island of art and beauty, harbors architectural and artistic treasures
which make it an enormous museum of folk art.
Nature endowed it not only with an abundance of suitable materials, such
as green and white marble, slate and granite, but also with a rare environment
that unquestionably stimulates artistic feeling. Due to this geographical
position, one can see the surrounding Cycladic islands and enjoy golden
sunrises and purple sunsets. These artists have also been inspired by
a wide variety of historical subjects that reflect the island’s
Catholic and Orthodox past and present.
The Tinian House
house is one of the most characteristic creations of folk craft.
It distinguished for its simplicity and functionality.
It usually consist of a spacious room which is used as a reception
space and two or three smaller room to the rear, or along the sides,
bedrooms, depending on the owner’s needs, a kitchen with a fireplace,
the katoi (ground floor) where all the agricultural production is centered
and the courtyard. The courtyard is always on the house’s facade,
which never faces north, and on the first floor. The facade of the
has build ledges, usually dressed with marble slabs, as a double
ledge (the one is lower) where one can sit and enjoy an enchanting
view of the
Aegean Sea. The first floor communicates with the ground floor and
the street, normally via an external staircase dressed in marble
The outside door, usually in the middle of the facade between the
courtyard and the windows, is decorated with marble fanlights. The
flat roof of
the house is usually ornamented with a marvelous chimney with creates
authentic pleasure with its simple lines. In many houses, the highest
point of the chimney consists of an overturned, performed clay pot.
an appropriate use of materials gives us a moving example of how
the practical and aesthetic needs of people can be uniformly met.
The house is furnished
with what is necessary.
Externally, the house has very simple lines, the main decorative
element being the semicircular arch, the “volto” which is usually
midway between the first floor, as well as built recesses. The “volta” is
also encountered along the lanes of the medieval villages, particularly
in Agapi, Tarabados and Kardiani.
Churches and Bell -Towers
systematic study of the churches and the bell-towers of Tinos has not
yet been done is it an easy task, taking into account the number of churches
and how widespread they are, With its 750 Orthodox and Catholic churches,
Tinos constitutes a unique place in the world of ecclesiastical architecture
where the sensibility of the Tinian folk soul reached its peak Using Eastern
and Western techniques in an incomparable way, local materials and loving
care, the Tinian folk craftsman build churches which are truly works of
art. Further more, the bell-towers of Tinos seduce one both with their
majesty and their simplicity. Some are exceptionally ornate and others
exceptionally spare, whether of marble or not.
Windmills and Watermills
during the Venetian occupation wheat was intensely cultivated on the island
for the feeding of a population triple its present size, there were more
than 80 windmills in operation, built of local stone which also ground
the wheat of the surrounding islands, doing back to pre-Christian times.
Quite a few of them were still in operation as recently as 20 years ago.
Today the last remaining owners of the windmills are thought to be the
best amateur meteorologists as they have amassed centuries of local weather
During the Second World War the island millers, as the risk of their lives,
offered an important service to the population that was suffering from
hunger, by secretly making flour at night to fulfill the needs of the
The mills, of which there are only a few left today, are also examples
of the skill of the folk craftsman. Remnants of the bygone era, the presence
of the windmills justifies the relationship of the island to Aeolus, while
the watermills are connected to the old name of “Ydrousa”,
revealing the abundance of water and springs.
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