The Old Mansions of Patmos
These magnificent old houses found all over in the alleys of Chora are an attraction you should see to understand the wealth and the story of the island. These mansions, made with typical Dodecanese architecture, are made of local stone, while the timber used on the internal floors has come from other places. The furnishings of the houses come from Venice and England, suggesting the economic comfort of their inhabitants. In the luxurious, rooms you will see many expensive porcelains, crystals, chandeliers, old paintings, and impressive mirrors, all of which create an extraordinary, magical atmosphere.
Archontiko Nikolaidis Mansion
Among the many mansions, the “Archontiko Nikolaidis” is one that you can go inside. It is an old mansion built in the 17th and 18th centuries, and today it functions as a museum, showing to the visitor a typical example of the architecture of the island. There, one can admire the “abataros,” a strange piece of furniture which looks more like a wooden curtain, separating the main room from the bedroom. It also has shelves on it for storage, decorated with impressive designs.
The oldest mansion of Chora is the “Semanteri Mansion”, next to the famous Zoodochos Pigi Monastery. The “Semanteri Mansion” was built in 1625 by artisans from Izmir and is a characteristic type of two-storied mansion. Nowadays a folk museum is found within. Its rooms are furnished with rare furniture, paintings, family heirlooms (mainly derived from Odessa), and a rare “iconostasis” – a wall of icons and religious paintings – with Russian style paintings of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The museum’s guide is Mrs. Morfoussa Semanteri, the eighth-generation owner of the Mansion, who brings to life stories about the objects of the house, linking the past with the present, and anecdotes about the objects’ acquisition and use.