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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thassos: location and history

Thassos is located in the south-west of the prefecture of Kavala and rests 12 naval miles from the city of Kavala or 1 hour away using the boat which is in regular service. From the coasts of Keramoti Thassos is 6 naval miles or 30 minute travel. The island overall area is 393km square km. A central major road covers the cirkumference of the island, folowing a paralel course to the splendid coasts, while smaller roads lead to the mountanious villages.

According to the testimonies of historians, the island was inhabited for the first time by the Tracians that had come from the oposite coast in 2000 B.C. With regard to the name of the island there are many versions such as 'Aerie' because of the purity of the air, 'Aithria' because of its deep blue sky and 'Chrisie' because of its gold. However the prevailing version is the one of Irodotos, acording to which owes its name to Thassos, son of the Phoenician king Aginora, who (in mythology) reached the island whilst looking for his sister, Europe, who had being kidnapped from Zeus. In the 7th century B.C. residents of the island of Paros colonized the island. Period of large economic growth for the island were folowed in hte 6th, 5th and 4th century B.C.with the mine features being: the foundation of colonies in Macedonia and Thrace, the intense economic and cultural activity and the circulation of a powerfull currency in the all of the Mediterranean. In 356. B.C. the colonies of the Thasians and their mines in Paggaio were occupied by Phillipos the second, who a few years later in 338 B.C. became the holder of the island and attached it to the Macedonian state.
The roman succeeded the Macedonians an were accepted as saviours, as they granted autonomy to the island. Thassos prospered again in the Romanyears and developed a comercial and intellectual activity. Afterwards, disorderly periods followed in the duration of the Byzantine years, as Thassos was permanently found in the sight of the pirates of the Mediterranean, who mercilessly plundered and depopulated the island, stopping every creative activity, a fact that caused the residents to abandon the coast and to relocate to the mountains where they built their new villages. The island also became a target of many prospective sovereigns of Medieval Europe and ended up in 1455. in the hand of Ottomans Turks. In 1813. Thassos was granted to the Vizier of Egypt Mehmet Ali who loved Thasisans and showed favour towards them. The administration of the island was undertaken again by the Turks in 1902. In October 1912. Thassos was released and incorporated into the body of Greece.

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