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
Serres (regional unit)
Serres is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Region of Central Macedonia, its capital is the town of Serres. The total population reaches just over 175,000; the mountains are Orvelos to the north, Menoikio to the east, Pangaio to the southeast, Kerdylio to the southwest, Vertiskos to the west, parts of Krousi to the west and portions of the Kerkini lies to the northwest. The regional unit borders on Thessaloniki to the southwest, Kilkis to the west, the Republic of Macedonia with the Novo Selo Municipality to the northwest, the Blagoevgrad Province of Bulgaria to the north, Drama to the northeast and Kavala to the east; the Strymonian Gulf lies to the south along with the Strymonas delta. Lake Kerkini was a lake located in the southern portion, now drained. 41% of the regional unit are arable and most of the lands are near the Strymonas river which flows from Bulgaria and empties into the Strymonian Gulf. Another river is the Angitis in the eastern part of the regional unit, with the ravine and caves near Alistrati.
The regional unit has many archaeological and historical features including Serres, several monasteries, Metaxa near the border with Bulgaria. The regional unit is a tourist attraction including Lailia, rich in forests, a skiing resort in the central portion, lake Kerkini, a reservoir supplying water to the farmlands. Fishing is common within Ano Poroia during the summer months and famous Alistrati's caves and the nearby Aggitis ravine; the southern part around the Strymonas valley has a Mediterranean climate, the rest is predominantly continental with cold winters in higher elevations. In modern times, like the rest of Macedonia was contested territory between Greece, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. After its liberation from the Turks by the Bulgarians in the First Balkan War, Serres became a part of Greece at the end of the Second Balkan War. During the National Schism, it was occupied by Bulgaria again only to form part of Greece at the end of the war. During the Second World War Bulgaria launched a campaign of Bulgarisation.
It was liberated in 1944. A substantial portion of the population of the regional unit are descendants of refugees which came from Eastern Thrace, now Northwestern Turkey, Asia Minor and from Pontus during the Greco-Turkish War; the regional unit Serres is subdivided into 7 municipalities. These are: Amfipoli Emmanouil Pappas Irakleia Nea Zichni Serres Sintiki Visaltia As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the Serres regional unit was created out of the former Serres Prefecture; the prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Before the abolishment of the provinces of Greece in 2006, the Serres prefecture was subdivided into the following provinces: Fyllida - Nea Zichni Serres Province - Serres Sintiki - Sidirokastro Visaltia - Nigrita The main roads of Serres regional unit are: Motorway 2 Motorway 25 Greek National Road 2 Greek National Road 12 Greek National Road 59 Greek National Road 63 Greek National Road 65 The Thessaloniki–Alexandroupoli railway passes through Serres and Sidirokastro.
Constantine Karamanlis, a former Greek prime minister and president Emmanouel Pappas, hero of the Greek Independence Struggle Glykeria, famous Greek singer Ioannis Melissanidis, a Greek gymnast athlete Nansy Stergiopoulou, of the all girl band Hi-5, family from Serres. The Panserraikos F. C. association football club, based in Serres, plays in the Football League 2. List of settlements in the Serres regional unit Serres Prefecture Official Website Serres General Hospital Official Website Alistrati's cave An up-to-date portal with information regarding the Serres Prefecture
Sfakiá is a mountainous area in the southwestern part of the island of Crete, in the Chania regional unit. It is considered to be one of the few places in Greece that have never been occupied by foreign powers. With a 2011 census population of 1,889 inhabitants living on a land area of 467.589 km2, Sfakia is one of the largest and least densely populated municipalities on the island of Crete. The etymology of its name is disputed. According to the prevailing theory, it relates to its rugged terrain, deriving from the ancient Greek word σφαξ, meaning land chasm or gorge; the road from Chania to Sfakiá crosses the island from north to south, through the village of Vryses. From this village the route crosses the White Mountains to Hóra Sfakíon by the Libyan Sea. Halfway from Vrisses to Hóra Sfakíon is the fertile plateau of Askifou, surrounded by high mountain peaks. From here to Hóra Sfakíon the road is spectacular; the road hugs the western slope of the Imbros Gorge offering scenic views. Another scenic route is that leading from Kapsodasos to the plateau of Kallikratis, northeast of Hóra Sfakíon.
