Tour of the legendary Pirate Houses of Ikaria

Pirate Houses of Ikaria

If you see the legendary Pirate Houses of Ikaria from a distance, you will either think that some internationally renowned architect added his touch or that a Greek village decided to become a "smurf village."

Of course, neither is true because, quite simply, the stone houses of Ikaria, also known as Pirate houses, were a practical architectural solution to protect the old Ikarians from the raids of the Aegean pirates, Travel reported.

The truth is that the Aegean of Ottoman times had nothing to do with what we know today. Pirates, corsairs and adventurers took refuge in the many islands in search of easy, quick booty and a way to reach the cosmopolitan ports of the East.

As can be expected, this whole situation created a climate of terror and fear among the Christian inhabitants of the islands. The news of a possible raid by pirates on an island caused shivers of terror among the inhabitants, who ran in panic to hide from the bandits of the sea.

2 15
legendary Pirate Houses of Ikaria

The Icarians, however, found a clever way to exploit the stone relief of Ikaria and fool the pirates for good.

Taking advantage of the rocky and difficult parts of the island, the inhabitants began to move their coastal villages and houses to higher parts of the island between rock openings, building small dwellings sometimes behind, sometimes down and sometimes inside huge rocks.

Thus, the houses became almost invisible and very difficult to distinguish from a distance. Let alone assume that an entire village lives hidden among rocks and trees.

3 16

As expected, in the eyes of the pirates, Ikaria looked uninhabited and the island seemed empty with nothing much to loot.

In fact, the intelligence of the inhabitants had reached other levels, because the Icarians did not even create chimneys in the new rocky houses for fear that even the smoke from an oven or a lit fireplace would betray the inhabitants.

Due to this, pirates immediately understood that the natives were hidden in hard-to-reach places.

Also, it is said that the locals didn't even have dogs, so as not to be betrayed by any sudden barking, while they only moved around when it got dark, so that they wouldn't be noticed by the pirates lurking in the sea.

4 8

The years began to pass, and as the ports of the East developed, so did piracy in the Aegean.

However, it seems that the Icarians loved these characteristic houses and continued to live in these stone villages for many years until, at some point, the Pirate Houses—as they came to be called—were emptied, the villages deserted, and the people went back to the sea.

Of course, the intelligent solution of the island's inhabitants, in addition to the fact that it saved Ikaria from numerous pirate raids, created quite original and so special architectural compositions that many modern architects would be jealous of.

5 12

Small houses and churches tucked into rock openings or clumps of trees create an otherworldly image that you will only find in futuristic movies or cartoons with imaginary villages and otherworldly houses.

Be that as it may, today's pirate villages of Ikaria, such as Lagada, will forever remind us of how fantastic things the human need for survival can create.

READ MORE: ChatGPT tells us the ten best beaches in Greece: We didn't expect this list.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024