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GREECE > CYCLADES > SERIFOS > ABOUT SERIFOS
ABOUT SERIFOS
According to mythology Perseas, son of Danay and Zeus, there lived in this hospitable island where he and his mother found shelter when cast away by Akrissios, his grandfather and king of Argos, who put them in a box and threw them into the sea of Aegean. First inhabitants of Serifos are considered to be the Thessalians. It had been greatly developed due to the rich mines with silver, gold and iron. It was conquered by the Macedonians, Ptolemeys of Egypt, Romans. In the Byzantine period was used as an exile place. During the Frankish domination the island suffered many pirating attacks, vandalisms by Barbarossa and finally it was surrendered to Turks. On 21 May 1821 Serifos with its local notable men of the secret society for the Greek independence declared the revolution and took part officially in the war for the liberation. This small wonderful cycladic island that preserves the traditional beauty of the cycladic landscape is situated between Kythnos and Sifnos and it is extended in an area of 73 sq.km. being in a distance of 72 n.m. (5 hours) from Piraeus harbour. The seasides of the island, that are spread in a length of about 82 km., form bays and gulfs with fascinating sandy beaches. Hora is the capital of the island. It is built amphitheatrically in a stony hill dominating over the harbour of the island that is Livadi. At the top of the hill they are saved ruins of the Venetian castle and some reminiscents of the ancient acropole. The castle was destroyed in 1210 by the pirates. At the top of the castle it is situated the church of St. Constantine. In the region of the castle, on the ruins of the ancient temple of the Godess Athena, carved in a rock, it is also to be found the chapel of St. John Theologos. Hora of Serifos has all the characteristics of the cycladic traditional settlements. Everywhere the visitor can see flat roofs, narrow small streets with whitewashed stairs. The dense building structure has its roots to the years of the Frankish domination, when Hora has been fortified to face the pirates’ attacks. The dwellings were crowded inside the wall, while in the highest place of the hill a resistant castle has been built. Hora consists of two settlements, Pano Hora and Kato Hora. Going down the road from the castle you will meet the upper piazza (square), old commercial centre, with the Town Hall-a building in neoclassical style built in 1907 that houses a small archaeological collection and the cathedral of St. Athanassios with the wooden sculptured temple of the 18th century. In Kato Hora it is located the church of Evangelistria built in the beginning of the century and a little farther the Popular Art Museum. The most remarkable byzantine church of Serifos is Panaghia (Virgin Mary) built in 950 –1000 A.D. and it is located in the village Panaghia, 4 km. north of Hora. Unfortunately very little it is saved from the considerable sacred wall paintings. In northeast, near the village Galani, it is the monastery of Taxiarches dedicated to the protectors of the island Archangels Michael and Gabriel. In the monastery they are kept worthwhile religious heirlooms among which the Sacred Code. Near the monastery it is to be found the marvellous beach, Platys Ghialos. The road from Galani is divided into two branches of which the one to the right leads to the village Kentarchos and the other to the left to the quiet village with fresh fish Sykamia. In a distance of 8 km. to the western part of Hora it is situated Megalo Horio (Big Village) built in the location of the ancient capital of the island. Here nearby they are to be found ruins of tower of the hellenistic period called Lefkos Pyrgos or Aspropyrgos (White Tower). In the location Kastro of Gria (Castle of old woman) they are saved remnants of a wall and of some houses. This region had a great significance for the economy of the island due to the fact that it was here that the digging up of ironore was effectuated, which was loaded to ships from the harbour of Megalo Livadi addressed to various destinations. From Megalo Horio a deviation of the road leads to the southern seaside in the bay of Koutalas, where the homonym by the sea village is located.
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