Greece travel guide




Mykonos Travel Guide

History of Mykonos

According to mythology, Mykonos was the location of the battle between Zeus and the Giants. The petrified bodies of the giants that Hercules killed formed Mykonos. A later tradition attributes the name of the island to a hero by the name of Mykonos, the son of the Mythical king of Delos Anios who was a descendant of the god Apollo and the nymph Rio. During these ancient times, Mykonos, due to its proximity to the then highly populated island of Delos (situated about 2km away), became very important as a supply island and possibly as a getaway location for Delian citizens.

The first residents of the island were Cares, Phoenicians and Cretans but later Iones came from Athens to Mykonos in the 9th century B.C. In the beginning, the island had two main towns: Mykonos on the west coast, where the town lies today, and Panormos on the north coast. Right after the Persian Wars, the island was in a financial decadence, which was evident from the small contribution to the Athenian Coalition in which it belonged.

Following the destiny of the rest Cyclades it came under the Spartan control followed by the Macedonian, the Ptolemeans of Egypt, and finally the Romans. During the Mithredatian Wars the island experienced a major catastrophe. The Byzantine era Mykonos belonged in the Aegean Thema and in the Middle Ages it came under Gizi brothers' authority until their death. Then it passed under Venice control until the looting from Barbarosa and directly after it was directed from the Turks.

After that the island became a naval influence and during the 19th century it was a pirate focus. For a small period (1770-1774) the Russians dominated it. During the Greek revolution of 1821 the population participated actively, and Manto Mavrogenous became a national hero. Finally Greek immigrants came to the islands and it later came under Greek rule. Mykonians are famed sailors and a interesting flotilla can be seen at the waterfront in Chora (the main town of Mykonos). Several people say you have not seen Greece till you have seen Mykonos. During 1933 the first visitors appear who mostly visit the archaeological place on the sacred island of Delos and the Museum of Mykonos, whilst around the mid fifties, Mykonos is beginning to transform to the cosmopolitan tourist resort of recent years, attracting visitors from all over the world.

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