Rafina (Greek: Ραφήνα) is a town located on the eastern coast of Attica in Greece. It has a population of 10,701 inhabitants (2001 census). Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Rafina-Pikermi, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.
Rafina lies east of the Penteli mountains and northeast of the Mesogeia plain with an area of farmland near the coastline to the north. The Cephissus River lies to the west. It is located E of Athens and the Attiki Odos (number 63), S of Nea Makri, NNE of the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and N of Loutsa. Rafina is about 30 km E of downtown Athens.
The municipal unit of Rafina contains, besides the city itself, a large portion of the surrounding area, which is mostly woodland and farmland. The only other town is Kallitechnoúpoli (pop. 557).
Road and sea access
The town can be accessed through Marathonos Avenue (GR-54) to the west. Other roads link with the town of Artemida, also known as Loutsa, to the south and Nea Makri to the North.
Rafina is a port town serving ferries to the southern part of Euboea as well as most of the Cyclades. Its port is the second largest of Attica, after that of Piraeus, but it will probably be superseded by the one in Lavrio, which is currently being expanded.
Rafina was established in the 1920s by refugees fleeing from Anatolia after the end of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) on the site of a small Arvanite village. Most of these refugees originated from the town of Triglia. Its name is an anagram of the name of an ancient Greek city which was located roughly in the same location as the modern town. Until the 1960s and the 1970s, most of the population was rural. As housing developments came to the area, the population boomed and moved into the settlements.
The beautiful small church of Agios Nicolas overlooks the blue sea just North of the town. The chappel was built after World War II by men who were to be executed but spared at the last minute. The town commandant had been assassinated and the Germans rounded up townspeople in retaliation. Another group of men were executed and those at the present site of Agios Nicolas were spared.
July 2005 forest fire
On July 28, 2005, a forest fire began near the area of the hills southwest of Rafina at 11:00 EET (8:00 a.m. GMT). The fires expanded quickly with windspeeds of 60 to 70 km/h, threatening forests around the hills and the small mountain range that runs from north of Spata to near Rafina, consuming most of the forest and burning homes in two settlements including Kallitechnoupoli. The fires also threatened Neos Voutzas near Penteli. As a result of property damage, a large number of people were displaced. A massive mobilization of fire departments across the region of Attica followed, and eventually most of the region's available personnel were deployed to the area. Firefighting efforts were assisted by water bombers and helicopters. The gradual decrease of windspeeds in the area slowed the spread of the fire. The fire was put under control in the afternoon and was fully extinguished by nightfall. The flames did not reach the city itself.
Chappell in Rafina
Agia Kyriaki Rafinas
Agia Triada Rafinas
Agios Georgios Rafinas
Rafina has schools, lyceums, gymnasia, banks, churches, a post office, beaches and squares (plateies). Rafina is home to the former Greek prime minister Kostas Karamanlis and his family.
Year Town population Municipality population
1981 4,994 -
1991 8,282 8,611
2001 10,173 10,701
List of municipalities of Attica
^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
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Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire