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Mantamados Pottery

Archangel Michael, Taxiarchis, Lesvos
The town of Mantamados in eastern Lesvos is known mostly for the Monastery of the Taxiarchis and its famous icon of the Archangel Michael that is believed to be able to perform miracles. It's orgins are said to be from the 10th Century when the monastery was attacked by Saracen pirates who murdered all the monks except one young monk named Gabriel who was hidden. Just as the pirates were about to leave they discovered him and were about to kill him too when the Archangel Michael appeared with his sword and sent the pirates fleeing. The young monk gathered up the dirt that was red from the blood of his slain brothers and fashioned from mud the icon that still exists today. The monastery and the icon are one of the top attractions on Lesvos, not only for tourists but for pilgrims and people who need a miracle.
Lesvos Pottery, Mantamados

Mantamados is also known for its excellent cheese, yogurt, olive oil and honey, but after the monastery the village is most famous for its pottery. Whether this is related to the fact that the miracle working icon was fashioned out of earth and water just like the local pottery, I don't know. But it makes a good story. There are a couple pottery shops in the town, though there used to be more. Stelios Stamatis comes from a Mantamados family that has made pottery for generations. He makes household items including cups, plates, pitchers and pots that his wife and daughter finalize and hand paint. His trade is being passed on to his son, Ephstratios and his daughter, Marina. Their shop is located on the road from Mytilini at the entrance to the village.

Lesvos pottery
Greek pottery from Lesvos
Ceramics, Greece
Greek pottery
Lesvos ceramics
If you leave the village going towards Mytilini and follow the signs for Aspropotamos you will find yourself on a small coastal road. Keep driving until you reach the small settlement of Agios Stefanos and at the end of the road is a stone house overlooking the sea. This is the Agios Stefanos Pottery Workshop, also well worth a visit, one of the last of the traditional pottery settlements in Greece.
Pottery Agios Stefanos
Ceramic pottery, lesvos
Lesvos pottery
Lesvos pottery
Agios Stefanos beach, Lesvos

Agios Stefanos is also a very nice place for a swim. Or have lunch at the family run restaurant Teloneio in Aspropotamos. Also every summer at the end of July there is a pottery and ceramics exhibition in Mandamados.

See also Sifnos Pottery

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