Exambela

One kilometre from Apollonia, on the road to Platy Gialos and Faros, is the traditional village of Exambela.

Exambela is one of the largest villages of Sifnos. It starts from the Arades (a series of windmills) and extends south, encircling the region of Agia Varvara and its church, of the same name.

In Exambela, there are some interesting churches, Panagia, Agios Athanasios, and the church of Christ with beautiful stairways in their courtyards.

It is the birthplace of Aristomenes Proveleghios, poet, translator, Member of Parliament, academician, doctor of philosophy and art history, who was honored by the Athens Academy for Excellence in Arts and Letters. His house lies on the main road through Exambela, his tomb is in the picturesque chapel of ‘old man Agios Nikolaos’ (to distinguish it from the more recent parish church of Agios Nikolaos) and a bust of the poet, crafted by Giannoulis Halepas is in the courtyard of the Sifnos High Schools in Arades.

It is also the birthplace of Nikolaos Tselementes, the great chef and cooking teacher, author of the first Greek recipe book, the famed "Tselementes", first published in 1910 and still in publication today. In the footsteps of the great teacher followed Kostas Markou, also from Exambela, who worked as head chef at the Royal Palace, and published a number of recipe books in the 1960s. (including ‘New Cookery & Pastry Cooking (Contemporary Nutrition - Modern Techniques)’, and ‘Greek Cuisine’).

It is also the birthplace of the teacher and headmaster of the Arsakeion School, Georgios Vionis (1822-1898), the painter Ioannis Maroulis (1792-1816), and his son, painter Nikolaos Maroulis, and the industrialist family Karella, among other public figures.

Among the sights of the village are the ancient tower and signal post (‘fryktoria’) (6th century BC) of Ai Dimitri, also known as the Black Tower, and a little further to the south, the Vrisis Tower near the Monastery of Panagia Vrisis (or Vrissiani, of the spring or fountain).

The Vrisis Monastery is the largest on the island, and is well worth a visit, given that apart from its exceptional architectural features, it also houses the Byzantine Art Museum, with an important collection of manuscripts, icons, and ecclesiastical artifacts.

In Exambela there are some small grocery stores, a restaurant and a few rooms to let.