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The Prassakakis Fountain in Neochori

The Prassakakis Fountain in Neochori

  • Constructed in 1886 to cope with the village's water shortage issue

Traditionally, the island has always faced a problem regarding the adequacy of water resources. The earthquake in March 1881 further compounded the problem. One of the villages that was tried but managed to tackle the issue was one of Kampos villages, Neochorion.

In October 1885, Emmanouil Nikolaou Prassakakis, an expatriate living in Marseilles, announces to the Greek community his intention to fund transferring the water of the source located in his property to Kalakana area to the village. Construction went underway in January 1886, under the supervision of Skarlatos Maganas, delegated by E. Prassakakis, and Ioannis Vereketis, chief engineer in Archipelagos Prefecture. It included constructing a tank, securing 650 meter long pipes from Marseilles and several components from Italy as well as constructing two fountains, a one-spout one in Perrouzos area and a four-spout one in the central square.

The big fountain near the Taxiarhes church

Construction was over in five months’ time, with inauguration following in May, in a euphoric climate. It is also worth mentioning that, in addition to the typical routine (thanksgiving and celebration speech), the Ottoman flag was flying on the fountain top, with a flower wreath hanging and bearing the following inscription: “To the revered benefactor Mr. E. N. Prassakakis; the villagers of Neochorion, standing in gratitude”.

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The big fountain is the only one that is still surviving albeit not in its original spot: it has been moved from the village’s central square to a small park near the Taxiarhes church. Made of grey, Chian marble, the obelisk-shaped fountain perches on a prismatic pedestal, with semicircular troughs rounding up the ensemble. On its main side, a carved inscription reads: “In eternal memory of his blessed parents, Nikolaos and Ekaterini Prassakakis, their son Emmanouil channeled water in the year 1886”.

In Easter

On Easter Tuesday, the villagers hold a sacred pictures procession to Agios Minas Monastery. They then take part in thanksgiving in honor of the 1822 massacre victims before returning to the village. The Service finishes at the Prassakakis fountain.

Translated into English by Nikos Loutraris

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