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The history of Astypalaia


During their history, archaeologists and scholars, the islands are of particular importance because of their positions as stepping stones for the movement of various goods and therefore the "culture".

In an important maritime crossroads of the Greek peninsula, Asia Minor, Middle East, Egypt is the Astypalaia.

Over the years many names accompanied the island as those who have stepped on the land:

  • Astypalaia (Asty + palaia mean the old town, the name given by the Dorians in the Geometric period)
  • Astropalia (Astro + palia)
  • Pyrrha (because of its reddish color of the soil, the name given by the Phoenicians)
  • Pilea, Stampalia, Bank of the Gods, Ichthyoessa (for abundant fish in its waters)

Mythology, in different versions, wants Astypalaia daughter of Agenor and Tilefassas Agriope and sister or of Europe or daughter Phoenix (son of Agenor) and Perimidis.

The union of Astypalaia and Poseidon born Eurypylus and Agkaios tovn Leleges King who took part in the Argonauts.

The first inhabitants of the island according to tradition, brought up the Carians repel them from the Minoans and the Mycenaeans later than on the coast of Asia Minor in the area named the Caria.

Later Leleges inhabited the island as many places because of poor systemic archaiologikisopsianos excavation, but some findings substantiate the existence of facilities such as the early violin-shaped idol exposed in the museum of Astypalaia, some obsidian blades and counterclockwise spiral on the rock surface in Vathi .

 οψιανόςThe geographical location and abundance of natural harbors contributed to a trading post on the movements of Aigaiopelagiton. Was also widespread and transport of obsidian from Milos to the coast of Asia Minor.

During the Minoan civilization and the prevalence of the golden age Astypalaia considered significant acquisition. When destroyed the Minoan eruption of Santorini volcano, come to their successors, the Mycenaeans but where sufficient evidence of their civilization tread the Minoans.

The presence of Mycenaeans Astypalaia document the findings in the vaulted tombs and Armenochori Sygkairo as impressive offerings on display today at the museum.

With the "descent" of the Dorians came creates a new perspective in Greece. The Dorians occupy the Argolid destroying the Mykinaious. After the failed attempt to seize Athens and excursions to turn to Asia Minor and at this stage in the colonies and Astypalaia. At the Strabo Astypaliotes Doric origin colonized the Roition the Propontis.

Period 5th Century BC - 1204 AD



Astypalaia has a rich history but a few sources from which one can draw with certainty that it is wrong especially when referring to ancient times, but as the book that are not purely historical'll just quote what was possible for us to collect and after these maximum difficulty.

Classical period 5os - 4os Century BC

From information available to the scholars of the classical era and documented by the inscriptions found, Astypalaia was a member of the First Athenian Alliance and paid tax on the alliance, which was fixed by Aristides the Law.
Based on signs, seeing the holy presence of Athena, Artemis with the surname Sergeant, Eileithyia, of Asklepios, the 'Isis and Jupiter as well as the existence of buildings: Prytaneion parliament, Agoranomeion and theater.

It is important to note that the position was Kylintra eketameno cemetery infants and toddlers. So far characterized unique archaeological find in the world and needs special care. Revealed so far that enchytrismoi 2265 burials in pots and jars. It is thought that perhaps this is an important shrine dedicated where the baby was lost with the wish and hope to survive the next.

In Astypalaia in the archaic era born personalities such as canary grass tyrant of Agrigento in Sicily, the Cleomedes medalist, boxer who was stripped of the victory because they killed his opponent and turning in Astypalaia from paranoia brought down a column kataplakonontas housing 60 students. Persecuted by Astypalaieis locked in a box in the temple of Athena. When I opened it and found him not asked in oracle from Delphi, where he advised them to celebrate as immortal. Also descended from the Astypalaia Onisikritos student philosopher Diogenes.

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Hellenistic Period (323 - 146 BC)

The Hellenistic period of Astypalaia is perhaps the most glorious history. It falls in the State of affairs of the Lagidae - Ptolemaic and ports used by traders crossing the eastern Mediterranean.

Growth and prosperity prevails argued that this period is established on the island mint. Coins found a reference to worship of Perseus, Dionysus, Asclepius and Athene.

This prosperity is left intact until 105 BC when the Astypalaia an alliance with Rome and gets right to free federal city.

Roman period (146 BC - 300 AD)

For the Roman Astypalaia there is little evidence from epigraphic material mostly from the resolutions of parliament and municipal Astypalaia dedicated to Roman emperors.

The major event is the signing treaty between Rome and Astypalaia a copy of which was deposited in the sanctuary of Zeus in kryptolio Rome and half in the temple of Athena on Astypalaia.

The prosperity of these years is deleted through the safe harbors of the island where the Romans used them to fight pirates.

Pre-Christian and Byzantine period (300 - 1204 AD)

For the first Christian communities on the islands there are no secure information. Christianity is likely to be imposed after the final victory over the twelve-between 350 and 450 AD, since the non-acceptance of Christianity was considered a criminal offense and destroyed ancient temples converted into Christian.

The remains of Christian basilicas, we scattered in the land of Astypalaia as:

Anargyroi Saints, St. Panteleimon, St. Basil in the Meadow, Holy of Holies in the Holy Barbara Maltezana Basilica "chair," Castellano in Saint George, Saint John the aluminides as well as other buildings such as baths in the Talaros Maltezana where some areas are covered with mosaics (typical of the zodiac, the four seasons and years prosopopioimenos).

The baths in the Meadow and the Early Christian settlements in Messaria and Armenochori show a completely different world from the ancient.

At this time mentioned the creation of the castle of St. John the west island. It is the time when the islands suffer from pirate raids.

Age Venetians and Franks (1204 - 1530)

With a broad coalition of crusaders Franks, Burgundy, Flemish, German, Catalan and especially the Venetians conquered Constantinople on April 13, 1204 and essentially begins the Venetian in the Greek market. To promote economic and naval dominance in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, Venice realizes how important economic resources are the islands and ports.

Marco Sanudo in 1207 occupied the islands of the Cyclades and Astypalaia. He settled his headquarters in Naxos (the Duchy of Naxos). It divides the Duchy in feuds and distributes them to his comrades who helped in this campaign. The islanders are serfs if those losing their property, farmers are under the orders of the feudal lord and the Orthodox are subject to restrictions.

Astypalaia undertaken by Quirinus Giovanni (Giovanni I Quirini) which fortifies the ancient acropolis of the island. In 1269 byzantium reoccupies amid the islands and Astypalaia. In 1310, however Astypalaia xanapeftei the hands of the Venetian Giovanni III Quirini. Here Turkoman pirates after seizing them create unbearable living conditions for residents, forcing them to emigrate and to leave the desert island. In 1413 the Venice appointed by the governor of Tinos and Mykonos Giovanni IV Zanachi Quirini builds the castle of Astypalaia as we know it today, carrying settlers from Tinos and Mykonos tapping the fief of his ancestors. Rename the island and placed in Police marble plates with the inscription and coat of arms which is until today.

In 1536 the signing of a treaty of alliance between King Francis I of France and Suleiman A of a grand Ottoman Empire to the expulsion of the Venetians Venetian-Turkish war the trigger with disastrous results for the islands.

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Ottoman period (1530 - 1912)

From the late 15th and early 16th century the supremacy of Venice in the Mediterranean Due to limited growth of the Ottoman and Spanish influence.

The Ottoman Empire, wanting to protect its trade, expands its naval dominance in the Aegean. In 1537 Kapoudan Pasha Barbarossa Ottoman joined the pirate fleet and captured the islands under Venetian domination between and Astypalaia.

The integration of Astypalaia the Ottomans sealed with a peace treaty in 1540 the Venetians and the Ottomans and the payment of 3000 ducats for war reparations.

Sultan Suleiman I grant privileges on the island who govern themselves by the Board of Elders, while residents recover and cultivate the land without much interference in their religious life. But the tranquility of the island disrupts the existence of pirates largely becomes the occasion for the migration of residents and some learn to live with them.

In 1750 the Sultan Osman III renews the privileges of Astypalaia, while the Treaty of Küçük Kainartzi and the end of the Russo-Turkish war, Russian and allows navigation in the islands and therefore Astypalaia where the economy is improving.

In 1821 he takes part in the revolutionary struggle as the other islands but has a happy ending because the London Conference in 1841 decided to return to the Ottoman Empire. However the government maintains a slight paying tax. But when the Ottomans in 1870 deciding to terminate the government and heavy taxes epivolli the island faces a serious problem. In 1881 part of the province but the Kalymnos island's economy collapses, people migrate and decay dominates the end of the Ottoman bounded by the invasion of Italy on April 23 1912.