There are many beaches in Sfakiá. More adventurous visitors can follow the European hiking footpath E4 which crosses Crete through Sfakiá's mountains; the coastal villages can be reached by ferry boats. Not far east from Hóra Sfakíon is Frangokastello "Frankish castle"; the Venetian fortress here was built in 1371 to deter pirates and unsuccessfully, to control Sfakiá. It is ruined but is picturesquely set on a wide sandy beach with the towering White Mountains behind. Daskalogiannis was captured here in 1771. Accessible only by boat from Sfakiá is Loutro, a small seaside village with some archaeological ruins, a few houses, small hotels and tavernas. Loutro is car-free. In the north of Sfakiá is the fertile plain of Askyfou; the Sfakía region is crossed by many gorges, among, the famous Samaria Gorge. All these gorges run from north to all end in the sea. Many of them can be walked, several by inexperienced walkers; the region is inhabited by rare animals, like vultures and eagles, the kri-kri, the wild Cretan goat.
The coast of Sfakiá is on the Libyan Sea, inhabited by a diminishing fish population, but dolphins, whales may be seen. The local speciality, "Sfakian Pies", are thin pancakes filled with mizithra cheese and served drizzled with honey. Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centers of the resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks; the impenetrable White Mountains to the north combined with the rocky beaches on the south helped the locals fight off all invaders. Anopolis, a village near Hóra Sfakíon, is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated Cretan revolutionaries, Daskalogiannis. A famous legend and unexplained phenomenon describes a procession of visions seen in the nearby village Frangokastello as troops that died in the war of independence against the Turks. Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote about their resistance to occupation. Many tales of revolts and uprisings in Crete start in the mountains of western Crete - mountain guerillas, pallikari fighters and rebel assemblies.
After the Battle of Crete during World War II, the locals helped many New Zealand and Australian soldiers escape from here on the night of May 31, 1941, suffering great reprisals. King George II of Greece had escaped this way when the Germans invaded. Near the village of Komitades is the Church of Panagia Thymiani where the revolution of 1821 began. At the village of Loutro is the ruined "chancellery" where the first revolutionary government of 1821 met. Sfakiá is notorious for the harshness of the warlike people. Sfakians themselves are still considered somewhat beyond the reach of the lawmakers and tax collectors of Athens, with vendettas over stolen sheep and women's honour still fought late into the 20th century, with a whole village abandoned. Stealing and banditry had been considered a way of life in the mountains appearing in a Creation myth, which made God Himself a Sfakiot, as recounted by Adam Hopkins:...with an account of all the gifts God had given to other parts of Crete - olives to Ierapetra, Ayios Vasilios and Selinou.
But when God got to Sfakia only rocks were left. So the Sfakiots appeared. "And us Lord, how are we going to live on these rocks?" and the Almighty, looking at them with sympathy, replied in their own dialect: "Haven't you got a scrap of brains in your head? Don't you see that the lowlanders are cultivating all these riches for you?"The Sfakians are famous for their hospitality and generosity towards guests, resulting in a shift from traditional labour towards tourism, with now many families running their own small hotel or restaurant. The archeology and history of Sfakia is the object of a field survey undertaken by the University of Oxford; the province of Sfakia was one of the provinces of the Chania Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present municipality, it was abolished in 2006. Sfakians Portal site about the region of Sfakiá Live webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá Live beach webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá Forum about the region of Sfakiá
Domokos, the ancient Thaumacus or Thaumace, is a town and a municipality in Phthiotis, Greece. The town Domokos is the seat of the municipality of Domokos and of the former Domokos Province; the town is built on a mountain slope overlooking the plain of Thessaly, 38km from the city of Lamia. The area of Domokos became part of Greece in 1881 when the Ottoman Empire ceded Thessaly and a few adjacent areas to Greece; until 1899, it was part of the Larissa Prefecture. In 1897, during the Greco-Turkish War, about 2,000 Italian volunteers under the command of Giuseppe Garibaldi's son, Ricciotti Garibaldi, helped the Greeks in the Battle of Domokos. Among them there was a member of the Italian Parliament, Antonio Fratti, who died in the fighting; the Turkish Army was victorious over the Greek Army. The town is served by Domokos railway station on the Piraeus–Platy Mainline, located 5 km from the city and serves the surrounding area; the municipality Domokos was formed during the 2011 local government reforms by the merger of the following 3 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Domokos Thessaliotida XyniadaThe municipality has an area of 707.953 km2, the municipal unit 346.129 km2.
