Skiathos (Greek: Σκιάθος), Latin forms: Sciathos and Sciathus is a city on an island of the same name in the Aegean Sea belonging to Greece. Skiathos town has a school, a lyceum, a gymnasium, many churches, banks, a post office, and a square (plateia). Skiathos town is a port which shelters small boats and from where ferry services connect to Skopelos, Volos, Agios Konstantinos and the rest of Greece.
In Ancient times, the island played a minor role during the Persian Wars. In 480 BC, the fleet of the Persian king Xerxes was hit by a storm and was badly damaged on the rocks of the Skiathos coast. Following this the Greek fleet was held to stalemate with the Persian fleet at Artemisium but finally managed to destroy the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis. Skiathos remained in the Delian League until it lost its independence. The city was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC.
In 1207 the Gyzi brothers captured the island and built the Bourtzi, a small Venetian-styled fortress similar to the Bourtzi in Nafplio, on an islet just out of Skiathos town, to protect the capital from the pirates. But the Bourtzi was ineffective in protecting the population and in the middle 14th century the inhabitants moved the capital from the ancient site that lay where modern Skiathos town is to Kastro (the Greek word for castle), located on a high rock, overlooking a steep cliff above the sea at the northernmost part of the island. Kastro remained the only settlement of the island until the end of the Greek War of Independence, when the island's capital was relocated to the original site - where it still remains.
In 1704 monks from Athos built the Evangelistria monastery which played a part on the Greek War of Independence as a hide-out for Greek rebels.
The first flag of Greece was created and hoisted in the Evangelistria monastery in Skiathos in 1807. Several prominent military leaders (including Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis) had gathered there for consultation concerning an uprising, and they were sworn to this flag by the local bishop.
During the 19th century Skiathos became an important shipbuilding centre in the Aegean due to the abundance of pine forests on the island. The pine woods of the island were then almost obliterated. This was brought to a halt though, due to the emergence of steamboats. A small shipwright remains north of Skiathos town, which still builds traditional Greek caiques.
A snapshot from Skiathos.
In 1964 Skiathos was designated by the Greek National Tourism Organisation as a development zone for tourism. The results of this decision have largely transformed the island, due to tourist-orientated construction projects. These include the construction of the coast road from Skiathos town to Koukounaries, the construction of Skiathos Airport in 1984 and the construction of the first large hotel over Koukounaries beach. Along the coast road many hotels have been constructed since the island became an important tourist destination.
There were have been protests in the early-2000s, one against mining in September 2002 as they were pushing away mining trucks which was owned by the municipality and another in 2004, a power line which would have connect hydro with the rest of the Sporades was also being protested due to the plan being in a forested area.
The area around the villages and Skiathos Town are farmland. The island of Skopelos can be seen from Skiathos with the more distant islands of Euboea and Scyros also visible in clearer conditions.
There is frequent bus connection from Koukounaries to Skiathos town with buses stopping approximately every 20 minutes, costing €1.50 to travel from one end of the island to the other. Taxis are also very cheap.
Municipalities and communities of the Magnesia Prefecture
Afetes | Agria | Aisonia | Almyros | Alonnisos | Argalasti | Artemida | Feres | Iolkos | Karla | Milies | Mouresi | Nea Anchialos | Nea Ionia | Portaria | Pteleos | Sipiada | Skiathos | Skopelos | Sourpi | Volos | Zagora
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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