Amorgos (Greek: Αμοργός) is the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades island group, and the nearest island to the neighboring Dodecanese island group. Along with several neighboring islets, the largest of which is Nikouria Island, it comprises the municipality of Amorgos, which has a land area of 126.346 km², and a population of 1,859 (2001 census).
The eastern Cliffs with the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa seen from Agia Anna
Due to Amorgos' position opposite the ancient beaches of Ionian towns, such as Militos, Alikarnassos and Ephesos, it became one of the first places from which the Ionians passed through to the Cyclades Islands and onto the Greek mainland. The existence of three independent cities, preserved to this day, with autonomous constitution and the same currency, the size and artistic works of the walls surrounding the city of Arkesini, the ancient towers whose remains are scattered all over the island, the ancient tombs, the stone tools, the inscriptions, the vases and other antiquities are all powerful proof of the size of Amorgos' ancient civilization.
Further information: Hellenistic Greece
Street of the island.
Amorgos is also known as Yperia, Patagy, or Platagy, Pagali, Psichia and Karkisia. Part of the island is named Aspis, where the ancient temple of the goddess Aphrodite stood. Due to the name Minoa we suspect that Amorgos had been colonised by the Cretans from ancient times[CN], but there are no archeological remains supporting this view. In approximately 630 BC, the poet Semonides led the foundation of a Samian colony on Amorgos. With the passing of time, the island's name changed to Amolgon, Amourgon, Amorgian, and Amourgian. After the 5th century one can also find the name Amoulgos from Bishop Theodore who signed a Synod in Constantinople, as Theodore the Bishop of Parion, Sifnion, and Amoulgion. Skilax mentions it as Tripoli (the circumnavigation of the Cyclades Islands). It was known as "Yamurgi" during Ottoman rule between 1566-1829.
A very powerful earthquake (7,5 on the Richter scale) on 9 July 1953 resulted in the death of 53 people.
The names of the three cities given by Stefanos Vizantios are Arkesini, Minoa, Aigiali or Melania which, according to inscriptions, are the most correct. The three towns are on the island's west coast because that is where bays and natural ports that could provide the proper positioning for seaside towns and forts exist.
Aigiali was on the north East Side of the island close to the present day locations of Tholaria and Stroumvos and to this day can still be found there. Minoa is situated at the center of the northern side near the present day village of Katapola and Arkesini close to the present day lowland location Castri.
Excavations and findings, especially burial tombs, prove the intense presence of Amorgos during the prehistoric years, particularly during the first period of Cycladic civilisation (3200 to 2000 BC).
Amorgos in popular culture
The island was featured in Luc Besson's film The Big Blue.
The island was also featured in Giorgos Kordelas's film Ariadni of 2002.
The municipality of Amorgos is subdivided into the following communities (population at 2001 census and constituent villages within brackets):
Aigiali (487, Aigiali, Agios Pavlos, Ormos Egialis, Potamos)
Amorgos (414, Chora, Kastelopetra)
Arkesini (218, Arkesini, Kalotaritissa, Kalofana, Mavri Myti, Rachoula)
Katapola (485, Katapola, Lefkes, Nera, Xylokeratidi, Pera Rachidi, Rachidi, Christoulaki)
Tholaria (173, Tholaria, Paralia Tholarion)
Vroutsis (82, Vroutsis, Kamari
Year Village population Municipality population
1981 353 -
1991 330 1,632
2001 398 1,859
The monastery of "Panagia Hozoviotissa".
The spectacular monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is situated on the cliff side, northeast of Chora. Opening time for visitors every day from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visitors have to be dressed decently in order to enter. Men have to wear long trousers and women a skirt or some long pants and covered arms.
Communities of the Cyclades
^ Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism
^ Επίτομο Γεωγραφικό Λεξικό της Ελλάδος (Geographical Dictionary of Greece), Μιχαήλ Σταματελάτος, Φωτεινή Βάμβα-Σταματελάτου, εκδ. Ερμής, ΑΘήνα 2001
Municipalities and communities of the Cyclades Prefecture
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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