The cosmopolitans at Othris mountain

By on May 3rd    /    Central Greece, Culture, Tops Luxury & Tradition    /    0 Comments   /   show comments

 

 

The first  time I came in Platistomo it was summer. Following the lesser known routes of Fthiotida region, I left Lamia city behind and overtook Makrakomi  village climbing the foothills of  Mount Othris.

The landscapes are pretty, with low hills decorated with yellow and green prints of wheat fields, pistachio trees and many kiwi plantations , streams under the thick shade of plane trees run to mingle with the Sperchios big river,  quiet, forgotten villages, an almost unknown Greece… An old country…

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία

 

My hotel in Platistomo was new, modern and situated right on the famous hot springs . It is surrounded by plane trees and it is so quiet, so peaceful…  An ideal place to forget the hustle and bustle of the big city.

I decided to make a walk in the afternoon along the road, over the hotel, without really  knowing where to go . I felt the evening breeze , the deep aroma of cut grass and the harsh smell of cattle that brought the soft north wind of July. And that was enough for me, even without knowing where I was heading to.  

Quite soon I saw an impressive building coming out of the  dense vegetation, with clear neoclassical lines , magnificent architecture and beautiful symmetries. Empty.  Almost frightening, covered with silence, beside a dark ravine. Like an aged nobleman abandoned at the peaceful countryside of Fthiotida . But what was it?

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία

 

I walked beside the old building, paving way through the thickets, bushes covered by huge wild roses and arbutus. Ivy like rivers of green leaves flooded the marble staircases and the external corridors adjacent to the entrance. Lizards were slipping under the ivy branches ; their excited run strengthened the eerie loneliness of the building. A sorrow flooded my soul. It was difficult for me to imagine this dark building with people, lights, music, life.

Yes , it was quite an old hotel . The brown wooden window shutters stamped high-ceilinged rooms . Other small and large stone buildings around,  were fighting  with the forest and the bushes  that claimed them from the gaze of the very few travelers that reach the place. Plants snuggled all those that man forgot and abandoned …

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία

 

Here then was the legendary Platistomo Baths (called Asclepius, like the ancient Greek God of Health), once a great destination during the 1920’s and 30’s , a cosmopolitan corner, at the foot of Mount Othris , surrounded by villages of stock breeders and ordinary farmers. How will it be in the 1930′s when this hotel for the upper class first opened,? How did the well dressed cosmopolitans of the Belle Époque spent  their evening time here, in this quiet countryside? Less affluent visitors used to stay in a smaller hotel nearby , while the smaller stone buildings that surround the beautiful hotel were simple apartments for ordinary people.

All the visitors came here to accept the healing touch of the ancient god Asclepius, to bath in the hot sulfur springs of Platistomo and drink from its cold healing waters. I tried to think how it was here, during that beautiful summers in Platistomo . I tried but it did not work…

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία

 

 

An old man was going down to the village dragging a miserable donkey loaded with green tree branches .He said good evening. I requited  and I asked him about the old hotel. He did not remember many things . He said only that there was an entire village around the hotel with a police station and grocery store. He showed me the church of Saint George nearby. “It was built for the tourists … ” he said.

” A very good soda was produced here though… ” he said. Platistomo Soda… , expensive, more expensive than others, it was  natural soda … for lords … “he said and whistled his donkey to continue .

Natural Soda from Platistomo

While I was drinking my beer in the new hotel, later that evening, I saw an old photo of 1934. It was the hotel and the baths since the years of glory.

Take a look…

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία

 

Where am I ?

Platistomo village is located about 30 km west of Lamia city, in Central Greece. The best way to get here is by car, following the AthensLamia National – Road and then following  the main road to Karpenissi town. Just before Makrakomi village, a 4km paved road  leads you at the Platistomo thermal  Baths. Here you can find the new Thermae Platistomou hotel where you can enjoy a healing bath in the waters of the historic thermal springs.

 For further information about the hotel check

www.platistomo.gr

 

Πλατύστομο, Φθιώτιδα, Λαμία



 




  



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