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Italian Occupation (1912 - 1945)

The capture of Astypalaia by the Italians on 23 April 1912, caused joy and delight residents and anticipation and the other islands of the Dodecanese complex because I felt deliverance from the Ottoman occupation and relief coming from a Christian state. Realizing their goals, the Italians occupied Rhodes and other Dodecanese except Kastelorizo.

After the signing of peace between the Ottomans and Italians in October 1912, agreed to return the Dodecanese to the Ottomans if and when the latter withdrew their troops from Libya. Something that never happened because it breaks the meantime the First World War. After the Asia Minor catastrophe, Mussolini finalize the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese with the Treaty of Lausanne on June 24, 1923.

According to 1922 census the population of Astypalaia is on 1365 residents while the emigration wave reaches the island again.

Communication with other islands and Piraeus was to sail to the island and operated elementary school with 4 classrooms, a pharmacy and also had 3 priests and one commissioner to the Metropolitan of Leros. It is worth noting that in 1916 made up a criminal court on the island that runs to 1925 where the court responsibilities transferred to Leros. On the island but still works Magistrate's Court.

In 1932 the economic situation of the inhabitants of the island marked "tragic" by the newspaper "Rhodian," of the season and due to the global economic crisis and the crash of U.S. banks and the destruction of agricultural production.

The Italians are characterized cruel conquerors, sinister and two-faced by the residents of a targeted the Orthodox faith, Greek language and culture. From 1936 to 1940 significant is the resistance put forward by the teachers. During the Second World War the Italians defeated capitulate and withdrawn in 1943 and the Dodecanese islands occupied by the Germans.

German paratroopers dropped in Kaminakia and Maltezana and keep the island as the 8 May 1945. During the German occupation of the inhabitants suffer from the cruelty of the conquerors who deprive them food and clothing. It is noteworthy that after the conquest of Astypalaia by the Germans, capture and transfer of Italian prisoners, a small group of 150 Italian soldiers found shelter and protection to homes Astypaliton.

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Astypalaia free

The period from May 9, 1945 up to March 31, 1947 recorded in the Dodecanese as the "period of English domination."
On June 27, 1946 is the conference of foreign ministers of the winners of the Second World War in Paris. Decided the union of the Dodecanese to Greece and ratifying the peace treaty with Greece - Italy.

On March 31, 1945 established the first Greek military commander Admiral Pericles Ioannides and lowered the British flag from the headquarters of Rhodes. The formal incorporation of the Dodecanese to Greece is on March 7, 1948.

The island is in a terrible economic situation as the rest of Greece after the war, occupation and the fascist lines with losses of people and property.

First elected mayor of Astypalaia after release is Anthony Kostopoulos (1945 - 1947) who was faced with huge problems. His aim was the organization of the municipality. At the council built the present town hall. At the point chosen to build churches there were some that had to be demolished, thus confronted with reactions of many people especially women.
Meanwhile, under the Marshall Plan inaugurated the factory of the PPC, the island was mayor Dimitrios Kontaratos (1947 - 1959). In this period the specific case in July 1956 and the large destructive earthquake in the seabed between Amorgos and Astypalaia which caused seismic waves (tsunami) and scans large enough, collapsing houses in the Castle and fishing boats crushed by the firing of the rocks and destroyed; many agricultural crops.

During the first term of Mayor Peter Economou (1959 - 1967) coincides economic recession, unemployment and mass emigration before Athens, Piraeus, Europe, America, Australia and Canada. The population of Astypalaia and reduced poverty and lack of prospects for the creation of poverty and hardship. By imposing dictatorship, Junta dismiss the economic and the position gets George Kyriakos which he served for about a year and admittedly was ameptos.

Until the fall of the junta undertake the council:

  • Elias F. Angelides
  • Eirini Athanasiadou
  • Dimitris Stavlas
  • Michael Diakakis

With the change of regime begins his second term as mayor Peter Economou (175 - 1786) where the island is at a turning point with minimal non-existent infrastructure and livelihood opportunities to the island, trouble connecting ferry and healthcare.

During the tenure of Mayor George Delmadorou (1987 - 1998) implemented several projects that were launched than in previous years such as dam construction, acquisition of secondary schools, kindergarten, clinic, Archaeological museum, improving road and sea transport and general there is a development that stops the exodus of residents.

Access to the council by Panormitis Kontaratos (1998 -) is on the island a time of sweeping change, giving a different dimension to the quality of life and general development with clean water, purification, modern sewers, water mains, collection right way waste projects effectively to ensure decent living standards of residents and visitors to the island.

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