Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
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
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
Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised as Boiotia, or Beotia, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece, its capital is Livadeia, its largest city is Thebes. Boeotia was a region of ancient Greece, since before the 6th century BC. Boeotia lies to the north of the eastern part of the Gulf of Corinth, it has a short coastline on the Gulf of Euboea. It bordered on Megaris in the south, Attica in the southeast, Euboea in the northeast, Opuntian Locris in the north and Phocis in the west; the main mountain ranges of Boeotia are Mount Parnassus in the west, Mount Helicon in the southwest, Cithaeron in the south and Parnitha in the east. Its longest river, the Cephissus, flows in the central part, where most of the low-lying areas of Boeotia are found. Lake Copais was a large lake in the center of Boeotia, it was drained in the 19th century. Lake Yliki is a large lake near Thebes; the earliest inhabitants of Boeotia, associated with the city of Orchomenus, were called Minyans.
Pausanias mentions that Minyans established the maritime Ionian city of Teos, occupied the islands of Lemnos and Thera. The Argonauts were sometimes referred to as Minyans. According to legend the citizens of Thebes paid an annual tribute to their king Erginus; the Minyans may have been proto-Greek speakers, but although most scholars today agree that the Mycenean Greeks descended from the Minyans of the Middle Helladic period, they believe that the progenitors and founders of Minyan culture were an autochthonous group. The early wealth and power of Boeotia is shown by the reputation and visible Mycenean remains of several of its cities Orchomenus and Thebes; the origin of the name "Boeotians" may lie in the mountain Boeon in Epirus. Some toponyms and the common Aeolic dialect indicate that the Boeotians were related to the Thessalians. Traditionally, the Boeotians are said to have occupied Thessaly, the largest fertile plain in Greece, to have been dispossessed by the north-western Thessalians two generations after the Fall of Troy.
They moved south and settled in another rich plain, while others filtered across the Aegean and settled on Lesbos and in Aeolis in Asia Minor. Others are said to have stayed in Thessaly, withdrawing into the hill country and becoming the perioikoi. Though far from Anthela, which lay on the coast of Malis south of Thessaly in the locality of Thermopylae, Boeotia was an early member of the oldest religious Amphictyonic League because her people had lived in Thessaly. Many ancient Greek legends are set in this region; the older myths took their final form during the Mycenean age when the Mycenean Greeks established themselves in Boeotia and the city of Thebes became an important centre. Many of them are related to the myths of Argos, others indicate connections with Phoenicia, where the Mycenean Greeks and the Euboean Greeks established trading posts. Important legends related to Boeotia include: Eros, worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae The Muses of Mount Helicon Ogyges and the Ogygian deluge Cadmus, said to have founded Thebes and brought the alphabet to Greece Dionysus and Semele Narcissus Heracles, born in Thebes The Theban Cycle, including the myths of Oedipus and the Sphinx, the Seven against Thebes Antiope and her sons Amphion and Zethus Niobe Orion, born in Boeotia and said to have fathered 50 sons with a local river god's daughters.
Many of these legends were used in plays by the tragic Greek poets, Aeschylus and Euripides: Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, known as the Theban plays Euripides's Bacchae, Phoenician Women and HeraclesThey were used in lost plays such as Aeschylus's Niobe and Euripides's Antiope. Boeotia was notable for the ancient oracular shrine of Trophonius at Lebadea. Graea, an ancient city in Boeotia, is sometimes thought to be the origin of the Latin word Graecus, from which English derives the words Greece and Greeks; the major poets Hesiod and Pindar were Boeotians. Boeotia had significant political importance, owing to its position on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth, the strategic strength of its frontiers, the ease of communication within its extensive area. On the other hand, the lack of good harbours hindered its maritime development; the importance of the legendary Minyae has been confirmed by archaeological remains. The Boeotian population entered the land from the north before the Dorian invasion.
With the exception of the Minyae, the original peoples were soon absorbed by these immigrants, the Boeotians henceforth appear as a homogeneous nation. Aeolic Greek was spoken in Boeotia. In historical times, the leading city of Boeotia was Thebes, whose central position and military strength made it a suitable capital, it was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other townships into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the outlying cities resisted this policy, only allowed the formation of a loose federation, religious. While the Boeotians, unlike the Arcadians acted as a united whole against foreign enemies, the constant struggle between the cities was a serious check on the nation's development. Boeotia hardly figures in history before the late 6th century BC. Previous to this, its people are chiefly known as the makers of a type of geometric pottery, similar to
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
Gavdopoula is an islet located north-west of its larger neighbour, Gavdos, in the Libyan Sea. It is located to the south of Crete, of which it is administratively a part, in the regional unit of Chania, it is part of the municipality of Gavdos, it was part of the former Selino Province. Gavdopoula is covered with phrygana low-lying shrubs, it is an important stop for migrating birds. In 1998 the islet was the proposed site of an enormous container shipping storage facility. Environmentalists campaigned to block the development and Gavdopoula is now a protected nature reserve and notably for migrating birds. List of communities of Chania List of islands of Greece
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges; the islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC; the city was the capital of the Republic of Venice. The 697–1797 Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century.
The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", "City of Canals"; the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
Although the city is facing some major challenges, Venice remains a popular tourist destination, an iconic Italian city, has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world. The name of the city, deriving from Latin forms Venetia and Venetiae, is most taken from "Venetia et Histria", the Roman name of Regio X of Roman Italy, but applied to the coastal part of the region that remained under Roman Empire outside of Gothic and Frankish control; the name Venetia, derives from the Roman name for the people known as the Veneti, called by the Greeks Enetoi. The meaning of the word is uncertain, although there are other Indo-European tribes with similar-sounding names, such as the Celtic Veneti and the Slavic Vistula Veneti. Linguists suggest that the name is based on an Indo-European root *wen, so that *wenetoi would mean "beloved", "lovable", or "friendly". A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning the color'sea-blue', is possible. Supposed connections of Venetia with the Latin verb venire, such as Marin Sanudo's veni etiam, the supposed cry of the first refugees to the Venetian lagoon from the mainland, or with venia are fanciful.
The alternative obsolete form is Vinegia. Although no surviving historical records deal directly with the founding of Venice and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees—from nearby Roman cities such as Padua, Treviso and Concordia, as well as from the undefended countryside—who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions; this is further supported by the documentation on the so-called "apostolic families", the twelve founding families of Venice who elected the first doge, who in most cases trace their lineage back to Roman families. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen, on the islands in the original marshy lagoons, who were referred to as incolae lacunae; the traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto —said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421. Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main Roman town in the area, present-day Oderzo.
This part of Roman Italy was again overrun in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire only a small strip of coastline in the current Veneto, including Venice; the Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople. Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes, with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Torcello in the Venetian lagoon; the tribuni maiores formed the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the lagoon, dating from c. 568. The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio A