Lemnos is the eighth largest Greek island with a land surface of 477 square kilometres and a circumference of 259 kilometres. Is located in the north Aegean sea, between Mount Athos, Samothraki, Imbros and Lesvos. Together with Agios Efstratios form the county of Lemnos in the province of Lesvos. The island population is about 18.000 (2001).
The capital and main port of Lemnos is Myrina, that was, according to the myth, the name of the wife of the first king of the island, Thoandas. The town was called Kastro (castle) until 1950's.
Lemnos is a volcanic island. Even if it does not have forests, it has extensive plains cultivated with cereals and vines. It has splendid and clean beaches and is an island ideal for calm vacations. The basic occupations of residents are the livestock-farming, the agriculture and the fishery. Also, the tourism, the trade and the naval professions. Because of the great frequency and high force of the winds that blow, is referred to as "Anemoessa" (wind stricken).
Hephaestia was the main town of the island. It was named after Hephaestos, the ancient god who used to subdue the fire. According to the myth, he built his palace and established his workshop under Mosychlon, a volcano in the centre of the island.
Of all sites which were inhabited during the historical period Hephaestia is the one which is more systematically excavated. It was inhabited from the Bronze Age till the Byzantine period. Of all sites which were inhabited during the historical period Hephaestia is the one which is more systematically excavated. It was inhabited from the Bronze Age till the Byzantine period. The most important architectural remnant within the town is the sanctuary dedicated to the Great Godess of Limnos. It was in use between the 8th and the 6th century b.C.
Hephaestia flourished during the 5th and the 4th century b.C. Athens had conquered the town since 510 b.C.
Near the village of Kaminia one can find Poliochni. Is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean Sea. Poliochni was first inhabited during the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd millennium b.C., 100 or 200 years before Troy was built. A treasure of gold jewellery that was found belongs to one of the last phases of the settlement and consists of rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces. Some of the artifacts were found entire, others were broken. All of them are similar to those of the so-called Priam's Treasure, revealed in Troy. Poliochni was destroyed at 1600 b.C., probably by an earthqauke.
The sanctuary dedicated to the Kaveiroi, the Kaveirion as it was called was established on the cape of Chloi, exactly opposite the famous Kaveirion of Samothrace. The Kaveirion of Limnos was well known in ancient times. Celebrations used to take place here till the early Christian period. The cape is quite steep and so unapproachable to most people, to those who did not have the right to participate in the mysterious celebrations.
On the shore just bellow the Kaveirion, is Philoctetis cave. Is is said that he was transfered there by his colleagues, after a snake's bite, on their way to Troy.
The ancient temple of Artemis was built during the 7th century b.C. and is located 2 kilometres away from Myrina.
The Castle of Myrina was built in 1186 by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos Komninos, who used principally Venetian workmen. This is why often the castle is considered to be Venetian. Today the only inhabitants of the castle are a number of deers. The Municipality of Myrina cares about their food and water.