Kambos is located south of the town of Chios and encompasses an area 7 kilometers in length and a width of approximately 2 kilometers. The literal translation of the word Kambos is plane (connoting a leveled surface), however, this does not begin to depict the splendor of the evergreen trees, the lusciously green countryside and the thick, plentiful citrus trees contained within each orchard.
Over the course of time, various cultures have dominated Chios, thereby reinforcing the fact that the island has been the crossroad for many civilizations, a connection between the east and the west. Kambos has a history of civilizations that have swept through its estates and evidence of foreign influence has been engraved within its buildings, stone walls and family coat of arms made of marble above each estate entrance.
Kambos’ history dates back to the Byzantine period and continues with the Genoese and Turkish conquerors that have passed. The prosperity of Kambos is attributed to the Genoese domination dating 1346 – 1566. The Genoese took advantage of the plentiful water deposits in the soil contained within the Kambos area. They imported citrus trees and introduced the island inhabitants to the systematic cultivation of the trees, thereby increasing wealth by exporting golden fruit abroad, amongst other goods.
The wealth that was initially generated in the 14th century is evident even today. Within the limits of Kambos are approximately 200 historical estates, each of which displays a splendorous mansion, auxiliary buildings, a wheel powered well, cistern, pebble paved courtyard and orchard. The Massacre of Chios in 1822, the earthquake of 1881 and the abandonment of Kambos estates have left a great number of estates in ruins.
Today, in an effort to preserve this cultural inheritance, renovations have been completed and inhabitants have either taken up permanent residence or utilize the estates as lodges. Kambos has been characterized as a traditional settlement (paradosiakos ikismos), thus limiting construction and renovation within the area. Renovations must be performed by taking into consideration the protective legislature of the area.
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