Beautiful Egnoussa lies on the jagged coasts of the largest island of the Inousses group, Oinussa (14 sq. km), facing westwards across the waves towards Chios. Its name seems to come from the existence of vineyards (Oinos, "wine"), although it also receives two other names: Egnoussa, which comes from agnos (a plant that grows on the island), and Aegnoussa, given by the shepherds from Kardamila who came in the XVII century with their goats (aega, "goat").
During the Revolution of 1821, the inhabitants fled to different parts of Greece and didn't come back until 1827. However, the new taxes imposed on the inhabitants by the Turkish occupants were extremely heavy, so the men had to take to the sea, creating in this way the base of their future ship-owning peak development Today, Enoussa's approximately 800 inhabitants are still mostly dedicated to maritime activities. In fact, some of the major Greek ship owners were born in this island and later they established their maritime headquarters in the great shipping centers of London and New York. During the summer, yachts and boats belonging mainly to those who left the island to live abroad fill the harbor of Egnoussa as they return for vacations and to visit their relatives and friends.
The village is perched on the side of a hill. Beautiful winding streets, paved with slabs, lead to the Zepaga coastline, the island’s harbor and the center of local life. It is a nice borough, ornate with high mansions built in the traditional Aegean island architectural style. Traditional houses with tilde roofs, the pride and joy of the local population surround the church of Aghios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas), which is in the center of this island settlement.
The name of the island group is ancient. For a long time it was uninhabited apart from property of the residents from Chios. It is indeed reported that the residents of Asian minor shore Fokaias, when they were forced to leave, because their territory was occupied by Persians (540 b.c.), began to settle on Oinouses. There for they asked the Chiotes. But the Chiotes did not sell, because they were afraid to be involved in conflicts because of the small distance. So the Fokeas were forced to settle on the far Corsica.
The islands remained uninhabited until the 10th century, when settlers from Kardamyla arrived there. They were staying in Andro, Evia on the Peloponnese until revolution erupted in 1821. The islands was near to Istanbul and the news from there was not by no means encouraging. On the 1st March the news reached that the revolution had begun with initial of the adjutant of Zar Alexandros, General Alexandros Ypsilanti.
As a reaction to this the Sultan Mahmut prepared a religious war with the target to eradicate christianity. But the highest religious head of Ottomen, the Ulseih-Islam Hadsi Halil, denied this. At the same time 49 people, which owned the most land, signed a common statement that "the gender ignores the revolutionary company". On 23rd March, amnesty of sultan was transmitted in the churches to the rebels with the condition that they would deposit the arms and Alexandros Ypsilanti would sign a contract with the Orthodoxe Patriarchate. The aphorism was signed with the thought that this would rescue the Greeks in City. However from the 24th March the Turks began to murder rebels and those who had same name.
The Georgios Angelopoulos was born in 1749, Dimitsana. In 1775 he became Chiotiki archdeacon and in 1785 City Smyrnis with the name Grigorios. He was 48 years when, in 1797, he was elected as a patriarch with the name Grigorios the 5th. Immediately he began a crusade in order to stimulate religious sentiment and he published a dictionary titled "Ark of Greek language".
This caused the suspicions of the Turks so that they exiled him in Agjo Term. But he was restored in 1806 and again in 1808. He remained ten years in Agjo Term and, at certain testimonies, left to the Friendly Company. He came back on his throne in 1818.
The things went from bad to worse from the 31st March, when news reached Istanbul. The sultan believed that the patriarchate had fooled him. So he let hordes of Turks in the streets to slaughter any Greek they found in front them. In the 4 April 1821, he arrested the Big Interpreter of Gate Konstantinos Mourouzi. This made him begin to curse shouting: "Sultan unfair. Sultan sordid… ".
They decapitated him, and immediately followed with the decapitation of his brother Nikolaos Mourouzi, who was the Big Interpreter of the Fleet. In the next weeks countless Greeks were executed. The exit from the City was prohibited and in the eastertime the new and faithful Big Interpreter Staurakis Aristarhis visited Grigorios to announced him that he is exiled, for the third time.
Grigorios came out in the street where roughly 50 Turks were waiting to guide him to the harbour. From there they brought him straight to prison. But the patriarchate celebrated the ceremony so they hung him in the intermediate gate and left him there for three days.
On the 13th they threw his corp in the sea to be eaten by the fishes. But his body came out on the surface again. Three days later, sailors of a greek commercial boat, sailing under the Russian flag found him. They pulled him from the sea and transported him to Odessa, pleasing the patriarch.
The Zar Alexandros ordered prices. His funeral took place on th 17th June 1821. Sixty years later, in 1871, his bones were transported to Athens and put in a tomb, in the metropolitan temple. On 10th April 1921, one hundred years after his death, the church canonized him.
But the Turkish ferocity did not remain unanswered.
The news about the murder of the highest religious leader of orthodoxy let a feeling of revenge in the soldiers. In April, the Greek fleet was found near to Daskalopetra in Chios. At the end of the month Turkish came out to transport Muslim pilgrims to Mecca.
One of these boats was captured and the passengers were brought on the coast. A second boat was captured near to Oinousses. On this boat Hatzi Halil, who denied the slaughter on christians, was found with his harem and his beautiful 15 year old girl.
He had with him precious objects of incalculable value as gifts for the Mohamet Ali, sovereign of Egypt, and others in order to it dedicates in the Mecca.
The Sailors recognized him. They ignored the fact that he had been honest. The only thing they knew was that the highest orthodoxe religiouse leader had been inhumanly abused by muslim women. So they slaughtered him on the spot. Also all the other Turks were slaughtered, even the woman. The sailors shared the treasure under each other and shiped around the fleet to not have to share it.
Slaughter became an important object of exploitation from the Ottomen but also from the ambassadors of Europeans in Istanbul.
They needed years to convince the Europeans that this had happened as answer to the murder of the patriarch. In the same years, those who had left from the Oinousses, returned. In the 1912 they were included in the Greek territory. The Greek administration installed there police and customs station as well as complete municipal school.
Listen to our broadcasting about the island of Oinousses!