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Zakynthos - Ionian Islands - Greece
Zakynthos ( Zante)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Zante" redirects here.
Periphery Ionian Islands
Population 41,472 (2005)Ranked 51st
Area 406 km² Ranked 52nd
Population density 102.1/km²Ranked 8th
Number of municipalities 6
Postal codes 29x xx
Area codes 26950
Licence plate code ΖΑ
ISO 3166-2 code GR-21
Zakynthos (Greek: Ζάκυνθος, sometimes called Zante in English; in Italian Zacinto or Zante), the third largest of the Ionian Islands, covers an area of 410 square kilometers and its coastline is roughly 123 kilometers in length. The island is named after Zacynthus, son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. Zakynthos has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece.Contents [hide]
4.1 The Great Earthquake of 1953
4.2 After the quake
4.3 The April 2006 Earthquake Swarm
4.4 After the quake and the Wildfires of 2006
5 SCUBA Diving
7.3 Radio stations
8 Sporting clubs
8.1.1 Existing teams
8.1.2 Former teams
9 Notable people from Zakynthos
11 External links
MunicipalitiesMunicipality Municipal code Seat (if different) Postal code
1. Alykes 1601 Katastari 290 90
2. Arkadion 1602 Vanato 291 00
3. Artemisia 1603 Macherado 290 92
4. Elatia 1604 Volimes 290 91
5. Laganas 1606 Pantokrator 290 92
6. Zakynthos (city) 1605 291 00
1991: 32,556 (island), 13,000 (city)
See also: List of settlements in the Zakynthos prefecture
Zakynthos has a varied terrain, with fertile plains in the southeastern part and mountainous terrain with steep cliffs along the coasts on the west. Zakynthos town coordinates are: Latitude 37.79139/37°47'29 N, Longitude: 20.89528/20'53'43 E.
The mild, Mediterranean climate and the plentiful winter rainfall endow the island with dense vegetation. The principal products are olive oil, currants, grapes and citrus fruit.
The flag of Zakynthos
The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos; apart from the official name, it is also called Chora (i.e. the Town, a common denomination in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town). According to the 2001 census, the island has a population of 38,957.
Among the most famous Zakynthians is the 19th century poet Dionysios Solomos, the principal modern Greek poet and author of the national anthem of Greece. His statue adorns the main town square. Also the explorer Juan de Fuca (Ioannis Focas) and the Italian poet Ugo Foscolo were born here.
The island has one airport, the Dionysos Solomos Airport (on former GR-35) in its southwest which connects flights with other Greek airports. Further southwest is the National Marine Park of Zakynthos where loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are found in the bay of Kalamaki. Caretta caretta is an endangered species - especially by the deck chairs laid out on their breeding grounds and the inevitable pollution. Every year at the beginning of June, the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand. The incubation period for the nest is approximately fifty five days, after which time hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the sea. The survival rate for hatchlings is very small, and it is estimated that only one in one thousand hatchlings that enter the sea live to adulthood. Each nest contains around one hundred to one hundred and twenty eggs, each of which are around the size and shape of a ping-pong ball. Female turtles begin to lay nests at around twenty to thirty years of age.
The port of Zakynthos has a ferry connecting to the port of Kyllini on the mainland. Another ferry connects the village of Skinari to Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia.
The island of Zakynthos (NASA World Wind satellite picture)
The Zante currant, a small sweet seedless grape is native to the island.
Island length: 40 km
Island width: 20 km
Highest point: Vrachionas, 758 m
Sites of interest include Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari and the Blue Caves. The western part of the island is accessible and has a panoramic view of the sea. The ridge area from Anafontria has an observation deck which overlooks the shipwreck and there is a monastery nearby.
Keri is located in the far south of the island. It is a mountain village and has a lighthouse in the south. It includes a panorama of the southern part of the Ionian Sea.
For tourism, Zante has campsites and beaches including a beautiful one near Keri around 100 m in length which is surrounded by cliffs. The island also offers a numerous amount of arches and cliffs which are famous. One of the arches is underground. Several documentaries were filmed around that part of Zakynthos/Zante. Beaches are in Porto Limnionas, Porto Vromi and Porto Zoro.
Zakynthos was inhabited from the Neolithic Age, as some archaeological excavations have proved.