The province of Domokos was one of the provinces of Phthiotis. It had the same territory as the present municipality, it was abolished in 2006. Municipality of Domokos
Chalkidiki spelt Chalkidike, Khalkidhiki or Halkidike, is a peninsula and regional unit of Greece, part of the Region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece. The autonomous Mount Athos region constitutes the easternmost part of the peninsula, but not of the regional unit; the capital of Chalkidiki is the main town of Polygyros, located in the centre of the peninsula. Chalkidiki is a popular summer tourist destination; the Cholomontas mountains lie in the north-central part of Chalkidiki. Chalkidiki consists of a large peninsula in the northwestern Aegean Sea, resembling a hand with three "fingers" – Pallene and Agion Oros, which contains Mount Athos and its monasteries. Chalkidiki borders on the regional unit of Thessaloniki to the north, its largest towns are Nea Kallikrateia and the capital town of Polygyros. There are several summer resorts on the beaches of all three fingers where other minor towns and villages are located, such as at Yerakini, Neos Marmaras, Nikiti, Psakoudia and more. Chalcidice, Chalkidiki, or Chalkidike, is the name given to this peninsula by a group of people native to this region, the Chalcideans, since ancient times.
The area was a colony of the ancient Greek city-state of Chalkis. The first Greek settlers in this area came from Chalcis and Eretria, cities in Euboea, around the 8th century BC who founded cities such as Mende and Scione a second wave came from Andros in the 6th century BC who founded cities such as Akanthos; the ancient city of Stageira was the birthplace of the great philosopher Aristotle. Chalkidiki was an important theatre of war during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta; the Greek colonies of the peninsula were conquered by Philip II of Macedon and Chalkidiki became part of Macedonia. After the end of the wars between the Macedonians and the Romans, the region became part of the Roman Empire, along with the rest of Greece. At the end of the Roman Republic a Roman colony was settled in Cassandreia, resettled by Augustus. During the following centuries, Chalkidiki was part of the Byzantine Empire. On a chrysobull of Emperor Basil I, dated 885, the Holy Mountain was proclaimed a place of monks, no laymen or farmers or cattle-breeders were allowed to be settled there.
With the support of Nikephoros II Phokas, the Great Lavra monastery was founded soon afterwards. Today, over 2,000 monks from Greece and many other Eastern Orthodox countries, such as Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria and Russia, live an ascetic life in Athos, isolated from the rest of the world. Athos with its monasteries has been self-governing since. After a short period of domination by the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica, the area became again Byzantine until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1430. During the Ottoman period, the peninsula was important for its gold mining. In 1821, the Greek War of Independence started and the Greeks of Chalkidiki revolted under the command of Emmanouel Pappas, a member of Filiki Eteria, other local fighters; the revolt was progressing and unsystematically. The insurrection was confined to the peninsulas of Mount Kassandra. One of the main goals was to restrain and detain the coming of the Ottoman army from Istanbul, until the revolution in the south became stable; the revolt resulted in a decisive Ottoman victory at Kassandra.
The survivors, among them Papas, were rescued by the Psarian fleet, which took them to Skiathos and Skyros. The Ottomans proceeded in retaliation and many villages were burnt; the peninsula was incorporated into the Greek Kingdom in 1912 after the Balkan Wars. In June 2003, at the holiday resort of Porto Carras located in Neos Marmaras, leaders of the European Union presented the first draft of the European Constitution. Acanthus Acrothoi Aege Alapta Aphytis Apollonia Charadrus Cleonae Galepsus Mekyberna Mende Neapolis, Chalcidice Olophyxus Olynthus Palaiochori "Neposi" castle Polichne Potidaea Scione Scolus Sermylia Stageira Spartolus Thyssus Torone Treasury of the Acanthians Xerxes Canal The peninsula is notable for its olive oil and olive production. Various types of wine are produced. Chalkidiki has been a popular summer tourist destination since the late 1950s when people from Thessaloniki started spending their summer holidays in the coastal villages. In the beginning tourists rented rooms in the houses of locals.
