St John at Lardatos

Visitors to Keramos can also find the abandoned village of Lardatos nearby. This settlement witnessed its boom days back when the antimony mines still functioned. A small chapel dedicated to St John the Forerunner can also be found here. It’s a single-nave church that stands amongst a thicket of trees, a humble structure contrasted to the grandeur of nature.
Attentive observers will notice that the style of buildings in north-western Chios is different compared to the rest of the island. This is down to economic disparities: the region was rather poorer than the island at large, and as such the local domestic architecture wasn’t as advanced. Of course, back when the antimony mines still functioned, the local population found work and depended extensively on the extraction and processing of the metal. Antimony mining provided people here with a rare employment opportunity and even attracted labourers from far-flung regions, leading to the development of a populous, multi-varied community.
That’s not to mention the economic development and upgrading of the region’s infrastructure that accompanied the development of this industry. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that mining is far from environmentally friendly and leads to both soil and water pollution. In fact, these environmental consequences also impacted the health and quality of life of the local population. Increased mortality in the region has been attributed to long-term exposure to large concentrations of the metal mined here.

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