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Tatoi: A forgotten wonder

05.12.2017 in History

Tatoi: A forgotten wonder     The unsuspecting hiker of Parnitha National Park area will be left in awe in front of the former royal family summer palace – the Tatoi palace is a huge complex of architectural masterpieces…   Set on the southeastern slopes of Mount Parnitha in Attica (16 miles from the city center of Athens), the Tatoi palace is a huge complex of architectural masterpieces which include a great number of outbuildings: storehouses, outposts, stock farms, personnel quarters, gardens and mews, all surrounded by a dense forest of incredible natural beauty and environmental significance. But today, the…

The Holy Places of Mount Parnitha…

17.11.2017 in History

The Holy Places of Mount Parnitha…      At the foothills of Parnitha, where the mountain’s heavy snow falls and thick mists wouldn’t cut them off completely from the rest of the world, lie several monasteries and little chapels. You will find most of them in breathtaking locations, surrounded by springs, wells, and lush foliage, catering to many fatigued hikers’ needs.   Kleiston Monastery (of The Holy Dormition of the Virgin) Kleiston Monastery is found on the southwestern side of Mt. Parnitha, at the entrance of Keladona’s Gorge, near the ancient fortress of Fyli. Even though its actual founding date…

Aegina, Tiny but Magnificent..

15.10.2017 in History

Aegina: Tiny, but Magnificent The island of Aegina (the name comes from the mother of the local hero and King Aeacus) was a considerable naval power and trade center during the ancient years, although antagonistic to another great sea power: Athens… Being in close vicinity of Athens, the history of Aegina island was always connected to that ancient superpower, though not always with a positive impact on the island’s commercial, military and social life. However, Aegina’s prosperity during the archaic and classical years (7th -5th c. BCE) provided generations to come with impressive masterpieces of art and architecture. The Temple…

The Parthenon of Saint Nektarios

15.10.2017 in History

The “Parthenon” of Saint Nektarios Saint Nektarios settled in Aegina in 1908, after several years of looking for a place to house a monastery – an “Ecclesiastical Parthenon”, as he called it – where he wished to spend his later years. He found the old abandoned monastery of the Zoodochos Pigi, near the village of Kondos in Aegina… It was here where Saint Nektarios decided to accommodate four women who were under his spiritual guidance at the time, along with three more local nuns. Apart from renovating the existing establishment he also built the convent of the Holy Trinity. The…

Paros – the white and blue

10.08.2017 in History

Paros: the white and the blue Located in the heart of the Cycladic islands, approximately 250 miles from Piraeus, you will find the beautiful island of Paros. Its history spans a wide spectrum of events and adventures through time – and since antiquity, Paros has been well-known for its gleaming white marble, found in countless ancient (and modern!) architectural wonders. Nowadays, Paros has a bit of everything a visitor would expect from an island in the Cycladic archipelago; white-painted villages, blue-domed churches, pebble beaches and fishing harbors overlooked by picturesque taverns and lively bars and cafés. The landscape is just…

Ermoupolis, A Nobel Town

15.07.2017 in History

Ermoupolis: A Noble Town The name Ermoupolis literally means the “city of the god Hermes”. When the town was established, the entire island was transformed into a hugely significant commercial and industrial center of Greece. It seems only right that Hermes, god of commercial affairs, rightly became the patron deity of the capital of Syros. Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros Island, is a picturesque colorful town with unique architecture and a striking aesthetic. By contrast with the rest of the Cycladic islands, Ermoupolis resembles the eastern Italian coastal towns rather than the typical white and blue “monotony” of the neighboring…

The Entrance to Phaistos

Phaistos the Minoan splendor

17.06.2017 in History

Phaistos, the Minoan splendor   The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE. It is no wonder why Minoan influence spread beyond Crete into the broader Mediterranean and even Near Eastern cultures… The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization, a name that references the mythological Cretan king, Minos. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE – grand palaces, as well as structures that served as political and cultural centers of power characterized Minoan rule. Their influence spread…

Pancretan Association of America

15.06.2017 in History

The Pancretan Association of America celebrates 88 years! This July, the Pancretan Association will celebrate its 45th National Convention and 88th year. One of the largest and oldest societies in North America, the PAA, since its inception has continuously supported: Education, Culture, Church and Philanthropy. This history is reprinted with permission of the Pancretan Association Archives. Since ancient times, the Greeks had always wished to emigrate to foreign countries in an effort to find a better life. Looking back on history, we see that the Greeks, through their massive emigration, had created colonies where Greek was the only language spoken,…

Palaiologos – The last emperor

17.05.2017 in History

Konstantinos Palaiologos: the last Emperor The last Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos Palaiologos could be a character drawn from an ancient Greek tragedy. His heroic death during the siege of Constantinople on May 29, 1453, rendered him a legendary figure in Greek folklore while also essentially marking the end of the Byzantine Empire. Born in Constantinople in 1405, Konstantinos was one of the sons of Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos. In 1443, he became Despot of Morea (the ruler of Peloponnese) and launched numerous expeditions against the Ottoman invaders and their vassal of Latin dukes across continental Greece. Following the death of his…

The Fall of Constantinople

17.05.2017 in History

Constantinople, 1453: The Fall of the Queen of Cities The capture and destruction of the Byzantine capital by the Ottoman Turks is one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Western world. For the Byzantines, Constantinople was not just a mere city, but the Queen of all the cities, the Second Rome. The Roman Empire incarnated itself in the Byzantine Empire the years following the fall of Rome and the transportation of the Roman capital from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in 4th century CE. During a thousand years of history, the Byzantines stood against…