Village altitude 260 m
Village land area 0,04 km2
Region averege altitude 250 m, mountainous
Region land area 7,97 km2
Population 2011: 190, 2001: 363, 1981: 355, 1961: 478, 1940: 637, 1869: 267 inhabitants.
Area per person 212 m² per person.
Economy relies mainly on agriculture (olives trees).
Mavratzei village (Greek: Μαυρατζαίοι) is located at the center of the island, at the south-east foothills of “Ambelos” (or Karvounis) mountain.
The village preserves elements of the local traditional architecture and since 2002, has been characterized by the Greek goverment, as settlement of special natural beauty (4754 / 30-4-2002), with many restrictions on the houses construction and repair.top
History & name
The village was inhabited since the end of 18th century. Initially was named “Gaitanides” from a shepherd, named “Gaitanos”, who used to reside at the area . Shortly afterwards, a person named “Mavratzas” and his family settled there and gave their name to the area.
At the village pottery craft was developed, because of the large amounts of raw material (clay) which can be found close to the village at the area “kokkinopouria” (=red earth).
The history of the pottery craft in Mavratzei starts at the end of 19th century, the earthware production of the village, together with the production of Karlovasi town, covered the needs for household utensils of the entire island. For more than half a century they supplied the houses of the island with pitchers, bowls for kneading, jars for oil, dishes, coffee pots, cups, jugs, even children’s toys. The 23 workshops, which operated in the village, were situated at the outskirts so they would not bother the villagers with the smoke of thein kilns, where the clay was baked. When the water supply reached the houses, but especially with the introduction of plastic utensils, which replaced much of the pottery, most of the pottery worksshops declined (1950s), limiting the production at decorative pots, but even then most of them shut down. For more about the history of pottery, visit the small museum of the village at the primary school.
The village suffered the biggest blow at the fires of 2000, since the fire burned many croplands and even some houses in the village. This created a small migration to other areas of the island, after people lost their properties ans some even their homes. But the rich waters, the fertile soil of Samos and time recreated nature and many young trees have appeared, so hopefully residents will return as well, soon.top
The settlements Gionides belongs to the village, with 51 inhabitants, 2 Km south-west on the provincial road Karlovasi Pythagorion.top
- The village was the birthplace of Nikolaos Dimitriou (1897-1996) teacher and author, who has written many folklore books about Samos.
- One kilometer before the village, on the road, you will find the church of Agios Spyridon, with the beautiful fountain and the impressive marble temple inside. The church was built around 1900 under the supervision by abbot of “Timiou Stavrou” monastery, Theofanis Arelis from Vathy village, who had studyed theology and architecture at the University of Athens.
- Visit the small folklore & pottery craft museum at the school of the village.
- Visit “Timios Stavros” monastery at a distance 2 Km south of the village.