This border island, an active volcano that emerged two hundred thousand years ago, has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. This carries a strong symbolism of human-nature symbiosis. Therefore, it is the ideal scenery to ignite a creative and productive ‘Dialogue’ regarding sustainability, biodiversity, and explore the possibilities of creating a better future.
The venue Located in the south Aegean Sea, the island of Nisyros lies between the islands of Kos and Rhodes. Nisyros is not just a volcanic island; it is itself the volcano.
According to Greek Mythology, the island was created during the Battle of the Giants (Gigantomachy). Poseidon, while pursuing the giant Polyvotis, detached an enormous piece of land from the island of Kos and launched it against him, crushing and trapping him below it. Since then, when the giant roars from the bowels of the earth the island trembles. Historically the island was created 160,000 years ago after great eruptions. Today’s caldera was formed by two eruptions 25,000 and 20,000 years ago. The first mention of the island comes from Homer’s Iliad, where he mentions that Nisyros participated with a ship in the expedition against Troy (circa 1180 B.C.). Above the island’s capital stands the strong basalt walls of the ancient acropolis, built in the 4th century B.C.
Nisyros, due to its volcanic nature, is in most part a lunarscape, which gives it its unique character, making it the ideal Aegean hideaway. An open geological museum and a vibrant natural laboratory; an island that emerged from cooling magma, a fact that is still shaping topographic, faunal, and floral diversity and uniqueness. A unique place where one can come to admire and study, teach and be taught, about the most intensive activities of our planet. The island’s volcanism, its geomorphology and its biodiversity have offered Nisyros a candidacy for UNESCO Geoparks. Secluded and unique, by choice of man and nature.
A unique venue, and a globally powerful symbol
The volcanic scenery touches the human psyche in an unmatched way; it symbolises nature’s dominance and the need for man to accord with it. That is why it has been chosen to become the ideal venue for the biennial symposium ‘Nisyrian Dialogues’.
This is what Nisyros is about:
A living symbol of the choice of man to harmoniously live in places where Mother Earth expresses its might the most. It will be a first to hold a ‘dialogue’ in such a place.
The familiar sense of the unreal Visiting Nisyros is a unique experience. There are numerous craters around the caldera. Today one can hike along the rim of each and every one of them, admiring the yellowish sulphuric soil and the pinkish red volcanic stones while venturing into the caldera. The locals, out of pride and awe have given names to them. The three most prominent of them: Stephanos, Alexandros and Polyvotis. Some say that doing so, will pacify them and suspend their might.
When descending into the lunarscape of the enormous crater Stephanos, one may experience a feeling of delving into the unknown. A sense of walking on a yellow-streaked, ashen planet, with bubbling pits, enormous cracks, and a powerful odor of sulphur, creating a peculiarly familiar experience of the unreal.