Listed 3 sub titles with search on: History
for destination: "SYMI
(Following URL information in Greek only)
- Dodekanissos Development Enterprise WebPage
The history of the island begins in the ancient times and some of
its names were Kirki, Aigli and Metapontis. The island got its current time from
the nymph Symi, who according to mythology married the God of the seas Poseidon
and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the island's inhabitants.
Homer mentions Symi in the Heliade, for its participation in the Trojan war, headed
by the Symiot King Nireas. Later in history, Symi was conquered in 1309 by the
knights of St. John. This is when a period of prosperity begins for the island
with the development of shipping, sponge commerce, boat building and other crafts.
In 1832 Symi was found under the Turkish dominion which in 1912 was succeeded
by the Italian dominion. Symi confronted poverty - at that time the replacement
of sailing with motor ships also occurred, sponge diving decreased and world war
II begun resulting in a grate migration wave of Symiots abroad. From 1943 when
the Italian dominion ceased and onwards, Symi changed hands several times between
the English and the Germans, with the English taking over the island for the third
time in 1944. On May 8th 1945, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese
surrender, while on April 1st 1947, the British military command handed over its
rights to a Greek one. At last, it was on Symi that on March 8th 1948 the Protocol
of integration of all Dodecanese islands to the Greek state was signed.
This text is cited May 2005 from the Municipality of Symi URL below, which contains images
The history of the island begins in ancient and mythological times.
Its ancient names were Aigli, Metapontis and Cariki. It is postulated that its
first inhabitants were the Carians and the Leleges.
Symi is mentioned in The Iliad: King Nireus took part in the Trojan
war with three ships. Herodotus refers to it as being a member of the Dorian Hexapolis
(6 cities). From 480 B.C. the island belonged to the Athenian League.
In the Roman and Byzantine epochs Symi’s fortune was closely
linked to that of Rhodes.
From 1309 the island entered upon a prosperous period with the development of
shipping, commerce, the sponge trade, boat building and other crafts. This period
also saw the beginning of the increase in urban growth the beauty of which remains
intact to this day. The houses began to spread out from the same time people started
to abandon many of their traditional settlements. The majority of the churches
were also built during this time.
Turkish attacks were repulsed in 1457 and 1485. In 1522, realizing
that further resistance wa in vain, and attempting to preserve as much as they
could; the people offered gifts to the sultan and gained the grant, of many special
privileges. Thus they achieved freedom of religious expression and the use of
their own language with the resulting advances in education and crafts. In addition
to these privileges, they won sponge-fishing rights throughout all the seas of
the Ottoman Empire.
They supported the national war of independence and contributed funds
to the Greek fleet over a number of years; not to mention financial assistance
to Laskarina Bouboulina, Admiral Miaoulis, Themelis and others.
In 1832 Symi unwillingly returned to Turkish control, and people reacted
most strongly to this. In 1869 there was an attempt to abrogate the special privileges.
In 1875 and 1885 there were population censuses: in 1908 Symi won her second battle
to preserve her privileges, resulting in victory for the other islands as well.
In 1912 Turkish dominion gave way to Italian control, which lasted
until September 17th, 1943. From that date the island changed hands several times
between the British and the Germans, the British taking Symi for the third time
on September 25th, 1944, on which day the castle and the surrounding quarter of
town were blown up. On May 8th, 1945 the German surrender of the Dodecanese
was signed on Symi. On April 1st, 1947 a British Military Administration handed
over to a Greek one, and on March 7th, 1948 the Dodecanese were incorporated into
the Greek state.
This text (extract) is cited November 2003 from the Municipality
of Symi tourist pamphlet.
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