The famous ancient Greek poet and writer, Homer, first mentioned the island in his masterpieces, the Iliad and the Odyssey, stating that the first inhabitants of it were the son of King Dardanos of Troy called Zakynthos and his men and that they first came on the island around 1500-1600 BC.
The island was then conquered by the Great Imperial King Arkeisios of Kefalonia. The famous Ulysses (Odysseus in Greek) from Ithaca was the next King to conquer the island.
Later on, a treaty was signed that made Zakynthos an independent democracy, the first established in the Hellenic area, and that lasted more than 650 years.
Zakynthos town with the port
Navagio (shipwreck) Bay
Zakynthos, along with the rest of the Ionian islands, spent centuries as a subject of the Republic of Venice and other Italian principalities. Italian rule protected the island from Ottoman domination but in its place it put a feudal oligarchy. The cultural influence of Italy (and of Italian on local dialect) was considerable. The wealthy made a habit of sending their sons to Italy to be educated. A good example is Dionysios Solomos, a native of Zakynthos and Greece's national poet. However, both the Greek language and Orthodox faith survived intact. During the Napoleonic wars the islands were occupied at different times by France, as part of the département Mer-Égée (which induced the peasants to revolt), Russia, Turkey (Septinsular Republic) and finally Britain, which held on to them under the guise of the United States of the Ionian Islands until 1864, when they were ceded to Greece to stabilize the rule of the newly crowned Danish-born King of Greece, Georgios I.
The Great Earthquake of 1953
This 'paradise on earth' suffered a series of four severe earthquakes in August 1953, resulting in the total destruction of the island's infrastructure, including most of its state archives. The third and most destructive of those quakes, registering 7.3 on the Richter Scale, occurred at 09:24 UTC (11:24 am local time) on August 12, 1953. It had its epicentre directly under the southern tip of the nearby island of Kefalonia and caused widespread destruction there as well. In addition, the quake was felt throughout most of the country. Only three buildings on Zakynthos were left standing after the disaster: the St. Dionysios Cathedral, the National Bank building and the church of St. Nicholas "tou Molou" (of the Quay). A few other buildings in outlying areas managed to avoid complete collapse. The first relief efforts came from the British Royal Navy and the state of Israel; during Nazi Germany's occupation of the island, the island's Bishop Chrysostomos gave the Germans a list of Jews on the island. It was a list of two names; his own and the mayor's. Israel's relief came with a message that read "The Jews of Zakynthos have never forgotten their Mayor and their beloved Bishop and what they did for us." The rebuilding of the island was subject to a very rigid anti-seismic code, and has thus withstood several moderate and powerful earthquakes at a minimal amount of damage.
After the quake
Shipwreck Beach on the north western region of the island.
After the enormous earthquake, its roads were also expanded and paved along with the GR-35, one of the roads were linking with the town and Porto Roma along with Laganas, Keri and Volimes and from Lachans to Keri. Its airport was opened in the 1960s. Its population partly emigrated and partly boomed later on.
Mining is also common on the island. where a small mountain located in Zakynthos' west side was mined during the 1990s, though it is no longer in use. Today, mining still continues, but now with two quarries on the mountain range in the western part of the island. Tourism remains thriving and Zakynthos is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece.
The April 2006 Earthquake Swarm
Starting in the early morning hours of April 4, 2006, a usual series of moderate to strong earthquakes occurring in an almost daily basis have kept rattling the entire island. On April 11, however, the phenomenon intensified in both magnitude and rate of events. At 03:02 local time of that day, a powerful, magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit the area, only to be followed by an even stronger tremor registering at 5.9 on the Richter Scale, at 8:30 p.m. (20:30) EET. On April 12, a committee of the nation's most prominent seismologists had an emergency meeting with the Greek Ministry of Environment and Public Works in order to asess the emerging situation. The meeting ended in a scientific consensus among them that this specific area of the Ionian Sea is simply not ready to produce an even stronger quake thus advising the nervous citizens of the island to remain calm. However, at 19:52 and at 19:56 local time of that same evening, two more earthquakes shook the region sending scores of terrified people into the streets. The earthquakes had a preliminary moment magnitude of 5.8 and 5.4 respectively. Seismologists at the Athens Seismological Institute were taken once again by surprise by what is turning into an unprecedented riddle on whether or not these are actually foreshocks of a major event. The chances are, nonetheless, that this is just a phenomenon known as earthquake swarm, characterized by a pattern of a considerable amount of magnitude-wise similar tremors, all occurring within a limited number of days or weeks. As a result of the recurring jolts, moderate damage was reported to a total of sixty residencies and one library, while a small crack appeared on the eastern part of the capital's port. In addition, several rocks were tumbled on one of the island's main roads, located in the mountainous areas.
The Ionian Islands are situated upon one of Europe's most notorious faults, capable of producing earthquakes that could potentially result to both widespread damage and a considerable loss of life. However it should be stressed that, following the catastrophe of 1953, the authorities of Zakynthos have enforced a strict program of antiseismic standards to be applied in every building to be constructed ever since. That is, all buildings have been built on a swimming slab and enforced with steel, determined by the government to ensure safety. Therefore, an earthquake similar to that of August 12, 1953 will most certainly result in far less destruction.
After the quake and the Wildfires of 2006
On Thursday July 18, 2006, the western portion of the island was rumbled by a forest fire. The fire spreated to the island's forest and ended up growing by hectares. Firefighters along with helicopters and planes from the mainland arrived to fight the fire from deforestation and expansion. The fire lasted for several days and on July 20, much of the area were contained and became and unpopular and unattractive scenery. One of the fires resembled a line that was to be seen as far as the southern portion and the Ionian Sea.
The island offers some amazing diving. Many of the dive sites are cave dives around the island. A wide range of marine life can be found. Most marinelife are moray eels, monk seals, octopus, and loggerhead turtules (caretta caretta).
Greece National Road 35, a road linking Zante and Porto Roma and another road linking Zante and Volimes.
Ημέρα τήσ Ζάκυθος
ISLAND FM 88.6 English speaking with English music and news
Stigma FM 97.6 Greek speaking with mainly English music
Astrafm 90.6 Greek speaking with mainly English music
See also: Zakynthos Football Clubs Association
A.O. Aris Agios Dimitrios - Agios Dimitrios
Asteras Macherado Zakynthos - Macherado
A.O. Doxa Lithakia
A.E. Kalamaki - Kalamaki
Katastari AC - Katastari
Peiratis Lagkana - Lagkana
Thyella Ampelokipi - Ampelokipoi
A.P.S. Zakynthos - Zakynthos
A.E. Lagkana, merged with Peiratis to form Peiratis Lagkanba
Peiratis Zakynthos, merged with A.E. Lagkana to form Peiratis Lagkana
Notable people from Zakynthos
Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos 16th century
Nikolaos Koutouzis (1741-1813), painter
Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827), Greek-Italian writer
Andreas Kalvos (1789-1869), poet
Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857), poet, creator of the Greek national anthem
Pavlos Carrer (1829-1896), composer
Leonidas Zois (1865-1956), historian
George Costakis (1913-1990), art collector
Kostas Dikefalos (1956), sculptor
^ Zakynthos: The Holocaust in Greece, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, URL accessed April 15, 2006.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the group of islands west of Greece. For the ancient region in western Anatolia, see Ionia.Ionian Islands Periphery
Περιφέρεια Ιονίων Νησιών
Kefalonia and Ithaka
Population: 220,097 (2005)
Area: 2,307 km² (891 sq.mi.)
Density: 95 /km² (247 /sq.mi.)
The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek: Ιόνια νησιά, Ionia nisia; Ancient Greek: Ἰόνιοι Νῆσοι, Ionioi Nēsoi; Italian Isole Ionie) are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called "Eptanisa", i.e. "the Seven Islands" (Greek: Επτάνησα, Heptanēsa, or Επτάνησος, Heptanēsos, the Heptanese; Italian Eptaneso), but the group includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones. The seven are, from north to south:
Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα) usually known as Corfu in English
Paxi (Παξοί) also known as Paxos in English
Lefkada (Λευκάδα) also known as Lefkas in English
Ithaki (Ιθάκη) usually known as Ithaca in English
Kefallonia (Κεφαλλονιά) often known as Kefalonia/Cephalonia/Kefallinia in English
Zakynthos (Ζάκυνθος) sometimes known as Zante in English
Kythira (Κύθηρα) sometimes known as Cerigo in English
The six northern islands are off the west coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The seventh island, Kythira, is off the southern tip of the Peloponnesus, the southern part of the Greek mainland. It should be noted that Kythira is not part of the periphery of Ionian Islands (Ionioi Nisoi), as it is included in the periphery of Attiki.
