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Administrative Region : North Aegean
Regional unit : Limnos

Kotsinos (Κότσινας) Limnos

Kotsinos is a small fishing village in Lemnos. Administratively it belongs to the Municipality of Lemnos of the North Aegean Region (Kallikratis program).

From 1999 to 2010, according to the then administrative division of Greece, it belonged to the municipal

district of Repanidi of the Municipality of Moudros. It used to belong to the prefecture of Lesvos.

Zoodochos Pigi church, agiasma, Kotsinas, Lemnos, Greece

Kotsinas Lemnos, Zoodochos Pigi, To Agiasma.

010 Κότσινος Λήμνος

Kotsinos Lemnos. Panoramic view of the beach


Kotsinos was first mentioned as Cocini in 1136 as a safe harbor with a commercial staircase. The then Metropolitan of Lemnos, Michael, granted the Venetian priest of St. Mark's Church in Constantinople the small church of Agios Vlasios, near Kotsinos, for the use of the naval community of the Venetians. It is not clear if it had permanent residents, but it seems that nearby Hephaestus, the capital of Lemnos, had begun to decline, as its port - the Hundred Heads - had suffered irreparable damage from landings. Gradually, Kotsinos replaced it as a shopping center on the north coast of the island. Later, there was a widespread belief that it was the successor settlement of Hephaestus, something that is pointed out by many travelers.

Kotsinos, Lemnos view from the castle

KOTSINOS LIMNOU Image from the castle

In the place name Kotsinos, the linguistic phenomenon of tsitakism appears, in which the consonant k before the phonogram is pronounced as τσ and τζ. Besides, in the texts it is referred to as Kokkinos, Kotsinos or Kotzinos. The name comes from the red color that has the soil of the area and especially the famous Limnia land, which was exhumed from the neighboring hill Despotis, Mosychlos of the ancients, near the chapel of the Savior.

Medieval years

It began to be inhabited extensively during the Venetian occupation (1207-76), when the castle was built by the Navigagiozi, the Venetian dukes of Lemnos. Volcano was abandoned and only the place name Palaiopolis remains as a memory of this ancient city. Until 1276, when it was recaptured by the Byzantines, there was a manor of Foskaris Navigagiozi.

Then it passes to the Palaeologans and immediately the Mount Athos monasteries rush to secure the properties they used to have on the island. In 1284, in a document of the monastery of Meg. Lavra, it is noted:

"... such a monastery and house is built, built in Kotzinon of the trade near the seashore, due to a staircase of the monks' boats ..."

Later, it is reported that the same monastery owned the share of Ioannis Prodromos and in 1361 the estate of Diginakis both near the castle of Kotsinos. In 1355, the sparrow Tzymalos donates a vineyard to the Monastery of Filotheou:

"... in Tzymalos, grapefruit of Kotzinos of Vassilios vineyard ..."

In the same year (1355) the location of Kokalas, with a small settlement, is mentioned near Kotsinos. This is a place with a source that still exists today, from which the regular water supply of Kotsinos was done by clay pipes. Aggelis Michelis writes that from there the Volcano used to be watered:

"The Kokkala spring was also used for the water supply of Hephaestus, as evidenced by the large pipes, found and heading from Kokkala to Hephaestus."

In 1858, Conze met some huts on the hills, which his driver called "Kokkala", which means that he survived a small settlement. Tozer (1889) also mentions the Kokala spring on the opposite side of the hill of Lemnia. Today in the area there are the chapels Ag. Athanasios and Birth of the Virgin Mary.
The castle

The castle of Kotsinos was repaired in 1361 and in 1408 it was given as a manor to the widow of Ioannis Z΄ Paleologos Eugenia Gatelouzi, who lived and died there in 1440. Thus, in Kotsinos the Genoese Gatelouzi dominate and his Orthodox metropolitan is forced to move. from Kotsinos in the monastery of Agios Pavlos near the village of Livadochori, the Metropolis known to this day. At this time the port of Kotsinos had become widely known as an intermediate station, as various travelers of the time, such as the Russian priests Grethenios and Epiphanios (1416), have recorded how far it is from Mount Athos to inform other travelers. When the Venetians occupied Lemnos in 1464, the castle of Kotsinos was one of the three most important on the island. Moschidis writes (p. 151):

"... sono three buoni castelli chiamandi Cochino, Mudron et Paleo Castron."

According to the surviving ruins, the castle was located on top of an artificial 20-meter high plot of land and occupied an area of ​​about four acres. It was surrounded by a trench that communicated with the sea, while on the north side the walls were founded in the water. Its fortifications reached a height of six meters. In the 15th century it was heavily attacked by the Turks. In one of them, in 1470, it was temporarily occupied by the fleet of Mahmut Pasha, who:

"... he received Kotzinon and the villages around him ..."
Kotsinas of Lemnos. The 64 steps that lead to Agiasma.
The Life-Giving Source
The church of Z. Pigi on the porch of the castle of Kotsinos
Interior of the temple of Zood. Source

On the hill of Kotsinos, inside the castle, is built the temple of Zoodochou Pigi, above an underground well - "agiasma" - in which one descends with 64 steps (formerly with 57 or 51) reaching almost at sea level. Apparently, when the castle's artificial turf was built, the underground gallery was planned so that the water needed in the sieges would not be lost.

The church has been mentioned since 1415 as an independent monastery named Zoodochos Pigi of Syggellos. It is probably the church of Panagia Odigitria, which was owned by the monastery of Pteris in the area of ​​Repanidi in 1285. It is noted in 1554 in the woodcut of Thevet as Agiasma, in 1677 by Covel as "Panagia Kotzinatz" and as Hagiasma by Piacenza and Olfer. (1680-88). In 1801 Hunt visited the "holy water" but found "Panagia Kotsine" ruined. On the contrary, Conze (1858) found a small church of the Virgin Mary just above the "holy water". Similarly, De Launay (1894) mentions Panagia both in his work and on the map, as does Fredrich (1904).

