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The Greek island of Lipsi, also sometimes called Leipsoi, is part of the Dodecanese group of islands. It is located close to the island of Patmos and the island of Leros, and lies to the south of the island of Samos and to the north of the island of Leros. The island can trace its history back to prehistoric times, however, the more modern settlements of the island were founded by a Cretan called Ilias in 1669. The island has a large area that extends to around 16 sq. km, with a coastline of 35 km and around 700 inhabitants, and was officially united with Greece in 1948.
There are a number of things to see and do on the island including the lovely church of Aghios Ioannis, Theologos which is located next to the square of the Town Hall and the Museum. Located within the church there is an icon of Panaghia the Mavri (the Black Madonna) which dates back to 1500. Also on the island is the Ecclesiastical Folklore Museum which contains some ecclesiastical relics and a small archaeological collection. Situated around 1.5 km from Lipsi Town is the Panaghia of Horos which is the only icon in Greece where the Virgin Mary is depicted holding a crucified Jesus in her arms, instead of the infant Jesus which is usually depicted. Both the monastery and the icon date back to around 1600.
Lipsi is well serviced with ferries passing between Patmos and Leros and on the main route for ferries from Piraeus.
The Greek city and port of Piraeus is one of the largest ports in the whole of the Mediterranean, and the third largest in the world, and has become a major hub for the ferry network that spans the Aegean Sea. Piraeus is an important city in its own right despite the fact that it is frequently considered to be a suburb of Athens, the Greek capital, which is only a very short distance away. Despite its proximity to Athens, Piraeus' waterfront has its own distinct appearance and visitors will see that the most appealing parts of the city are located around its eastern quarter, alongside both Mikrolimano Harbour and Zea Marina. A popular event in Piraeus is the Ecocinema International Film Festival which is held annually in late February and is where a number of films are screened at the Atticon Cinema and the Cineac Cinema, which are both located in the city's Town Hall Square.
Full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, the waterfront district was greatly redeveloped in time for the Athens Olympics and as a result a new harbour front promenade was created that is lined with trees and passes the medieval city walls. The walls serve as a reminder and as an insight into the city's rich past.