Kalymnos

Kalymnos

The history of Kalymnos is parallel to the history of the other Dodecanese islands. Kalymnos has been inhabited since the pre-Minoan times. During the Archaic period, the distance of the Dodecanese from Athens gave autonomy to these islands, including Kalymnos, and freedom from the imperial Athens. With the rise of the Macedonian Empire, Kalymnos, as well as the other islands of the group, became part of it. After the death of Alexander the Great, one of its successors, Ptolemy I of Egypt, took control of all the islands of the Dodecanese. The inhabitants of the group were the first Greeks to convert to Christianity because Saint Paul and Saint John made a stop there to preach their faith. During the Early Byzantine times Kalymnos was flourishing, like all the other islands of the group, but by the 7th century AD, the invaders took advantage of the vulnerable strategic position of those islands. In the 14th century, the Knights of Saint John ruled Kalymnos, along with all Dodecanese islands, and built the Castle of Cryssocheria to protect it. The Turkish rule followed in 1522 and ended in 1912, when the Italians took their place. When the Italians surrendered, the Germans and the British fought to take control over the islands of the Dodecanese, causing great damages and sufferings among the population. Kalymnos was united to the newly built Greek State with the rest of the Dodecanese in 1947. In the 1960s, the economy of Kalymnos, based on sponge fishing, gradually declined and many residents migrated. Kalymnos island is an attractive island with a population of about 12,000 inhabitants, which are mostly leaving in the capital and main port, Pothia. Kalymnos is famous for its sponge fishing industry and almost all the old men of the island were one diving for fishing sponges. Since this industry has fallen because Mediterranean sponges suffered from a viral disease in 1986 and a lot of them died, as the economy of the island did. Kalymnos is also a rising holiday destination due to another fact: its landscape and geology are ideal for climbing. This has brought to the island a new kind of active tourism. The rocky mountains and interesting caves of Kalymnos are also continually explored. The most famous is the Cave of the Seven Virgins. The late tourism has helped a bit the island and its inhabitants, even if many beautiful coasts of the island are still uncrowded during high season. This island distinguishes for the wild rocky mountains, which is why it has developed as a rock climbing destination over the last years. In fact, an International Climbing Festival takes place in Kalymnos island every September. In the past, the locals...

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Telendos

Telendos

The islet of Telendos, near Kalymnos, rises across the north western coast of Kalymnos, opposite the village of Myrties. Telendos is separated from the main island by a channel just 700 metres wide. In the ancient times, Telendos was part of Kalymnos, until a massive earthquake in 535 A.D. separated it from the rest of the island. Telendos is rather a barren island. However, its beautiful landscape gives a unique view. Telendos has got very few inhabitants (about 50) and they are all concentrated in a small fishing settlement. Small boats serve the transportation to and from Myrties. They run frequently during the day, carrying passengers for the 10 minutes journey. Telendos does not have any roads, so it is free from traffic and pollution. Telendos has got a tiny port that is usually busy with fishing boats. Alongside the port, you can see a number of taverns and cafes that serve traditional Greek food. The beaches of Telendos, Paradise and Hoklakas beaches being the most famous, are small and not organized at all, so they are perfect for peace lovers and naturists. The archaeological ruins found at Telendos suggested the existence of a well-organized Christian culture in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. The Early Christian Basilica of Agios Vassilios and the Christian burial ground suggest that the islet once accommodated a wealthy and noble society. The traces of ruined houses, churches and cisterns can be still found there. There is the medieval fortress of Saint Constantine situated a little above the port with nice views to the whole island. The Princess of Telendos Telendos is discovered as soon as you reach Gadouroracho village on top of the hill and you will be stunned by the spectacular panoramic view opening up before your eyes. When you look more closely at the mountain across the water, you will notice that the different rock ledges seem to take the shape of a body resting over the sea with a big face visible looking out from the top of the mountain. There are many versions of the myth of Telendos and how the face was created or what it is really. We are going to give you the most popular version and the one that the people from Telendos believe. The bibliography that was used was taken from Kalymnos library which is named “The Muses”. Specifically, from the book, “Fairytales and Traditions from Kalymnos”, by Mrs. Kapela and Mrs. Zaire, and from the series book, “Kalymnian Years”, we used the stories of Mrs. Mavrou and Vouvali. The most well liked legend is nothing more than another tragic love story like the one of Romeo and Juliet. In the Byzantine years around...

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Leros

Leros

A small island of Dodecanese, Leros is located between Patmos and Kalymnos. In fact, holidays in Leros can be easily combined with trips to Patmos, Kalymnos and Lipsi. According to mythology, goddess Artemis was the protector of ancient Leros. Archaeological findings have proved that the history of Leros started in the Neolithic Period. Its first inhabitants were the Carians, Leleges, Phoenicians and Minoans. Then, the island was conquered by the Dorians. Leros flourished culturally during the 5th century, when various philosophers and scientific brought an intellectual growth to the island. After the Persian Wars, the island united with Athens and became a member of the Athenian Alliance. The forces of Alexander the Great passed through it during the period of the Macedonian Empire, as testify various findings. During the Byzantine Period, various magnificent churches and Byzantine monuments were built on Leros, from which some can still be admired today. The Knights of Saint John of Rhodes conquered the island of Leros in 1314. They exercised their tyrannical power on the inhabitants until 1523, when they were beaten by the Turks, who took control over the entire Aegean. Despite the Ottoman yoke, the island managed to keep a kind of autonomy. When the Greek Revolution of 1821 started, the inhabitants of Leros were part of the first to rise up against their oppressors. Despite the Greek Revolution, the London Protocol gave back the islands of the Dodecanese to Turkey in 1830. From 1912 to 1943, the italians took over and fortified Leros. They used it as their main naval base. They carried out important defensive works and created a new town at Lakki. The Germans came to Leros just after the Italians. From the 12th to the 16th November 1943, the Battle of Leros took place. In fact, a war memorial stands in Lakki for the attack of the Greek submerger Vassilissa Olga in the port. The island of Leros was liberated by the Greek Navy but then, the British occupied the island for two years. Leros, with the rest of the Dodecanese, eventually became part of the Greek State in March 1948. The long history of Leros Greece is depicted in the many sights around the island, such as the Medieval Castle and the interesting museums. Alinda and Agia Marina are the most tourist places on the island, while a drive around the island will bring visitors to relaxing, crystal beaches. Over the last years, the island is developing as a diving destination due to the many ancient shipwrecks that have been found in the surrounding...

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