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Nisyros

Nisyros is a volcanic Greek island, and municipality, in the Aegean Sea. It’s part of the Dodecanese group of islands, between the islands of Kos and Tilos. The island is a round shape, with a diameter of about 8Km, and an area of 41.6 Km². Several other islands are found in the vicinity, the largest of which is Gyali, as well as uninhabited Pacheiá, Pergoússa, Kandelioússa, ÁgiosAntónios, and Stroggýli. The island was also called Nisiro in Italian and İncirli in Turkish.

According to Greek mythology, the island was formed when Poseidon cut off a part of Kos and threw it onto the giant Polyvotis to stop him from escaping. The ancient name of the Nisyros was Porphyris. Ancient walls, dating from the 5th century BC, form part of the acropolis of the island, can be found near Mandraki. The walls were also a source of millstones used in some of the watermills, and were mentioned by Antipater of Thessalonica in the 1st century BC.

A traditional product of Nisyros is soumada, a non-alcoholic almond-flavoured drink. The patron saint of the island is Saint Nikitas. Many Orthodox Christian churches are found on the island, as well as four monasteries which are not inhabited, even though celebrations take place there. The largest monastery is PanagiaSpiliani (Blessed Virgin Mary of the cave) at Mandraki. It is built beside the medieval castle built by the Knights Hospitaller who conquered the island in 1315.

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