A number of correspondents
have pointed-out to me that the names I have given to the beaches north of
Gaios are misplaced. They say the first one should be
Kamini and the second Kioni
Gouli based on signs which have recently been erected.
have discussed this with Thomas Arvanitakis and he says that whatever
Paxiot I ask about it will give me a different answer!
have been challenged about the spelling (& indeed, location!) of the
settlement south of Magazia which I have called
Arvanatika and which, on the new sign-post, is
spelt Arvanatikeika i.e. not only with an extra
'e' as in Grammateika, but with almost an additional syllable.
time I discussed it with a member of the Grammatikos family and she said
that in her opinion, Grammateika was the only placename properly to have
the extra 'e' but then added more or less the same disclaimer as Thomas:
"It depends on who you ask!"
This reminds me of the situation
here in the Isle of Man. Whatever names the Manx Government put up on
their bi-language street-signs in English and Manx Gaelic; the locals will
have some different spelling (or even word!).
If I want to refer to a
location, I usually use the name given it on the Ordnance Survey Map and
then get the complaint: "That only goes back to 1850!"
contacts with Paxos only going back to 1982, what hope is there for
Another problem with maps and place names, at least when
one is attempting to draw them, is where to put it? i.e. whereabouts on
the Map surface? Space is often limited if there is a fair amount of
detail to show, yet it needs to be positioned so as to reasonably relate
to the place it is intended to identify. Of necessity, there often has to
be a compromise.
Added to this, in countryside like Paxos, settlements
tend to be scattered, rather than compact or centralized. Where is the
boundary? Where does one settlement end and the next start. Magazia and
Bogdanátika are good examples of this. Can one be guided by the roadsigns?
I suspect some of the older inhabitants may have other ideas!
Then, back on the spelling issue, almost any map of Paxos
which one inspects, will have different spellings and this is not
un-expected, in that there are at least two, and sometime several more,
versions of the Greek language floating around. Ionian Greek has quite a
lot of Italian in it. Then, on what basis is it to be translated into
In the past I have based my placenames and locations on other
peoples, earlier Maps. I said in 2010 that in future I would consult but
two. Firstly, the Demos published a (colourful) little Map in the Brochure
publicising the Cultural Village of Europe 2004
Secondly the new Topo Hiking Map drawn
by Penelope Matsouka with help by a plethora of well-respected locals, has
the air of authority.
Now however, we are presented with the great book
PAXOS and ANTI-PAXOS by Archduke Ludwig Salvator,
who gives names to a vast array of settlements, groups of houses,
individual houses, hills, valleys. bays, beaches, headlands, caves,
etc. Many of which I have never seen named before. So I have
taken the risk of using many of these in the 12th. Edition, in the hope
that they are reliable.
WINDMILLS Previously on my
website I have somewhat disparaged the imitation 'windmills' being built
on the Island. There are now, alas, several more, none of which look
Below are some photos/drawings of windmills (some
of them previously featured) plus one additional sketch.
Millwrights, men who built mills - as
opposed to Millers, who ran them - tended to be
peripatetic, like Stonemasons. Thus as Castles built in
the medieval period, from Syria to Scotland, tended to be of similar
design; so Windmills in Spain, the Canary Isles and the eastern
Mediterranean, tend to be similar.
Windmills are by no means as simple
as one may suppose!
To a degree, the larger you make them, the more
effective they will be and they will pick up and work in the lightest
breeze - so the owners hope! But size is limited by the materials at
hand and big trees to provide long, strong, timbers are not common
everywhere. Furthermore, the wind is a dangerous element, not to be
trusted and the larger you make your mill, the stronger it will have to be
if it is to survive the next gale.
As is well known, there are two main
distinct types of windmill and this arises from the continual need to
rotate the axis of the mill to face into the wind! The choice is to rotate
the whole building - tower, cap and all the internal machinery, in
effect the whole structure - or just rotate the actual sails/arms and
axle. In practise this really means turning the whole
To achieve the former type,
with the totally revolving structure, it inevitably means it has to be
built entirely of wood with a covering of boarding, shingles or felt of
some kind. As far as I know, this type of mill does not exist in the
So the Paxos mills will be heavy, massive, stone
constructions, reinforced with heavy timbers built-in as strengthening,
the whole capped by a relatively light, timber-framed cap covered with
canvas or thatch.
mills vary a little, in that some are built as a simple, vertical-sided,
'drum' whilst others are tapered with sloping sides which, in
architectural terms, are called 'battered'.
Lessiantis' Mill at Tranatika and the Mill above FP53 are
examples of the latter, whilst the small one behind Lessiantis and
most of the others, appear to be straight-sided 'drums'.
tower form, it will have been topped by a circular, heavy-section, timber
RING BEAM secured to the tower with iron straps down to the massive
reinforcing timbers set vertically into the stonework of the tower, of
which only the empty slots now remain.
The Cap itself had a similar Ring-beam as a base, being
assisted to revolve on its supporting ring with rollers or just grease.
The cap revolves around a vertical axle, which could be either timber
or iron and this extended down a considerably way into the tower, where it
was held laterally by and swivelled through, heavy timber cross-beams. At
the bottom it lodged into and turned the stone grinding wheel either
directly, or through gearing. Some had pairs of stones.
axle was in turn revolved independently by the actions (when the wind
blew) of the sails through gearing from the separate axle on which they
were mounted - all entirely within the cap - and which was
usually set slightly above the horizontal.
advantage of the wind whenever its direction changed, it was necessary to
revolve the cap to face into it.
In relatively simple mills of the
Ionian type, this could be achieved either by a long, sloping pole
attached to and projecting from the back of the cap and extending downward
to a metre or so above the ground. Here the Miller + any available help,
would struggle to push the cap around! To make this possible, such mills
usually had a raised, circular surrounding, stone-paved platform on which
the Miller could walk. Remains of this are clearly seen at the Lessiantis
and sometimes in addition - a winch or windlass was provided
inside the mill with ropes attached to the upper ring-beam for internal
revolving of the cap.
From the present, skimpy, remains of Paxos Mills
I don't think it possible to see if such things where common here but the
photo taken inside a Canary Isle restored Mill, shows one such
(Other, more automatic means of bringing the cap into the wind
were used elsewhere, including tail-fins (as used on modern wind turbines)
and small, vertically spinning, fantails, can be seen in Holland and
Eastern England etc.
Working a windmill was fraught with problems and wind
Millers needed to be both highly skilled mechanics and good
weather-forecasters! Not only had the cap to be kept at right-angles to
the wind, but the sails had to be wound out larger or smaller in tune with
the wind velocity.
Again, ingenious semi-mechanical contraptions were
devised to help, but I doubt such sophistication reached Paxos. The sails
here would be simple, canvas affairs, such as in the restored Mykonos Mill
illustrated. These were adjusted by a sort of roller-reefing arrangement
using ropes, all very much as they would sail their caiques.
So you will appreciate that there is much more to a
Windmill that just a tower with a cross sticking out!
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