Artemonas

Artemonas is one mile northwest of Apollonia, and with its labyrinthine streets and alleyways, is the largest village on the island.

Its name comes from the worship of the goddess Artemis on the island in antiquity. There was once a temple to Artemis on the site of today's parish church in the village, Panagia Koghis.

Artemonas is the terminus for all of the island’s bus routes. There are notable old churches, traditional bakeries and pastry shops, restaurants, rooms to let, apartments and hotels, and traditional pottery workshops. Next door to the ‘Panagia tou Bali’ church is the ‘Ioannis Atsonios’ folk arts and crafts exhibit entitled ‘Us at Home in the Old Days’, which is opened to the public by the Cultural Association of Sifnos during the summer months.

The aristocratic aspect of Artemonas is the result of the economic prosperity of the village half a century ago, reflected in wonderful neoclassical buildings and homes with courtyards full of flowers, mainly found along the village’s central path. The views from many parts of the village are stunning. From the area of the windmills (in the east of town) known as ‘Bella Vista’ (or Kallithea in Greek), one can admire the views of the village of Kastrou from above, look out across the open sea, and also see many of the other Cycladic islands.

Artemonas is the birthplace of Nikolaos Chrisogelos, the great teacher of the nation, a fighter for independence, and the first Minister of Education of the modern Greek state, who was a pioneer of peer method teaching and primary education. His bust can be seen in the square next to the Artemonas Local Community offices and the Citizen’s Advice Service Centre.

Artemonas is also the birthplace of the distinguished philologist, poet and translator, Ioannis Gryparis, who served as the first director of the National Theatre and was awarded the highest honours in Arts and Letters by the Academy of Athens. Outside his home on the street named after him in Artemonas there are commemorative marble plaques from Sifnian Association and the Association of Greek Writers. A statue of the poet was erected in the courtyard of the Sifnos Junior School on August 19, 2012 by the Cultural Association of Sifnos, the work of the sculptor Kostas Klouvatou.

Every September the Cultural Association of Sifnos organises a three-day Festival of Cycladic Gastronomy in honour of Nikolaos Tselementes, the chef and cookery book writer, with the participation of chefs and cooks, musicians and dancers from many of the Cyclades islands, with demonstrations of local recipes, culinary competitions and many other side events and exhibitions.

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