By the 1960s, tourists from Austria and Germany started to visit Chalkidiki more frequently. Since the start of the big tourist boom in the 1970s, the whole region has been captured by tourism. In the region there is a golf course, with plans for four others in the future. Gold was mined in the region during antiquity by Philip II of the next rulers. Since 2013, a revival of mining for gold and other minerals was underway with a number of concessions having been granted to Eldorado Gold of Canada. However, critics claim that mining would adversely affect the environment; the regional unit Chalkidiki is subdivided into five municipalities. These are: Aristotelis Kassandra Nea Propontida Polygyros Sithonia As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Chalkidiki was created out of the former prefecture Chalk
Prefectures of Greece
During the first administrative division of independent Greece in 1833–1836 and again from 1845 until their abolition with the Kallikratis reform in 2010, the prefectures were the country's main administrative unit. They are now defunct, have been replaced by regional units, they are called departments in ISO 3166-2:GR and by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. The prefectures were the second-degree organization of local government, grouped into 13 regions or 10 geographical departments, in turn divided into provinces and comprising a number of communities and municipalities; the prefectures became self-governing entities in 1994, when the first prefectural-level elections took place. The prefects were appointed by the government. By 2010, their number had risen to 51, of which one, the Attica Prefecture, where more than a third of the country's population resided, was further subdivided into four prefecture-level administrations. In addition, there were three super-prefectures controlling two or more prefectures.
With the Kallikratis reform, which entered into force on 1 January 2011, the prefectures were abolished. Many in the mainland, were retained in the form of regional units within the empowered regions, which took over the prefectures' administrative role; the current "Prefectural Self-Governments" were formed in 1994 and replaced the previous prefectures, whose councils and prefects were appointed by the government. Prefectures are governed by a Prefectural Council made up of 21 to 37 members, led by the Prefect and presided by a Council President. Other organs of the prefectures are: The Prefectural Committee, consisted of the Prefect or an assistant appointed by him and 4 to 6 members, elected by the Prefectural Council; the Provincial Council and The Eparchos. Super-prefectures have their own organs. Prefectural councillors are elected via public election every four years. Three-fifths of all seats go to the combination winning a majority and two-fifths of the seats go to remaining parties based on a proportional system.
Prefect becomes the president of the victorious electoral combination. Electoral is a combination which attains more than 42% in the first round of the prefectural elections. If no combination passes this threshold, a second round takes place between the two combinations that took the most votes in the first round The State oversees the actions of local governments, including the prefectures, but the Constitution of Greece and the Code of Prefectural Self-Government still provide communities and municipalities with legal control over the administration of their designated areas; the Code of Prefectural Self-Government does not include a non-restrictive list of prefectural duties, but a general rule, according to which the newly formed Prefectural Self-Governments have all the duties of the previous prefectures, which are related to their local affairs. Nonetheless, the affairs of " state administration" belonging to the prefects before 1994 are now exerted by the Presidents of the Regions.
The current Prefectural Self-Governments have kept the "local affairs of prefectureal level" not belonging to the " state administration". With certain laws specific affairs of certain ministries were transferred to the Prefectural Self-Governments; the following prefectures have been part of the Greek state since independence: Notes: Many of the prefectures were combined in pairs: Attica and Boeotia formed the Attica and Boeotia Prefecture Phthiotis Prefecture and Phocis Prefecture formed the Phthiotis and Phocis Prefecture Corinthia Prefecture and Argolis Prefecture formed Argolis and Corinthia Prefecture Achaea Prefecture and Elis Prefecture formed the Achaea and Elis Prefecture Aetolia-Acarnania also included Evrytania. Unlike the rest mentioned above, the prefecture never broke up into two prefectures, thus being the only one left with a composite appellation. Messenia included the southern half of what is now Elis. Laconia included the southern-eastern half of what is now Messinia. Euboea included the Sporades, which now belong to Magnesia.
The territory of Phthiotis Prefecture did not include the Domokos Province, part of Thessaly. The area constituting the Domokos Province of the Fthiotis Prefecture only became a part of the Greek state in general, of Phthiotis in particular, after the annexation of Thessaly to Greece in 1881. Arcadia Prefecture and the Cyclades Prefecture are the only prefectures to have their borders unchanged since independence; the capital of Argolis Prefecture, Nafplion was the first capital of the modern Greek state, before the move of the capital to Athens by King Otto. There were several short-lived prefectures in areas of present Albania and Turkey, during the Greek occupation of those areas during World War I and the Greco-Turkish War respectively: Argyrokastron, in Northern Epirus Korytsa, in Northern Epirus Adrianople, in Eastern Thrace Kallipolis, in Eastern Thrace Rhaedestos, in Eastern Thrace Saranta Ekklisies, in Eastern Thrace ISO 3166-2:GR Map of Greece at Archive.today "Nomarchy". New International Encyclop