Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Skyros is an island in Greece, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and Pelasgia and Dolopia and Skyros. At 209 square kilometres it is the largest island of the Sporades, has a population of about 3,000, it is part of the regional unit of Euvoia. The Hellenic Air Force has a major base in Skyros, because of the island's strategic location in the middle of the Aegean; the municipality Skyros is part of the regional unit of Euboea. Apart from the island Skyros it consists of the small inhabited island of Skyropoula and a few smaller uninhabited islands; the total area of the municipality is 223.10 square kilometres. The north of the island is covered by a forest, while the south, dominated by the highest mountain, called Kochila, is bare and rocky; the island's capital is called Skyros. The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria; the island has a castle that dates from the Venetian occupation, a Byzantine monastery, the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke in an olive grove by the road leading to Tris Boukes harbour.
There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. One account associates the name Skyros with skyron or skiron, meaning "stone debris". According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros when the local king, threw him from a cliff; the island is famous in the myths as the place from where Achilles set sail for Troy after Odysseus discovered him in the court of Lycomedes. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros, as told in the play by Philoctetes. A small bay named Achili on the east coast of the island is said to be the place from where Achilles left with the Greeks, or rather where Achilles landed during a squall that befell the Greek fleet following an abortive initial expedition landing astray in Mysia. In c. 475 BC, according to Thucydides, Cimon conquered the entire island. From that date, Athenian settlers colonized it became a part of the Athenian Empire; the island lay on the strategic trade route between the Black Sea. Cimon claimed to have found the remains of Theseus, returned them to Athens.
In 340 BC the Macedonians took over the island and dominated it until 192 BC, when King Philip V of Macedon and the Roman Republican forces restored it to Athens. After the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204, the island became part of the domain of Geremia Ghisi. Rupert Brooke, the famous English poet, is buried on Skyros, having died on board a French hospital-ship moored off the island on 23 April 1915, during World War I. Present at Brooke's burial that same evening, were William Denis Browne. In 1941 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro wrote the World War II poem Scyros, which he set on the island Skyros "because it was a tribute to and irony upon Rupert Brooke."In 1963 the Archaeological Museum of Skyros was established, with the inauguration taking place 10 years in 1973. The Faltaits Folklore Museum was founded in 1964 - one of the first local folklore museums to operate in Greece. Skyros is home to a one-runway airport. Skyros Shipping Company operates the ferry service to Skyros. During holiday season the ferry runs twice daily from Kymi to Linaria on Skyros.
During the winter months the service operates daily.. The boat has a name: Achilleas SKYROS SHIPPING CO.. The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation The official website of the Skyros Shipping Company
Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27 kilometres from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, born on the island and became its king. During ancient times Aegina was a rival of the great sea power of the era; the municipality of Aegina consists of the island of a few offshore islets. It is part of Attica region; the municipality is subdivided into the following five communities: Kypseli Mesagros Perdika Vathy The capital is the town of Aegina, situated at the northwestern end of the island. Due to its proximity to Athens, it is a popular vacation place during the summer months, with quite a few Athenians owning second houses on the island; the province of Aegina was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipalities Agkistri, it was abolished in 2006. Aegina is triangular in shape 15 km from east to west and 10 km from north to south, with an area of 87.41 km2. An extinct volcano constitutes two-thirds of Aegina.
The northern and western sides consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, almonds and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today is pistachio. Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance; the southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, barren. Its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros in the south, the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side; the beaches are a popular tourist attraction. Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast. Aegina, according to Herodotus, was a colony of Epidaurus, to which state it was subject, its placement between Attica and the Peloponnesus made it a site of trade earlier, its earliest inhabitants came from Asia Minor. Minoan ceramics have been found in contexts of c. 2000 BC.
The famous Aegina Treasure, now in the British Museum is estimated to date between 1700 and 1500 BC. The discovery on the island of a number of gold ornaments belonging to the last period of Mycenaean art suggests that Mycenaean culture existed in Aegina for some generations after the Dorian conquest of Argos and Lacedaemon, it is probable that the island was not doricised before the 9th century BC. One of the earliest historical facts is its membership in the Amphictyony or League of Calauria, attested around the 8th century BC; this ostensibly religious league included—besides Aegina—Athens, the Minyan Orchomenos, Hermione and Prasiae. It was an organisation of city-states that were still Mycenaean, for the purpose of suppressing piracy in the Aegean that began as a result of the decay of the naval supremacy of the Mycenaean princes. Aegina seems to have belonged to the Eretrian league during the Lelantine War, its early history reveals. It is stated on the authority of Ephorus, that Pheidon of Argos established a mint in Aegina, the first city-state to issue coins in Europe, the Aeginetic stater.
