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Skiathos Island

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Skiathos Island
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Skiathos Island

Skiathos has not been changed its name for the ancient years.

Alexander Papadiamantis was one of the most important man of arts and literature and according with his opinion he agreed with those who thought that the name Skiathos is pre-Greek and was given to the island by the first settlers of Pelasgians (Thrace), who were impressed by the shades formed of pine trees.

Skiathos was once also inhabited by Cretans, who brought to the island the cultivation of olive trees and vineyards.

During the Archaic period (7th or 6th century BC) Ionians occupied the island and built their town southeast of the port in order to dominate the large bay and the interior 2 installations harbor. The cultivation of olive and vine were developed year per year and Skiathian residences started to exports these products. Protections from pirateus was a huge stone wall around Skiathos small city.

Persian Wars and the danger from Persian invaders set up the island of Skiathos beside the Greeks by participating in the first Athenian Alliance in order to confront the Persian threat in a much more efficient way.

By the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 BC) and the prevalence of Spartans, Skiathos was under their influence and the regime became oligarchy. During the composition of the 2nd Athenian Alliance, Skiathos took the side of Athens, the island begun flourishing and even released its own bronze coins (head of Hermes on one side and the caduceus CKIATHI word on the other).

During 338 BC after the victory of the Macedonians, Skiathos was also conquered and eas left undisturbed. After the death of Alexander the Great, the island changed its ruleres several times. During the 2nd Macedonian War, Skiathos was plundered by the Roman fleet and the fleet of Attalus I of Pergamum.

Despite the large scale of the disaster, the city recovered quickly and in 197 BC Democracy was once again restored. With the dissolution of the Macedonian empire in 168 BC, whole Greece was enslaved by the Romans. In 42 BC, after the battle of Philippi, Antony gave Skiathos to the Athenians as a sign of gratitude for their friendly behavior. The next year, Skiathos lived peacefully in democracy polity again.

Little is known about Skiathos during the first Byzantine period. Christianity came to the island in 325 AD and in 530 AD the first church of the Holy Trinity was built.

In 1207 Skiathos was occupied by the Venetian merchant brothers Andrew and Jeremiah Gizi. The brothers Gizi secured the city by building the castle of the port, nowadays known as Bourtzi. They gave the island several privileges and thus it remained in Venetian possession until 1276 when the Byzantine fleet drove them out of the Sporades. With the fall of Constantinople, Skiathians choose and asked the Venetians to protect them against the Turks.

In 1538, the pirate Barbarossa captured Skiathos after a siege of 6 days. In 1540 with the signing of the peace contract between the Venetians and the Turks, the island fell to the Turks and Kapoudan Pasha, admiral of the Turkish fleet.

After numerous uprisings and raids against the Turks (1778-1788) the island was plagued for years by violence and looting. The island came out of the Revolution under the leadership of Alexandros Logothetis and Epiphanius Dimitriadis.

In 1829, with the foundation of the Greek state, Skiathian citizens settled again in the harbor, the ancient city of Skiathos.

After theyr liberation the sail and shipping industry was revived once more with the construction of commercial vessels. In 1855, the sectioning of the city begins and its during this time when Papadiamantis is born.

During the 2nd World War, Skiathos town is almost completely destroyed by German aviation. On the 14th September 1943 the Germans sank the submarine "Katsonis", just seven miles from the castle of Skiathos.

In 1944 just before the liberation of Greece from the Germans, the Nazis burned the island and seven Skiathian citizens were executed in retaliation, because the resistance had captured the German navy commander of the Sporades.

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