Latin transliteration, as well as Modern Greek pronunciation, may suggest that the Ionian Sea and Islands are somehow related to Ionia, an Anatolian region; in fact the Ionian Sea and Ionian Islands are spelt in Greek with an omicron (Ιόνια), whereas Ionia has an omega (Ιωνία). In Modern Greek this is purely a spelling distinction, but the different pronunciations in Ancient Greek would have eliminated the risk of confusion between the two areas. Furthermore in both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek, the Ionian is accented in the antepenult (i-O-nia) whereas Ionia in the penult (ion-I-a); also the proper adjective for Ionia is Ionic, not Ionian.
The islands themselves are known by a rather confusing variety of names. During the centuries of rule by Venice, they acquired Italian names, by which some of them are still known in English. Kerkyra was known as Corfu, Ithaki as Val di Compare, Kythera as Cerigo, Lefkada as Santa Maura and Zakynthos as Zante.
A variety of spellings is used for the Greek names of the islands, particularly in historical writing. Kefallonia is often spelled as Cephalonia, Ithaki as Ithaca, Kerkyra as Corcyra, Kythera as Cythera, Lefkada as Leucada or Leucas and Zakynthos as Zacinthus or Zacynthus. Older or variant Greek forms are sometimes also used: Kefallinia for Kefallonia and Paxos or Paxoi for Paxi.
Throughout this article the islands will be called by their Modern Greek names.Contents [hide]
1.1 Macedonian, Roman and Byzantine rule
1.2 Venetian rule
1.3 Napoleonic era
1.4 British rule
1.5 Greek rule
1.6 World War II
1.7 The 1953 Earthquake
3 Major communities
4 See also
5 External links
The Ionian Islands
The islands were settled by Greeks at an early date, possibly as early as 1000 BC, and certainly by the 9th century BC. The early Eretrian settlement at Kerkyra was displaced by colonists from Corinth in 734 BC. The islands were mostly a backwater during Ancient Greek times and played little part in Greek politics. The one exception was the conflict between Kerkyra and its mother-City Corinth in 434 BC, which brought intervention from Athens and triggered the Peloponnesian War.
Ithaca was the name of the island home of Odysseus in the epic Ancient Greek poem The Odyssey by Homer. Attempts have been made to identify Ithaki with ancient Ithaca, but the geography of the real island cannot be made to fit Homer's description.
Macedonian, Roman and Byzantine rule
In the 4th century BC, the islands, like most of Greece, was absorbed into the empire of Macedon. They remained under the control of Macedon and its successor kingdoms until 146 BC, when the Greek peninsula was annexed by Rome. After 400 years of peaceful Roman rule the islands passed to the Eastern Roman Empire, and remained part of the Byzantine Empire for another 900 years, until the destruction of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade by marauding Western Europeans and Venetians in 1204.
When the allies of the Fourth Crusade - the French rulers of the Latin Empire based in Constantinople and the Venetians, who competed with the Byzantines for control of Mediterranean trade - split up the spoils of the Byzantine territories between themselves, the Venetians acquired Kerkyra and Paxi, and also Kythera, which they used as way-stations for their maritime trade with the Levant. Kefallonia and Zakynthos became the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos until 1357, when this entity was merged with Lefkada and Ithaki to become the Duchy of Leucadia under French and Italian dukes. When Greeks retook Constantinople in 1261, they briefly liberated some of the islands, but the Venetians gradually increased their grip.
From 1204 the Republic of Venice controlled Corfu and slowly all the Ionian islands fell under venetian rule. In the 15th century the Ottomans occupied most of Greece, but the islands remained Christian thanks to the Venetians. Zakynthos passed permanently to Venice in 1482, Kefallonia and Ithaki in 1483, Lefkada in 1502. Kythera had been Venetian since 1393.
The islands thus became the only part of the Greek-speaking world to escape Ottoman rule, which gave them both a unity and an importance in Greek history they would otherwise not have had. Corfu was the only greek island never conquered by the Turks.
Under Venetian rule, many of the upper classes spoke Italian (or Venetian in some cases) and converted to Roman Catholicism, but the mass of people remained Greek in language and religion.
In the 18th century a Greek national independence movement began to emerge, and the free status of the Ionian islands made them the natural base for exiled Greek intellectuals, freedom fighters and foreign sympathisers. The islands became more self-consciously Greek as the 19th century, the century of romantic nationalism, neared.
Main article: Septinsular Republic
In 1797, however, Napoléon Bonaparte conquered Venice, and by the Treaty of Campo Formio the islanders found themselves under French rule, the islands being organised as the départments Mer-Égée, Ithaque and Corcyre. In 1798 the Russian Admiral Ushakov evicted the French, and established the Septinsular Republic under joint Russo-Ottoman protection—the first time Greeks had had even limited self‐government since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. But in 1807 they were ceded again to the French and directly annexed to the French Empire.
Main article: United States of the Ionian Islands
Flag of British Ionian Islands
In 1809 the British defeated the French fleet in Zakynthos (October 2, 1809) captured Kefallonia, Kythera and Zakynthos, and took Lefkada in 1810. The French held out in Kerkyra until 1814. The Treaty of Paris in 1815 turned the islands into the "United States of the Ionian Islands" under British protection (November 5, 1815). In January 1817 the British granted the islands a new constitution. The islanders elected an Assembly of 40 members, who advised the British High Commissioner. The British greatly improved the islands' communications, and introduced modern education and justice systems. The islanders welcomed most of these reforms, and took up afternoon tea, cricket and other English pastimes.
Once Greek independence was established after 1830, however, the islanders began to resent foreign rule and to press for enosis - union with Greece. The British statesman William Gladstone toured the islands and recommended that they be given to Greece. The British government resisted, since like the Venetians they found the islands made useful naval bases. They also regarded the German-born king of Greece, King Otto, as unfriendly to Britain. But in 1862 Otto was deposed and a pro-British king, George I, was installed.[show]
v • d • e
British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations
In 1862 Britain decided to transfer the islands to Greece, as a gesture of support intended to bolster the new king's popularity. On May 2, 1864 the British departed and the islands became three provinces of the Kingdom of Greece though Britain retained the use of the port of Corfu.
World War II
Further information: Axis Occupation of Greece
In 1941 when Axis forces occupied Greece, the Ionian Islands (except Kythera) were handed over to the Italians, who in their three years of rule attempted to Italianize the population of Corfu (as has happened with the Corfiot Italians). In 1943 the Germans replaced the Italians, and deported the centuries-old Jewish community of Corfu to their deaths. By 1944 most of the islands were under the control of the EAM/ELAS resistance movement, and they have remained a stronghold of left-wing sentiment ever since.
The 1953 Earthquake
The islands were struck by an especially powerful earthquake, of 7.1 magnitude, on August 12, 1953. Building damage was extensive and the southern islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos were practically levelled. The islands were reconstructed from the ground up over the following years, under a strict building code. The code has proven extremely effective, as many earthquakes since that time have caused no damage to new buildings.
Today all the islands are part of the Greek periphery of Ionian Islands (Ionioi Nisoi), except Kythera, which is part of the periphery of Attiki. Kerkyra has a population of 113,479 (including Paxoi), Zakynthos 38,680, Kefallonia 39,579 (including Ithaca), Lefkada 22,536, Ithaki 3,052, Kythera 3,000 and Paxi 2,438.
In recent decades the islands have lost much of their population through emigration and the decline of their traditional industries, fishing and marginal agriculture. Today their major industry is tourism. Specifically Kerkyra, with its magnificent harbour, splendid scenery and wealth of picturesque ruins and castles, is a favourite stopping place for cruise liners. British tourists in particular are attracted through having read Gerald Durrell's evocative book My Family and Other Animals (1956), which describes his childhood on Kerkyra in the 1930s. Also, the novel and movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin is located in Kefallonia.
Kérkyra (Κέρκυρα) (Corfu in English)
Region of Ionia Nisia (Periphery of Ionian Islands)[show]
v • d • e
The Ionian Islands
v • d • e
Peripheries of Greece
v • d • e
Regions of Greece
Coordinates: 38°30′N, 20°30′E
Categories: Islands of Greece | Peripheries of Greece | Ionian Islands | Mediterranean islands | NUTS 2 statistical regions of the European Union
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