Leipsoi (Greek: Λειψοί, also: Lipsi) is an island south of Samos and to the north of Leros in Greece. It is well serviced with ferries passing between Patmos and Leros and on the main route for ferries from Piraeus. Lipsi or Lipsous is a small group of islets at the northern part of the Dodecanese near to Patmos island and Leros. Leipsoi is a municipality, part of the Kalymnos peripheral unit, which is part of the South Aegean Periphery.
The island contains springs at Fountani, alias Pikri Nero, in the area near Kimissi along with other minor springs also flowing in this region. The Cave of Ontas dominates the settlement. A 960 meter paved path carved into the hill connects the upper quarters of Kimissi with the lower ones.
Local products, namely thyme honey (produced the traditional way), wine, cheese, dairy products (touloumotyri cheese, the local version of mizithra) and grapes. Also loom-woven fabrics, carpets and "fookadia" (cloth pouches used to strain cheese).
Most of the secluded and protected bays like Moschato Bay in the north on this island have been spoilt by fish farming. The water in these bays is often very cloudy with fish farm wastage. The less protected beaches are not polluted and easily reached by the road network. Roads have recently been reconstructed using European Union funding.
Front, left to right: Arkoi, Leipsoi, Leros. Back, left to right: Agathonisi, Farmakonisi and the Turkey coastline.
There are several churches and monasteries scattered around the island dedicated to a multitude of saints. One that should not be missed is the church of Aghios Nektarios, built in or about 1980 by father Nikiforos, the parochial priest of Lipsi at the time and a favorite baptistry for the inhabitants of the island.
Panaghia tou Harou: architectural style (purely islander, Byzantine in perception yet austere and unpretentious). Once specialists decide to study this construction more closely, there will certainly be some very interesting conclusions drawn referring to the time the church was built (some time between the 7th or 8th century AD.
There is a holy icon of the Virgin in this church, reputed to be of miraculous powers, depicting Mary holding Jesus Crucified. The uniqueness of the concept and the artfulness of the rendition make of this icon one of the brightest moments in hagiography.
Aghios Ioannis Theologos (St. John Evangelist), whose construction was financed by Lipsian emigrants. The church of Kimissis tis Theotokou (Dormition of Mary), dominating the little bay bearing the same name. Also to be found there are reliquaries containing the remains of monks reduced to martyrdom, slain by the Turks during the Ottoman rule. Five of those monks have recently been beatified by decree of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch.
The church of Panaghia (the Virgin) at Kouselio, built on the very foundations of an early Christian church. Embedded in the walls of this church - and therefore still to be uncovered - are inscription-bearing marbles of that earlier construction that were later used as building material for the new church. Yet another interesting visit is that of the two churches dedicated to St. Nicholas, raising on the hills on either side of the mouth of the port, along with the churches of Aghios Theologos tou Moschatou (17th century), Aghios Spiridion (at Katsadia), Profitis Ilias - a church dedicated to Prophet Elijah and naturally built on top of a hill dominating the port, in accordance with the perennial tradition of churches dedicated to this Prophet to be built in elevated locations.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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