Greek Mythology of Lemnos
Whilst recognized as a haven of blue seas, yellow sand and exotic nights, Lemnos is in fact the noteworthy site of countless tales of Greek mythology and these stories make up much of the countries rich and captivating past.
Allegedly, Lemnos was home to Hephaestus, the god of fire, volcanoes, blacksmiths and craftsmen. Lemnos became the residency of the son of Zeus and Hera when, having been born lame, his mother, who was disgusted by his appearance, launched her son off Mount Olympus. The crippled boy fell for a day before plunging into the sea. He was transported to the island of Lemnos by Nymphs and once he arrived there was cared for by the people of the island, whilst ashore Hephaestus created beautiful gifts to thank the nymphs that had cared for him. One of these was Thetis, the goddess of water; she was wearing the jewels crafted for her by Hera’s son when the Queen saw them and demanded to know their origin.
When she discovered they were the handiwork of Hephaestus she forgave him immediately for not being the son she had dreamt of and asked him to leave Lemnos returning instead to his rightful place on Mount Olympus. Hephaestus declined the offer declaring he was much happier in Lemnos and still bore a grudge against his mother for the cruel way that she had treated him. Refusing to comply with Hera’s demand, Hephaestus was eventually lured up into the clouds by his brother, Dionysus, the god of wine who intoxicated him and convinced his brother to return home.
The island’s rich mythological heritage is prominent in the archeological findings that have been made in Hephaestia- a town that was once the island’s economic centre – where ancient coins are frequently encountered featuring the goddess Athena, Apollo and other religious emblems.
However the island has evolved considerably from the times when it was comprised of just two towns, Myrina and Hephaestia and there are now around 40 villages, countless hotels and resorts that back onto the glorious sun dappled beaches. Whilst many of these resorts are activity focused with ample scope for paddle boarding, windsurfing, sailing and the like, you can still get a taste of Lemnos’ untouched beauty in some of the secluded coves visited by small boat tours from the larger resorts.
Written by Florence Hardy