One stamped stater can be seen in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris. It is an electrum stater of a turtle, an animal sacred to Aphrodite, struck at Aegina that dates from 700 BC. Therefore, it is thought that the Aeginetes, within 30 or 40 years of the invention of coinage in Asia Minor by the Ionian Greeks or the Lydians, might have been the ones to introduce coinage to the Western world; the fact that the Aeginetic standard of weights and measures was one of the two standards in general use in the Greek world is sufficient evidence of the early commercial importance of the island. The Aeginetic weight standard of about 12.3 grams was adopted in the Greek world during the 7th century BC. The Aeginetic stater was divided into three drachmae of 4.1 grams of silver. Staters depicting a sea-turtle were struck up to the end of the 5th century BC. Following the end of the Peloponnesian War, 404 BC, it was replaced by the land tortoise. During the naval expansion of Aegina during the Archaic Period, Kydonia was an ideal maritime stop for Aegina's fleet on its way to other Mediterranean ports controlled by the emerging sea-power Aegina.
During the next century Aegina was one of the three principal states trading at the emporium of Naucratis in Egypt, it was the only Greek state near Europe that had a share in this factory. At the beginning of the 5th century BC it seems to have been an entrepôt of the Pontic grain trade, which, at a date, became an Athenian monopoly. Unlike the other commercial states of the 7th and 6th centuries BC, such as Corinth, Chalcis and Miletus, Aegina did not found any colonies; the settlements to which Strabo refers cannot be regarded as any real exceptions to this statement. The known history of Aegina is exclusively a
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. It is separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water. In ancient times, the island was known as a reference to the natural springs on the island; the municipality of Hydra consists of the islands Hydra, a few uninhabited islets, total area 64.443 km2. The province of Hydra was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture, its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality. It was abolished in 2006. There is one main town, known as "Hydra port", it consists of a crescent-shaped harbor, around, centered a strand of restaurants, shops and galleries that cater to tourists and locals. Steep stone streets outward from the harbor area. Most of the local residences, as well as the hostelries on the island, are located on these streets. Other small villages or hamlets on the island include Mandraki, Vlychos, Palamidas and Molos. Hydra depends on tourism, Athenians account for a sizable segment of its visitors.
High-speed hydrofoils and catamarans from Piraeus, some 37 nautical miles away, serve Hydra, stopping first at Poros before going on to Spetses. There is a passenger ferry service providing an alternative to Hydrofoils that runs from Hydra Harbor to Metochi on the Peloponnese coast. Many Athenians drive to Metochi, leave their car in the secure car park, take the 20-minute passenger ferry across to Hydra. Rubbish trucks are the only motor vehicles on the island, since by law and motorcycles are not allowed. Horses and donkeys, water taxis provide public transportation; the inhabited area, however, is so compact. Hydra benefits from numerous bays and natural harbors, has a strong maritime culture; the island is a popular yachting destination and is the home of the Kamini Yacht Club, an international yacht club based in the port of Kamini. In 2007, a National Geographic Traveler panel of 522 experts rated Hydra the highest of any Greek island as a unique destination preserving its "integrity of place".
The Tsamadou mansion, on the left side as one enters the harbour, is now a Maritime Academy. The Tsamados family donated the mansion for the purpose of hosting the Greek Maritime Academy on their island; the Tombazi mansion is now part of the Athens School of Fine Arts, owned by University of Athens. The mansions of Lazaros and George Kountouriotis, Kriezi, Voulgari and Miaouli all contain collections of 18th-century island furniture; the descendants of Lazarus Kountouriotis donated his mansion to the Historic-Ethnologic Institute of Greece. Today, it operates as an extension branch of the National Museum of History. There are numerous churches and six Orthodox monasteries on the island. Two noteworthy monasteries are Profitis Ilias, founded in the 10th century, Ayia Efpraxia. Both are on a hill overlooking the main harbor; the island's cathedral is the old Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin and sits on the quayside in the town. The monastery contains the tomb of Lazaros Kountouriotis, the richest sea captain on Hydra, who gave his entire fortune to support the Greek War of Independence.
