A few minutes outside of Chios town, there is a hidden paradise, dressed in the red colour of the local Thymiana stone. Surrounded by the narrow streets of the area, you feel that time has stopped here. You feel this both from the well-preserved mansions that are still inhabited and from the ruined buildings that still retain their glory. The magic of the landscape becomes even more impressive in the cloudy afternoons when the sun sets turning the sky reddish which blends into the red colour of the buildings. This creamy shade that stretches throughout Kampos is a unique and true treat for the senses.
Many people love Kampos for its beautiful doors and mansions. Others, for the smell of citruses that diffuses over the walls. As for me, I prefer the emerald bell towers that are present all throughout the area. As you look up, you see them protrude above the foliage and the red stones.
Entering Kampos, we see the bell tower of Panayia Ayodektinis. The temple itself is covered by an old pine tree. The bell tower next to it seems to have different aesthetics from the rest of the religious complex. It gives a warm welcome to all those who enter the zigzagging streets of Kampos.
Most bell towers are scattered throughout the narrow streets of Kampos in a variety of colours and types. The most romantic one is the bell tower of Panagia Syriotissa. Small and compact with its distinctive meanders, it stands in front of a small bridge and acts as a wonderful background for those who want to rest on the benches under the tree.
On Chalkousis street, going towards Mavrokordatiko, we find another beautiful bell tower that stands out from its thin white columns and the intense architectural elements of the neoclassical style.
Another bell tower that I have noticed is that of Saint Isidore, which I see everytime I return from the Mastihohoria. Although it lacks shape and decoration, it remains beautiful as it blends harmoniously into the environment and gives the impression that it is competing in height with the surrounding cypress trees.
The bell tower of St. Polycarpus might not be in Smyrna’s style, like the rest in Kampos, but it is certainly worth noting. Tall and with bright earthy colours, it shows the passerbys the time with its large clocks, with direction to the city or towards Spiladia.
Last but not least, I would like to mention the most beautiful bell tower of Kampos. It might be located far from the orchards and the red, high walls but it has the best view of the coasts of Asia Minor. I refer to the beautiful bell tower of the church devoted to Virgin Mary in Farkena. If you ever pass by, even a quick look will convince you of its beauty. Chios’ uniqueness is the hidden treasures; the key is to look for them.
Kampos is part of our Chios Medieval Food & History Tour.