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The Coastline, Square and Bust of Kountouriotis – Venizelos Square

Finding time to soak her aching feet in the healing sea before darkness falls… Ypsipyli stands on the beach of Romaikos under the Castle. Suddenly, an echo arises from the depths of the land, from the depths of time…

On October 6, 1912, the Greek fleet arrives at the island and anchors off the Romaikos Gulf. Men from the battleship “Averof” land on the shore (today’s Kountouriotis Beach), in front of the Vontila Mansion, where the small Kountouriotis Square is now located. They search for and then move the Ottoman commander of the island to the battleship. Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis demands the immediate surrender of Turkish-occupied Lemnos. On 7 October, following the refusal of the mutesarrif, Kountouriotis directs the fleet ships to the bay of Moudros. On Monday 8 October, the landing begins at Vourlidia near Diapori. The landing force heads towards Myrina together with groups of Lemnians led by the priest Kostas Aretos and the teacher Emmanuel Ioannidis. The Ottomans unconditionally surrender. In the church of the Holy Trinity, after four centuries of slavery, the first official Panlemnian prayer of praise is sung. The island becomes the base of the Greek fleet in the victorious naval battles of Elli and Lemnos, and a stronghold of the liberation of the Aegean islands in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. Today the bust of Admiral Kountouriotis adorns the port of Myrina.

The “architect” of the island’s liberation, Eleftherios Venizelos, would visit the island 22 years later, in 1934, accompanied by Georgios Papandreou. The people of Lemnos will cheer him and offer him handmade treats with white icing and almonds, which, in his honour, will be called “Venizelika”. In later years, the Myrina Bus Station Square will be renamed Eleftherios Venizelos Square, and his bust will be erected there.

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