There is evidence of farmers and herders from the second half of the third millennium BCE on the small, flat areas that are not visible from the sea. Obsidian from Milos has been found. During the Helladic period, Hydra served as a maritime base for the kingdoms on the Greek peninsula. Fragments of vases and the head of an idol have been found on Mount Chorissa; the large-scale Dorian invasion of Greece around the 12th century BCE appears to have depopulated the island. Hydra was repopulated by farmers and herders sailing from the mainland port of Ermioni, in the 8th century BCE. Herodotus reports that toward the 6th century BCE, the island belonged to Ermioni, which sold it to Samos. Samos, in turn, ceded it to Troizina. For much of its existence, Hydra stayed on the margins of history; the population was small in ancient times and, except for the brief mentions in Herodotus and Pausanias, left little or no record in the history of those times. It is clear that Hydra was populated during the Byzantine Era, as vases and coins have been discovered in the area of Episkopi.
However, it appears that the island again lost its population during the Latin Empire of Constantinople as its inhabitants fled the pirate depredations. On other islands, inhabitants moved inland, something, impossible on Hydra. From 1204 to 1566, it belonged to Venice. From 1566 to 1821, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. In the 16th century, the island began to be settled by refugees from the warfare between the Ottomans and Venetians; the Arvanites' presence was evident until the mid-20th century, according to T. Jochalas, the majority of the island's population was composed of Arvanites; the island is known in Arvanitika as Nίδρα. Hydra was unimportant during much of the period of Ottoman rule, its naval and commercial development began in the 17th century, its first school for mariners was established in 1645. The first Hydriot vessel was launched in 1657. However, the conflict between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire limited the island's maritime development until after 1718 and the Treaty of Passarowitz.
From the 17th century on, Hydra began to take on a greater importance because of its trading str
Kissamos is a town and municipality, multiple bishopric and Latin titular see in the west of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the Chania regional unit and of the former Kissamos Province which covers the northwest corner of the island; the city of Kissamos is known as Kastelli Kissamou and known as Kastelli after the Venetian castle, there. It is now a fishing harbour, with a regular ferry from the Peloponnese via Kythira. A town museum is located in the old Venetian governor's palace and there have been important archaeological finds in the town, including fine mosaics, dating from the Roman city of Kisamos; the head town of the municipality is Kastelli-Kissamos itself. Strabo said that ancient Cisamus was its naval arsenal; the Peutinger Table distinguishes two port towns in Crete called Cisamus, Modern Kissamos is much further west than where Aptera is now placed. It was excluded by Pashley in 1837 as being, of the two ancient maritime Cretan cities named Kisamos, the one associated with Aptera.
In the past, when the port of Aptera was thought to be present-day Kissamos, some supposed Aptera to be identical with Polyrrhenia, Kissamos to be the port of Polyrrhenia. However and other ancient sources say that Polyrrhenia's port was at Phalasarna on the west coast. Ancient Cisamus became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Gortyna, the capital of the Roman province of Crete. Only two of its first-millennium bishops are named in extant contemporary documents: Theopemptus, Nicetas at the Trullan Council in 692, Leo at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787; the bishopric is still a residential. After the Venetian conquest of Crete in 1212, Cisamus became a Latin Church diocese; the names of more than 20 residential Latin bishops from until the end of the 16th century are known, including: Suffragan Bishops of Kisamo... Angelo Barbarigo Bishop of Verona, Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Marcellino e Pietro Cardinal-Priest of S. Prassede in commendam (1415.07.04 – 1418.08.16... Prospero Santacroce, Apostolic Nuncio to Austria-Hungary, Apostolic Nuncio to France, Apostolic Nuncio to Portugal, again Apostolic Nuncio to France, created Cardinal-Priest of S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni, Apostolic Administrator of Arles, transferred Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria degli Angeli, Cardinal-Priest of S. Adriano al Foro pro hac vice Title, Cardinal-Priest of S. Clemente, promoted Cardinal-Bishop of Albano Apostolic Administrator Gerolamo Ragazzoni, former Coadjutor Bishop of Famagosta, Bishop of Novara, Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Roman Catholic Diocese of Bergamo&Bergamo, Apostolic Nuncio to France No longer a residential bishopric, Cisamus is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular bishopric, since it was suppressed as residential see around 1600 AD.
