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Renkioi

Άποψη των στενών των Δαρδανελείων από το Ίντεπε

 

At the entrance of Ellispontos, near the ancient city of Troy and only 1 klm away from the ancient city of Ofrinio was build the village of Renkioi, a “village of ruins” in Turkish language. Only 1,5 klm away from the sea, Renkioi was amphitheatrically build, in a bright green area full of oak and pine trees, high on a hill. The village had a healthy climate with heavy winter and cool summer.

 

From the highest point of the village, could be seen the ancient city of Troy, the Dardanelles, the cities of Lampsakos and Kallipoli, the north Aegean islands and the mountain Athos. The population of the village was about 5.000 people, all of them Greek Christians. The only language used was the Greek language and most specific a local idiom, like the one it is used in the island of Mitilini.

 

Renkioi was build with small narrow streets, the so-called kalnterimi, covered with white stones. At the center of the village was the Saint Georgios maxalas (neighborhood) with the main square of the village and the market. At the seaside was the Akamatra maxalas while on the other side was the konaki maxalas, with his name taken from the government house (konaki in Turkish language) of the Turkish governor.

 

The houses were building one next to the other, made out of stones and most of them with 2 floors. They had paved yard, storeroom and small factories, so they could make their favorite ouzo and whine. The terraces of the houses were all decorated with flowerpots.

 

The village had two churches: The Saint Georgios church, the cathedral, and The Assumption of the Virgin church, operating only on the fifteenth of August. The church of Saint Georgios had a cruciform form without dome. The bell tower, which was destroyed on the 1914 events, was build out of sculptor stones. At the church was kept an old icon of Saint Georgios. Even the Turkish residents believed on the power that icon had, that’s why the brought to it many vows made out from silver and gold.

 

Each year, at 23rd of April, a great feast was taking place with the presence of metropolitan bishop and many believers from Tsanakale, Madytos, Imvros and Tenedos. The church even published its own coins, which on one side had the view of the Saint and on the other side the inscription “Saint Georgios of Ofrinio”.

 

Outside of Renkioi, there were some important places for the residents: Biet, where was the small church and the holy water of Saint John. Tsamliki, a pine-clad resort, the place the sultan’s choused as a summer resort. Palaiokastro, a place where the German army set up cannons to control Ellispontos. Sarki, where according to tradition the place of Achilles and Patroklos graves. Karantina, the seaport of Renkioi, where a specific service controlled all the ships, before they reached Constantinople, to check for contagious diseases.

 

The residents of Renkioi, forced to leave the village twice. The first time was after the events of 1914. The refugees established into many areas of the Greek state: Athens, Lamia, Kimi, Kalamata, Tripoli, Argos, Chalkida, Crete, Kefalonia, and Agrinio. After the second banishment, of 1922, most of the families gathered in Asprovalta, the village of Lakovikia in Kavala, and in Nikaia of the harbor of Piraeus.

 

At the September of 1923 on a ship named “Hopeful” came to the village of Stavros 54 families from Renkioi. They had to check for another place to stay cause in Stavros had already established families from Katirli. They choose a place 7 klm away from Stavros. Although the refugees tried to clean the well, around of it they were established, so they could have potable water, malaria was already among them. Problems became stronger during the winter, when cold added on hunger and poverty.

 

The Greek government gave the refugee’s problems a solution. All the necessary materials were given, so they can build their houses themselves, before the German company D.H.T.G. completes the construction of houses. When the street-plan was finished and every body settled into a house, the building plots as well as the fields was distributed to residents.

 

The place where the village created, next to a significant road, offered the refugees great chances to develop. Soon, the first grocer shops multiplied returning a notable income. At the period 1927-28, the residents decide and some years later achieved to build a church and a school. The difficult years, from 1924 till 1940 was followed by the years of the Second World War, the German occupation and civil war.