The holy water took its current form in 1918 from a Tsiklos, while the current church was built in 1954 by the master-Giannis Fotiadis, with the contribution of expatriates from America and Australia. Only one epistle is preserved from its Byzantine past.

Kotsina castle. The statue of the legendary Maroula


In 1478 Kotsinos went down in history when he was besieged by Suleiman Pasha. According to a legend spread in the West mainly by a poem of 1669 by the Jesuit Dondini, the castle was saved at the last minute thanks to the courage of Maroula, who, when her father was killed, grabbed his sword and rushed, cheering on the defending fighters. who solved the siege.

Although it is doubtful today whether the incident took place during the siege of Kotsinos or Paleokastro (Myrina) and whether Maroula was the daughter or wife of the slain fighter George Makris, this episode was praised by Italian writers such as Sabelico, Coelius, Calcagnini, Fulgosius, Vianoli as well as by Greek writers, such as: Kostis Palamas, Aristomenis Proveleggios, Maria Lampadaridou-Pothou, Antonis Soupios and others. A bronze statue of Maroula, erected in 1969 by the Lemnos Teachers' Association - the work of Hippocrates Savouras - reminds the visitor of that heroic episode.

Ottoman period

During the first centuries of Turkish rule, Kotsinos experienced a period of peace. Its port and trade gave life to the surrounding area. Jews, Venetians, Ottomans, and Romans formed a colorful community. The port is mentioned in all the Portolanos and the travelogues with various names: Piri Reis (1521 as Limãn-i-Kügânaz or Cökenez), Bordone (1528, el cochino), Belon (1548 Red).

Belon reports that around Kotsinos Castle, in the plain between the two ports, there was a large and pleasant village with many vineyards and in the fields small blond horses were grazing, a species that has now become extinct and exists only in Skyros. A similar description is made by Thevet (1554).

It is also noted as a port in the works of: Porcacchi (1572), Rosaccio (1580), Lubenau (1586), Du Loir (1641), Marco Boskini (1658), Covel (1677), Piacenza (1680-85), anonymous (1685). ), Olfer Daper (1688) and Coro-nelli (1696).

In 1656-57 the Venetians captured Lemnos and on their departure destroyed its fortifications, including the castle of Kotsinos, which was destroyed by Dapper in 1688. The settlement became unsafe and the inhabitants abandoned it. The Turks who lived in Kotsinos moved to Ag. Ypatio or Livadochori, to supervise their agricultural properties in northeastern and central Lemnos respectively. The Greek landlords-kehagiades also moved with them. Others settled in Repanidi or other Mediterranean villages. So Kotsinos was deserted and the port facilities were gradually destroyed.

During the 18th century many considered its ruins to be remnants of ancient volcanoes, such as Meletius (1728), Pococke (1739), Hunt (1801), Lacroix (1848), Ragavis (1854) or referred to it as a place name but not as safe. port, such as Frieseman (c. 1780). In 1788, in his map, Choiseul-Gouffier notes Kotsinos as a port with customs but in the wrong place, and in his text he describes the settlement and the port but with the name Bournias. It may have been inhabited by a few inhabitants. However, Hunt (1801) and Richter (1816) saw only ruins.

In the following years the site came to life but in no case did it have 700 inhabitants mentioned by Balbi (1839). In 1858, when Conze anchored in the port of Kotsinos, there were a few shops but no houses. In 1889, Tozer met Kotsinos, an elderly potter who had lived there all his life. Logically, he was a member of the Tsoukalas family, who had come from Maronia, Thrace, and had a Tsoukalari since 1840. Another old Tsoukalari bears the inscription of 1848. At about the same time, a school building for the children of Repanidi is mentioned in the building of a Tsoukalari.

Pottery has long been a traditional art in the area. In 1304, Tzoukalaria is mentioned, owned by the monastery of Meg. Lavra. Randolph also found potters on the island in 1680. They used land in Limnia as a raw material to neutralize any poisoned beverage. "Lainades", as the locals called them, existed until recent years, with Barba-Nikola Tsoukalas († 1991) and Tsamaidis being the last.

Images of a ruined area with few people and buildings near the port and the church of Panagia are given to us for Kotsinos and: De Launay (1894), Hauttecoeur (1903) and Fredrich (1904). In the lowland there were humble chapels, remnants of ancient times, such as: St. George (has a picture of 1874, simple wooden iconostasis with carvings, many carved marble and stone limbs and an old well in the precinct), St. Demetrius built on , the two Saints Giannides and closer to Repanidi: the half-ruined Agia Kyriaki and Agios Athanasios (has a picture of 1870: "Prayer of the servant of God Stamatiou, cohabitation, children and relatives, Lord keep it, August 1870").
Newer era

The settlement still presents an image of desolation today in winter. It is an almost deserted fishing village, a port for the fishermen of Repanidi. The few tsukalari of the past have ceased to operate outside of that of Chamaidis, which produces tourist vessels.

In 1981 it had 16 inhabitants and was recorded as a separate settlement of the community of Repanidi with the name Kotsinas. In 1991, only three residents were registered. The place comes to life every Brilliant preparation at the festival of Zoodochou Pigi which has a palm-shaped character and in the summer with the vacationers who enjoy the sea and the picturesque taverns.

A. Moschidis, "The Lemnos", 1907.
Ag. Micheli, "Repanidi", 1934.
Th. Belitsou, "Lemnos and its villages", 1994.
"LIMNOS: Historical & Cultural Heritage", published by G. Konstantellis, 2010.

See also: Limnos, island

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