Culture & History

Culture & History
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Skiathos History

And so the story goes… Skiathos has been inhabited since prehistoric times, probably by the Pelasgians and later by the Cretans. It was a constant ally of Athenians in the A’ and B’ Athenian Alliance, until its city was destroyed by Philip V of Macedonia (200BC).

In 1207 Gyzi brothers occupated the Island and built the famous Bourtzi, which is reminiscent of the homonymous venetian fortress of Nafplio. Their goal was to protect Skiathos from pirates! In the meantime, Bourtzi proved to be an ineffective fortress and so in the middle of the 14th century the capital of Skiathos, was transferred to the Castle.

Castle is located on an extremely steep cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, in the northern part of Skiathos. In general, the island suffered a lot from pirate raids, despite the efforts to fortify the city and protect its inhabitants.

Skiathos had a significant participation and contribution with its navy in the Greek Revolution of 1821 and was part of the first Greek state. There, several Greek revolutionaries found refuge, specifically in the monastery of Evangelistria, built in 1794 by monks from Mount Athos.

In 19th century, the island of Skiathos was an important shipbuilding center of Aegean mainly due to its abundance in pine forests.

Skiathos is the closest island to mainland Greece, with easy access, interesting history and great culture.

It’s the homeland of Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851-1911), the great Greek writer, translator and journalist who has been described as the “The Saint of Greek letters” and as “The Poet with the short story novels” (D. Solomos).

Papadiamantis works such as όπως “The Merchants of Nations”, “The Murderess” -which is considered to be his masterpiece- and many others, have been translated and studied in many languages, while they are the subject of analysis worldwide till today.

Alexandros Papadiamantis grew up and died in Skiathos and his traditional house, which was built by his father in 1860 according to the wall inscription on one of his walls, is now a Museum. Skiathos island is also the homeland of Alexandros Moraitidis (1850-1929), Papadiamantis cousin, also a great novelist, academic, playwright and translator.

Even its name has been the subject for discussion between Greek and Latin historians and geographers. Finally, the most prevalent interpretation of how ancient “Ski-athos” came about until today’s “Skiathos” is the one accepted by the famous Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis. So, this interpretation connects the name of its place with the shadow, created by extensive forests of the island.


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Skiathos is also a religious destination, since its history dates back to prehistoric times and continues to Byzantine and Venetian periods. Thus the majority of its monuments are Byzantine churches and monasteries. Panagia Kounistra and male Monastery of Evangelistria, founded in 1794 and located outside the town, stand out. In Monastery of Evangelistria was built and blessed the first Greek flag with the white cross on a blue background.

There are more than fifty churches of incredible beauty and energy, and in the past there were seven monasteries many of which are still preserved and are of a high cultural interest for island’s visitors (Panagia Kounistra, Panagia Kechria, Agios Charalambos).