A Unique Museum of Natural History
Sigri is famous for its Petrified Forest and for the only Museum of Natural History on the island.
The Petrified Forest is one of the most beautiful monuments of gobal geological heritage. It extends over the northwestern portion of Lesvos, in a region covered almost exclusively by volcanic stone.
The protected area encompasses 150,000 square meters.
The Petrified Forest was created during the intense volcanic activity that occurred throughout the greater northeastern Aegean region 20 million years ago. The volcanic eruptions at that time caused enormous quantities of lava and ash to flow from volcanic vents, covering the center of Lesvos around these vents with molten lava, and the more distant regions with a thick layer of ash.
Abundant petrified tree-trunks in very good condition can be seen submerged in the sea at a depth of 30 meters. The largest concentration of these has been recorded west of the little island of Nisiopi, opposite Sigri. Tree trunks with 2½-meter diameters have been found on the seabed. These finds corroborate the theory of the continuity of the Petrified Forest in this particular underwater region.
In addition to tree trunks, systematic excavations here in recent years have uncovered petrified roots, fruit, branches and leaves.
The Museum of the Petrified Forest was founded in 1994. Its mission is the research, promotion, display, preservation, protection, and all other suitable exploitation of this unique forest. Under the care of its inspired director, Nikos Zouros, and his dedicated staff, the Museum has become a major attraction for visitors to the island. The Museum building, a one-story structure of grey lava stone, contains permanent exhibition galleries, a temporary exhibition space, an audiovisual multimedia gallery, lobby, snack bar, shop, library, and laboratories.
Its impressive collection of finds record and re-create the evolution of the broader ecosystem of the northern Aegean as it was 20 million years ago. There are special hiking trails or “lava pathways” connecting the petrified regions at:
The Petrified Forest Park at Bali Alonia; the Sigri Park next to the Museum; and the Plaka Sigri Park, located 800 meters to the south.