Thinaia (Greek: Θηναία) is a community on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. It is located on the northeast side of the Gulf of Argostoli. The community consists of the villages Kardakata, Kontogourata and Petrikata. This rural village was once mainly a farming community, where peasants, under the Venetian occupation of the island, worked small terrace plots scattered on the slope of the mountain above and next to the village.
The 1953 Ionian Earthquake destroyed the village, which was spread along the slopes up to 350 metres. The army rebuilt a new one, but concentrated the rebuilding along the main road at approximately 200 m above sea level, thus creating a rather stretched out community compared to the old one.
Many villagers have emigrated to other parts of the world, and therefore the village has become very quiet in winter and only sees an expansion in summer time, when first, second and third generation families return for a visit.
Recently the village has attracted the interest of a historical research team from the UK, which is searching for the site of Odysseus' home and palace. Confirmation of such a theory will have a great impact on the area of Thinaia and especially Kontogourata where the bulk of the research is concentrated.
St. Panteleimon is greatly honoured annually on 27 July. Kontogourata holds a feast in honour of the saint at the schoolyard annex. The day starts with a service at the local church and in the evening the traditional dinner, drink and dancing goes on throughout the night.
Environmental issues have touched the village in recent years. Aside from the danger of fires, often the result of arson by locals, the main concern has now focused on the quality of the water in Argostoli Gulf as a result of many years of operations of fish farms and the non proper use of sewage handling facilities.
Agios Sotiras, called locally "Sotiras", is a small officially recognised beach directly below the slopes of the village and adjacent to Stefani beach, which is only to be reached by swimming from "Sotira" or by boat, are now both polluted with algae and a decaying ecosystem. Normally fish farms should operate in open sea so that the sea currents clean the food and tons of remains that are produced by this industry.
Legal action has been taken by the local population in order to stop further operations of the fish farms which have received EU public funding through the EU structural funds. Concerns for marine life and the bay's ecosystem due to its closed natural character, have prompted complaints to environmental agencies, the E.C. and the European Parliament. However, according to existing law in Greece, all of the responsibility of control and sanctions fall within the jurisdiction of the Prefecture of Kefalonia. Recently the local organisations won a very important battle in their 15-year-old efforts to highlight this important environmental issue. The "Symboulio ths Epikrateias", one of the most high ranking Greek Courts, has delivered a verdict in favour of the organisations by stating that "there has never been any study or decision to have fish farms operate in the Bay of Argostoli. This decision is binding and the prefecture needs to implement it immediately by allocating other areas outside the Bay for fish farming.
Representatives from the fish farms have accused local organisations of trying to close down a profitable business and make workers lose their jobs. Thus directing anger of the local workers against those who are striving to protect the environment and keep our cultural and natural heritage.
The Gulf of Argostoli should slowly develop into a natural protected bay where only small-scale development, based on energy-saving techniques and even perhaps the creation of a zero-emissions village. Emphasis based on private initiatives and the re-introduction of local products such as wine, olive oil and almonds are possible with good planning and hard work. A sustainable and environmentally friendly economic development plan will generate jobs and revitalise the region.
"Kontogourata, Greece Page". Falling Rain Genomics.
"News". Odysseus Unbound. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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