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Αρχική > History

History

The island is situated at the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean sea.  Skyros, an island combining in harmony so many different facets-a luxuriant vegetation along with the unique Cycladic style of white-washed houses and the traditional cobbled streets of the refined Hora.

Skyros owes its name to the “Skyrian various stone”, the famous Skyrian colourful marble, with which Romans used to decorate their mansions.  Over the centuries, the island took varied names.

According to the Greek mythology, one of the greatest heroes, Theseus, found here a tragic death. Also, Sophocles mentions that Neoptolemus, Achille’s son, was born in Skyros.

Another legend has it that Achilles was hidden hereby his mother Thetis which hoped to deter him ,this way, from fighting at Troy.  Dressed as a girl, Achilles was hidden among the royal daughters of King Lyvomedes.  Very soon a royal son was born from this close encounter.  When, later, the clever Odysseas came to the palace ,disguised as a merchant,  Achilles while admiring the arms Odysseas was selling, was revealed by himself and was taken to lead the war against Troy.  According to another version Achilles plundered the island taking revenge of Thesseus’ murder by the King Lycomedes.

At 475 BC, the Athenian general Kimon won the Dolopes and occupied the whole island, so Skyros became a member of the Delian league,  which later was transformed into an Athenian hegemony.  Kimon claimed he had found the bones of Thesseus and carried them to Athens.

Between 340 -197 BC ,the island was occupied by the Macedonians and then by the Romans.  During the Byzantine period ,Skyros became part of the Aegean sea .In 1204,along with the rest of Sporades, Skyros was occupied by the Gizi  brothers.  In 1538,it was conquered by the frightening Barbarossa and became part of the Ottoman empire.  Skyros obtained privileges-did not have any guards; it suffered though from pirate raids, obliging the islanders to resort to the castle.

During the struggle for national independence in 1821, the island offered its financial and maritime contribution before it was integrated into the new Greek state.