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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ambitious plan to restore imposing Sarlitza Pallas hotel on Lesvos island

  • [01] Ambitious plan to restore imposing Sarlitza Pallas hotel on Lesvos island

    AMNA--In the early 20th century, the imposing Sarlitza Pallas luxury hotel was the crown jewel for the Thermi region in the eastern part of the island of Lesvos, but is now abandoned and in disuse, the victim of bureaucracy.

    The Periphery of the Northern Aegean, however, has drawn up an ambitious plan to restore the hotel to its former glory and, together with its famous hot springs, thus putting the hotel back on the international map of tourist destinations.amna

    The now abandoned hotel was built in 1909 in the seaside village of Kato Thermi, right next to hot springs, to designs by French architects commissioned by the Turk sovereign Hassan Mola Mustafa and financed by a Turkish businessman during the Ottoman period.

    In fact, the name Sarlitza Pallas means Palace of the Yellow Therapeutic Waters, due to the deep yellow color the water left in the tanks and grooves. The area of Thermi itself got its name from the hot springs that abound there.amna

    For nearly 30 years, after it passed into the jurisdiction of the Greek state, it was a magnet for kings and archbishops, but also attracting visitors, personalities and celebrities from all parts of the world.amna

    From 1933 on it fell into decay as a result of the political troubles that beleaguered Europe from the mid-1930's up until the end of WWII, and eventually closed in the 1970s, a victim of bureaucracy. Although abandoned, the nearby hot springs are still functional, still attracting visitors daily today.

    Just 11 kilometers north of the island's capital Mytilene, the entire area is known for its dry climate and olive groves. The town of Thermi actually consists of two villages Ano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Thermi, and was inhabited as early as the prehistoric era up to classical antiquity.

    The seaside village of Kato Thermi, situated some 500 meters north of Prehistoric Thermi, and in Roman times was frequented by rich Romans for its hot springs. The mythical goddess Artemis, the patroness of hot springs, was worshipped in ancient Thermi and poetry and athletic contests were held in her honor.amna

    The Periphery of the Northern Aegean has submitted a specific proposal to the hotel's current owners, the Healthcare Workers' Pension and Insurance Fund (TSAY) asking for the concession of the Ottoman-era hotel and the 19,164 square meter land plot in which the hotel and its hot springs are situated, for a 60-year-period, with the Periphery undertaking all the expenses of restoring the existing buildings and maintenance of the hot springs. It further hopes, pending approval by the state archaeological and other services, to fund the construction of additional facilities to turn the grounds into a thermal spring therapeutic center or a tourism development center, using funds available from several tools, such as the EU's JESSICA programme.amna

    For the duration of the concession period, the Periphery will have the exclusive right of exploitation of the entire facility and will reserve the right to co-exploit with or sub-let the facilities to third parties.

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