Village altitude 40 m
Village land area 0,20 km2
Region averege altitude 58 m, lowland
Region land area 10,95 km2
Population 2011: 1.203, 2001: 1.497, 1981: 1.118, 1961: 1.333, 1928: 2.079, 1869: 1182 inhabitants.
Area per person 167 m² per person.
Economy relies mainly on agriculture (olives trees) and less on tourism.Previously used to produce raisins, silk and fine watermelons.
Chora village (Greek: Χώρα) is located at the center of the island, to the north-east end of the homonymous plain “Choras’ plain”, the largest in the island (15 km2). The distances are: 3,5 km from Pythagorio town, 17 Km from Samos town, 32 Km from Karlovasi town and 29 Km from Marathokampos village.
History & name
It’s one of the first villages that were created after the recolonization of the island (about 1550), with the first settlers the descendants of immigrants in Asia Minor that they had moved in 15th c.with the desolation of the island. This was followed by other settlers from the islands of Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros, Ikaria, Crete and Peloponnese, according to Em. Kritikidis in his book “Folklore of Samos” of 1869.
Chora was the capital of the island (after Mili village), for about 250 years, taking the scepter from Mili village at 1600, and passing it on to Samos town (back then named Vathi) at the summer of 1854, by the hegemon Ion Gikas, who had said “it is to the benefit of this land to have its capital by the sea and the gulf of Vathi is indeed the perfect spot for this cause”.
According to the author Em. Kritikidis, Chora village lost the title of Samos island capital, because its population instead of increasing by the time, on the contrary decreased, due to the unhealthy conditions that prevailed in the wider area. In particular, Kritikidis mentions three reasons a) the stagnant waters, east and west of the village, which during the summer months were source of disease and epidemics while attracting many frogs, tadpoles and turtles, b) the unbearable heat during the summer due the geographical orientation of the village and c) the many mulberry trees, fig trees and Wicker that existed, which consume a lot of oxygen and emit carbon dioxide, harmful to the health of the inhabitants, causing many diseases.
As capital it used to have several remarkable buildings, of which some had completely altered their character, like the Prince’s Palace, near the square “Mesakis” at the west of the village, and some others have been demolished, such as the tower of Aga Christodoulos Papachatzis, which was used as a City Hall and as an Archaeological Museum since 1854
The few Turks of the garrison of the island, were stationed at Chora village, to keep matters under control and to collect taxes. They also built the first and only mosque on the island (in 1600), which was destroyed in 1694 by the Venetians, who at the same time forced the Samians to pay tax in the Republic of Venice.
The first church of the village and one of the first on the island, after recolonization, is the former parish church of Agios Dimitrios, build at 1608, which had in bell tower, two ancient Greek sculptures, which were sold at humiliating price by the church commissioner, to Minas Minoidis and then resold to France at 1850, as he said when he was accused by the mayor.
Almost all the old houses in the village, were unfortunately built using materials from the ancient city of Samos (current Pythagorion), that’s why there are many ruins and debris of columns, ancient stones, etc. around.
The village was named “Chora”, as capital of the island, as happened to the most of Greek islands, that gave the name “Chora” (Χώρα = country) to the central city of the island, the capital.top
Administratively the settlement of Potokaki belongs to “Chora”, with 239 at 2011 inhabitants (2001 49 inhabitants). The settlement is located at the sea side, 3 Km distance south of the village. Today it’s one of the most developed touristic areas of Samos island, with many apartments to let and some large hotels in front of an interesting beach.top
- At the village there are many springs and beautiful fountains, because of its rich waters.
- Stroll through the narrow streets of the village, it’s worthwhile.