the islands of Limnos, Imvros and Thassos, and is 24 nautical miles from Alexandroupolis.
Samothraki is known worldwide because of the famous ancient Greek statue of Victory, which was found on the island in 1863.The statue, 2.75 meters high, is exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In addition, in ancient times, the Kaviera Mysteries took place on the island, occult ceremonies whose content has not been fully elucidated to this day.
The peculiarity of the island is due to the wild nature with the steep mountains, the rich flora and fauna, the forests of pine trees, chestnuts, cedars and other trees, the springs, the waterfalls, the small lakes along the streams on the mountain slopes– the locals call it “podiums” – and the beaches. Platanadasi go down to the beaches.
The island has an oval shape, with a coastline of 59 kilometers, of which about 35 are beaches, most of them rocky. The marine area around Samothraki is one of the richest in the Mediterranean, with regard to the marine and underwater life it hosts.
The Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a site of a pre-Hellenic cahthonic cult of Anatolian deities. The religious activity in the area spans 1100 years.
The major monuments of the Temple Complex are:
the Propylon, a monumental gateway dedicated to the Great Gods by the king of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Sacred Circle, the votive monument of Philip Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, the Anaktoron, where initiation to the first degree (“myesis”) took place, the Arsinoeion, a large tholos, the hall of choral dancers (Temenos), a large marble building with a key role in the worship of the Great Gods, the Hieron used for “epopteia”, the second degree of initiation, a stoa that accommodated the temple visitors, the Nike monument where the famous statue stood on a ship’s prow commemorating the victory of Rhodians over the fleet of Antioch III the Great.
The Archaeological Museum, where the archaeological site’s major finds are on display.
The three-aisled Early Christian basilica in commemoration of the visit of the apostle Paul. Only a few traces of its foundations can still be discerned.
The medieval castle of the Gateluzi family: The castle’s towers stand high on a hill overlooking the sea.
An alternative tourism paradise
The imposing mountainous heart of the island paired with its pristine nature are just what explorers and adventure lovers could ever wish for: crossing gorges, trekking, mountaineering, mountain bike, paragliding, rafting, kayak, diving will be amongst your choices if you want to go active.
But Mother Nature has been generous to Samothrace in geothermal richness too: sulphurous therapeutic thermal springs welcome you to the village of Therma and to the spa facilities, where Greeks and foreigners seek and find health and wellness.
Chora, a traditional village hanging on steep slopes, is the enchanting capital of Samothrace. Its cobbled streets lead high on the hill to the medieval castle of the Gateluzi family. The Folklore Museum and the Church of the Assumption (1875) are worth a visit here.
The busy port of Samothrace is Kamariótissa. Apart from being the point of sea connection with Alexandroupolis (in Thrace) it is also the starting point for the roads leading to all the villages on the island; Lakkoma, Profitis Ilias and Therma are some of them.
The Folklore Museum of Samothraki is located in Chora and is housed in a traditional 19th century building next to the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The building belongs to the Municipality of Samothrace and was donated by Hellenic American Dimitrios Assadia in 1952.
On the ground floor of the museum you will admire the Kehagia paraphernalia (as the farmer in Samothraki is called), various agricultural tools, tools for the processing of the thread and the traditional loom. Going to the first floor of the Folklore Museum, the visitor sees the representation of a Samothracian household, with mixed elements (folk and urban).The kitchen, the living room and the bedroom constituted the typical Samothracian house. Dominant position in the house holds the wooden “mezandra” of the early 20th century, a built-in wardrobe that you find in all Samothracian houses. “Marshmades” (silk and cotton woven towels) and rich photographic material adorn the walls.
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