Kerkis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the genus of algae, see Kerkis (alga).
Kerkis
Mount Kerkis - Samos island, 3D reprezentation version 1.gif
Elevation 1,433 m (4,701 ft)
Location
Location Samos, Greece
Coordinates N37 43.582 E26 37.323

Kerkis or Kerketeus (Greek, Modern: Κέρκης, Kérkis; Ancient: Κερκετεύς, Kerketeús) is an extinct volcano, forming the bulk of the center of the Greek island of Samos. Its highest peak, named Vigla (Βίγλα), its maximum elevation is 1,433 m (4,701 ft), making it the second-highest peak in the East Aegean (after Fengari on Samothrace). The mountain's name, in both ancient and modern forms, means roughly, "belonging to Circe".

The mountain has a whitish color due to a high chalk content, especially visible on several exposed cliffs. It is considered a sanctuary for numerous plants and animals, some of them endangered, and so is part of the European Union's Natura 2000 network of protected sites. There are also several small monasteries on its slopes, as well as a number of caves. Of these, the most notable is the Cave of Pythagoras on the eastern slope, in which Pythagoras is reputed to have hidden from the tyrant Polycrates prior to going into exile in Italy.

Coordinates: 37°43′36″N 26°37′18″E / 37.7267°N 26.6217°E / 37.7267; 26.6217