The Myth of Nisyros

The Myth goes like this… „Nisyros was born during the Battle of the Titans. Gaia (=Earth), the mother of all, turned the mortal Giants against the immortal Olympian Gods. Gods chased the Giants, who retreated frightened. Poseidon, god of the sea, had taken up the responsibility, under Zeus’ command, to neutralize Polyvotis, the Giant, who crossed Aegean, in an attempt to save himself. Poseidon caught up with him near Kos. With his trident he detached a part of Kos and hurled it to Polyvotis. Poseidon aimed successfully and the Giant was crushed. That part of Kos became Nisyros“. Actually, the spectacle must have been magnificent, as an entire volcanic complex emerged under the Cycladic sun, and remains active until today. Nisyros is the youngest of the great active volcanoes of Greece, together with Methana, Milos and Santorini. The first underwater explosions occurred 150.000 years ago, while the main activity took place 40 to 10 thousand years before. 

Today, hydrothermal eruptions are still happening. Nisyros consists of volcanic mountains, while its center is occupied by a caldera, 4 km of diameter, from the bottom to the surface of which, there is sulfur. Inside the caldera there is the biggest hydrothermal crater in the world, in fact known by the name Stephanos, which is 300 m of diameter, while overall, there are five craters in Nisyros. The last volcanic explosion happened in 1888 and today on the island there are active fumaroles or, as the locals call them, “ksefisistres”… (source: www.thesecretgreece.gr)
Amazing, isn’t it? Much, much later, the island of Nisyros passed to the Knights of Rhodes in 1312. The Knights marked their presence by building the five fortresses you will see, in the strategic points of the island…