From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, seven kilometres (five miles) off the Asia Minor coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. The island is noted for its strong merchant shipping community, its unique mastic gum and its medieval villages. The 11th century monastery of “Nea Moni”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the island.
"Chios" is also the name of the island's main town and administrative centre, although locals refer to it as "Hora" ("Χώρα" literally means land or country, but usually the name given to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island). Administratively the island forms a separate prefecture (nomós- νομός) within the North Aegean Periphery.
Known as "Ofioussa" (having snakes) and "Pityoussa" (having pine trees) in antiquity, during the medieval age the island was ruled by a number of external powers and has been also known as Scio (Genoese), Chio (Italian) and Sakız (صاقيز —Ottoman Turkish). The capital has also been called "Castro" or "Kastron" (Καστρον; meaning castle).