Η Mykonos has many and characteristic points that attract the interest of visitors. One of them is the Armenian. THE lighthouse of the island, which may be abandoned today, however, is a pole of attraction for tourists, who visit it up close to admire on the one hand the excellent view it offers and on the other to get a little taste of its special history with true facts, but also legends that accompanied him for many years.
The Armenian - or "Vampire" - was built after a shipwreck off Mykonos, for a long time there was fear and terror for the children of the island because the vampire was wandering there, while German soldiers were capturing him.
It was the spring of 1887, when the British steamship "Volta" was sailing in the dark narrow passage of Tinos and Mykonos. The day it happened shipwreck, such fog prevailed in the area that the two peaks, "Profitis Ilias o Vorniotis" and "Anomeritis" looked like land, confusing the captain with the result that the ship hit the rocks and sank.
After the terrible shipwreck, the need to build a lighthouse in order to illuminate the area was deemed imperative. Three years later, the Armenian was ready, while he was equipped with the most modern lighting machine of the time.
The mechanism was based on an invention with August Fresnel crystals made exclusively for use in lighthouses. And it is said that such was the power of the mechanism, that an old man who lived opposite Tinos, used his light at night to see.
The lighthouse had rooms for lighthouse keepers, kitchen, toilet, utility rooms and internal cistern. For its proper operation, up to 6 lighthouse keepers were needed, who worked in shifts. Their families often stayed with them.
The fact that the lighthouse is not isolated from the rest of the island of Mykonos, made life - compared to other lighthouses in the country - better. The lighthouse keepers and their families used donkeys with which they went down to Chora to be supplied for their basic needs.
The area where the Armenistis is located was suitable for hunting and fishing and so the lighthouse keepers provided extra food.
Many years later, during World War II, the lighthouse ceased to function. It was first used by the Italians and later by the Germans, as an observatory, due to its strategic location.
After the end of the war, a group of young boys, called "Air", raided the lighthouse, surprised the German soldiers and arrested them, holding the prisoners in Armenistis. The young man who led the team was Costas Zouganelis, a child who had lived at the lighthouse, since his father was the lighthouse keeper and later head, Gerasimos Zouganelis.
Years later, Costas Zouganelis became mayor of Mykonos.
The lighthouse is located in the homonymous area of Fanari, which used to be called Vourvoulakas, meaning vampire. It is believed, however, that this name was given to scare children so that they do not approach the dangerous, steep cliffs. But… vampire, probably, only by chance was not chosen by the people of Mykonos.
A few years ago, listverse.com, had in its related article a strange story that concerned Mykonos and specifically the "Vrikolakas" of the island. According to that text, during a visit to the island in 1700, the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort learned of a dead villager who returned to life at night as a vampire.
After being killed by a stranger while he was working in the fields, the man allegedly became a vampire, but he was harmless. Eventually, the residents got rid of him when they set him on fire. Thus, it is not excluded that this story is also connected with the story that the children bullied in order not to approach the Armenian.
After the end of World War II, in 1945, oil was used again as a source of energy. In 1982 the lighthouse was electrified, while in 1985, the last lighthouse keeper Dimitris Kontodimas, locked the lighthouse since his daily presence in it was no longer necessary. The Armenian has been fully automated.
Today, it is abandoned, but it is a pole of attraction for tourists, who flock to the spot to admire the wonderful view it offers and to take photos in this exceptional landscape against the background of the clear blue waters of Aegio and the legendary Armenistis.