It has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, all of the lowest rank: Fortunato Bisleti, no office recorded Miguel Anselmo Álvarez de Abreu y Valdéz, as Auxiliary Bishop of Tlaxcala. S. Casquete Prado; the municipal unit of Kissamos includes the Gramvousa peninsula in the northwest and the adjacent Gramvousa islets, as well as the islet of Pontikonisi, the villages of Sfinari, Polirinia, Lousakia, Sirikari and Kalathena. It forms the extreme western part of the region, of Crete, it is bordered by Platanias to the East, by Kantanos-Selino to the south. The province of Kissamos was one of the provinces of the Chania Prefecture, its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality of Kissamos, the municipal units of Kolymvari and Voukolies. It
Kythira is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ionian Islands, although it is distant from the main group. Administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, part of the Attica region; the island is strategically located between the Greek mainland and Crete, from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants and conquerors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilisations and cultures; this is reflected in its architecture, as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek and Ottoman cultures. Kythira and the nearby island of Antikythira were separate municipalities until they were merged at the 2011 local government reform; the municipality has an area of 300.023 km2, the municipal unit 279.593 km2. The province of Kythira was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture, it had the same territory as the present municipality Kythira.
It was abolished in 2006. There are archaeological remains from contemporary with the Minoans. There is archaeological evidence of Kythiran trade as far as Mesopotamia. Kythira had a Phoenician colony in the early archaic age. Xenophon refers to a Phoenician Bay in Kythira; the archaic Greek city of Kythira was at Scandea on Avlemonas. Its acropolis, now Palicastro, has the temple of Aphrodite Ourania, who may well represent a Phoenician cult of Astarte. In classical times, Kythira was part of the territory of several larger city-states. Sparta took the island from Argos early in the sixth century, ruled it under a kytherodíkes, in Thucydides' time. Kythira was independent, issued her own coins in 195 after the Achaean defeat of Sparta. In Augustus' time, it was again subject to Sparta, being the property of Gaius Julius Eurycles, both a Spartan magnate and a Roman citizen. By this time, the Greek cities were in practice subject to the Roman Empire. Kythira continued to exist under its Byzantine successor state for centuries.
Christianity is attested from the time of Constantine. Kythira is not mentioned in the literary sources for centuries after its conversion. Archaeological evidence suggests the island was abandoned about 700 AD; when Saint Theodore of Cythera led a resettlement after the Byzantine reconquest of Crete in 962, he found the island occupied only by wandering bands of hunters. He established a great monastery at Paliochora; when the Byzantine Empire was divided among the conquerors of the Fourth Crusade, the Republic of Venice took her share, three eighths of the whole, as the Greek islands, Kythira among them. She established a coast patrol on Kythira and Antikythera to protect her trade route to Constantinople. During the Venetian domination the island was known as Cerigo. Kythirans still talk about the looting of Paliochora by Barbarossa. One can accept the stories of locals by noticing the number of monasteries embedded in the rocky hillsides to avoid destruction by the pirates. Barbary pirates ranged across the Mediterranean waters, raiding ships and islands, taking booty and slaves for the Barbary slave trade.
Kythira was at the mercy of Barbary pirates due to its strategic location in the Mediterrean. In order to intercept merchant vessels, islands along the trade routes were of course more interesting for pirates. In the 17th century the small islands like Sapientza south of Messinia, Cergio south of the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese, along the coast of Asia minor, the deserted islands of Fourni southwest of Samos, the island of Psara, west of Chios, all functioned as pirates nests; when Napoleon put an end to the Venetian Republic in 1797, Kythira was among the islands incorporated in that most distant départment of France, called Mer-Égée. Kythira shared a common destiny with the other Ionian islands during the turbulent Napoleonic era, is still regarded as one of them. In 1799, the Ionian islands became the Septinsular Republic, nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in practice dominated by Russia. In 1807, France took them back only to have the British seize the islands in 1809 and set up one of their first protectorates, the United States of the Ionian Islands.
Central Greece (region)
Central Greece is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. The region occupies the eastern half of the traditional region of Central Greece, including the island of Euboea. To the south it borders the regions of Attica and the Peloponnese, to the west the region of West Greece and to the north the regions of Thessaly and Epirus, its capital city is Lamia. The region was established in the 1987 administrative reform. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were extended. Along with Thessaly, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of Thessaly and Central Greece based at Larissa; the region is based at Lamia and is divided into five regional units, Euboea, Evrytania and Phthiotis, which are further subdivided into 25 municipalities. The region's current governor is Kostas Bakoyannis of the New Democracy party, assuming office from Klearchos Pergantas, elected in the November 2010 local administration elections for the PASOK party. Biggest towns in each regional unit, according to the census of 2001: Official website