The dragon of our story is missing a long time ago. Maybe he has never existed before. But his house, however, is there, located in Kapsala village, near Styra area, in Evia island. We saw that and photographed it during a sweet spring Sunday.
We were returning at Styra port for taking the ferry boat on our way back in Athens, worn out from diving to Varelaious coasts into something beautiful waters with amazing underwater scenery. What I saw behind the turn of the road looked like a corral. When I approached I understood that if that was a corral it would be beyond the limits of the supernatural.
Built with plenty of the gray-green slate that abounds in south Evia, reminds a simple “dry” stone construction (without clay or cement between the stones). But here the plates of the roof and lintel (like pilasters) were gigantic. Huge, gray slate pieces, with green lines and lacy mats of moss, sculptured by winds and rains stood there, like a primitive lego, showing unsafe balance, causing you vertigo when approaching.
Who brought them here? Who cut them? Who set up the site?
“The drakos (dragon)…” shouted a shepherd through his huge, yellowed at the edges of decades in nicotine, moustache. He asked for a cigarette but we were smokeless. We offered him some chocolate, however. He waved goodbye “Au .. hello … the dragkos should not find you here at night …” threw a deep laugh and continued to descend the slope, whistling his restless, perpetually chewing, goats.
I opened my guide. In Evia when the old folks used to say “dragko” they meant giant, a humanoid monster with great strength. Something between Cyclops Polyphemus, Hercules and Theseus. It makes sense huh? In old times Christians saw these ferocious constructions and thought about dragons. Somewhat thus the legend of the Dragon Houses was born. At such a dragon house we were standing that afternoon.
Scholars – who do not know about dragkos and monsters – say that the real builders of drakospita (dragon houses) were called Dryopes. These were a pre-Hellenic tribe which was displaced from Parnassus mountain, from the descendants of Hercules, during the time of the descent of the Dorians. And when they left they got together their art, to cut stones and build monstrous buildings. The University of the Aegean dated drakospita like this (found in the region of Styra village and Ochi mountain, in the southern Evia island) with the advanced method of luminescent materials. And they calculated kernel compilation in 1100 BC!
That dragon was very old indeed…
We climbed on the roof, looking at the megalithic puzzle. Around the place a gentle breeze blew cleansing the horizon and bathing the landscape of the mountain with a light sweet like vanilla. Purple flowers of thyme and oregano green covered their surrounding fields and small beige lizards enjoyed the afternoon light onto the hot shale.
And then we left the house of the dragon in silence. Left it to be occupied by myths and stories, like those that once people, with more innocent soul, used to create.
Dragons? Today? No more….
Where am I?
Kapsala village and the dragon house are located in southeastern Evia. The quickest way to get there is by ferry (either by the ferry Agia Marina – Nea Styra, either by the ferry Rafina -Marmari) and then drive. The dragon house is located very close to the main paved road, you will find it by following the visibly marked path.