Chalkidiki

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Chalkidiki
Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Χαλκιδικής
Regional unit
Municipalities of Chalkidiki
Municipalities of Chalkidiki
Chalkidiki within Greece
Chalkidiki within Greece
Coordinates: 40°20′N 23°30′E / 40.333°N 23.500°E / 40.333; 23.500Coordinates: 40°20′N 23°30′E / 40.333°N 23.500°E / 40.333; 23.500
Country Greece
Region Central Macedonia
Capital Polygyros
Government
 • Vice Governor Ioannis Giorgos
Area
 • Total 2,918 km2 (1,127 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 105,908
 • Density 36/km2 (94/sq mi)
Postal codes 63x xx
Area codes 237x0, 239x0
ISO 3166 code GR-64
Car plates ΧΚ
Website www.halkidiki.gov.gr

Halkidiki, also Chalkidiki, Chalcidice (/kælˈsɪdəsi/) or Chalkidike (Greek: Χαλκιδική [xalciðiˈci]), is a peninsula in the eastern part of the province of Greek Macedonia, Northern Greece, and is one of the regional units of Greece. The autonomous Mount Athos region constitutes the easternmost part of the peninsula, but not of the regional unit. The capital of Chalkidiki is the main town of Polygyros, located in the centre of the peninsula.

Geography[edit]

Map of ancient Chalcidice.

The Cholomontas mountains lie in the northcentral part of Chalkidiki. Chalkidiki consists of a large peninsula in the northwestern Aegean Sea, resembling a hand with three "fingers" (though in Greek these peninsulas are often referred to as "legs") – Pallene (now Kassandra), Sithonia, and Agion Oros (the ancient Acte), which contains Mount Athos and its monasteries. Chalkidiki borders on the regional unit of Thessaloniki to the north.

Its largest towns are Nea Moudania (Νέα Μουδανιά), Nea Kallikrateia (Νέα Καλλικράτεια) and the capital town of Polygyros (Πολύγυρος).

There are several summer resorts on the beaches of all three fingers where other minor towns and villages are located, such as at Yerakini (Gerakina Beach), Neos Marmaras (Porto Carras), Ouranoupolis, Nikiti, Psakoudia, Kallithea (Pallene/Pallini, Athos), Sani Resort and more.

History[edit]

Mosaic in ancient Olynthus
Byzantine tower, Nea Fokea
Dionysiou Monastery in Mount Athos, an UNESCO World Heritage Site

The first Greek settlers in this area came from Chalcis and Eretria, cities in Euboea, around the 8th century BC who founded cities such as Mende, Toroni and Scione;[citation needed] a second wave came from Andros in the 6th century BC.[citation needed] The ancient city of Stageira was the birthplace of the great philosopher Aristotle. During the Peloponnesian War, Chalkidiki was an important war theatre between Athens and Sparta. Later, the south Greek colonies of the peninsula were conquered by Philip II of Macedon and Chalkidiki became part of Macedonia (ancient kingdom). After the end of the wars between Macedonians and Romans, the region became part of the Roman Empire, such as the rest of Greece.

During the following centuries, Chalkidiki was part of the Byzantine Empire (East Roman). On a chrysobull of emperor Basil I, dated 885, the Holy Mountain (Mount Athos) was proclaimed a place of monks, and no laymen or farmers or cattle-breeders were allowed to be settled there. The next years, with the support of Nikephoros II Phokas, the Great Lavra monastery was founded. Athos with its monasteries is since then self-governed until nowadays.

After a short period of Latin domination (Kingdom of Thessalonica), the area became again Byzantine until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1430. During the Ottoman period, the peninsula was important for its gold mining, basic economic factor for the locals and the Ottoman empire. In 1821, the Greek War of Independence started and the Greeks of Chalkidiki revolted under the command of Emmanouel Pappas, a member of Filiki Eteria, and other local fighters. The revolt was progressing slowly and unsystematically. The insurrection was confined to the peninsulas of Mount Athos and Kassandra. One of the main goals was to restrain and detain the coming of the Ottoman army from Istanbul, until the revolution in south (mainly Peloponese) to be stable. Finally, the revolt resulted in a decisive Ottoman victory at Kassandra. The survivors, among them Papas, were rescued by the Psarian fleet, which took them mainly to Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. The Ottomans proceeded in retaliation and many villages were burnt.

Finally, the peninsula was incorporated in the Greek Kingdom in 1912 after the Balkan Wars. In June 2003, at the holiday resort Porto Carras located in Neos Marmaras, Sithonia, leaders of the European Union presented the first draft of the European Constitution (see History of the European Constitution for developments after this point).

Ancient sites[edit]

Church of St. George in Nea Potidea
Ammouliani island
Cholomontas mountain
Nikiti village
Beach in Toroni
Exterior view of Porto Carras Hotel in Sithonia

Economy[edit]

Agriculture[edit]

The peninsula is notable for its olive oil and olives production. Also various types of wine are produced.

Tourism[edit]

Chalkidiki has been a popular summer tourist destination since the late 1950s when people from Thessaloniki started spending their summer holidays in the coastal villages. At the beginning tourists rented rooms in the houses of locals. By the 1960s, tourists from Austria and Germany started to visit Chalkidiki more frequently. Since the start of the big tourist boom in the 1970s, the whole region has been captured by tourism.[1] In the region there is a golf course and there is a plan for other four in the future.

Mining[edit]

Gold was mined in the region during antiquity by Philip II of Macedon and the next rulers. As of 2013 a revival of mining for gold and other minerals was underway with a number of concessions having been granted to Eldorado Gold of Canada. However, critics claim that mining would adversely affect tourism and the environment.[2]

Administration[edit]

The regional unit Chalkidiki is subdivided into five municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):[3]

Prefecture[edit]

As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Chalkidiki was created out of the former prefecture Chalkidiki (Greek: Νομός Χαλκιδικής). The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.[3]

New municipality Old municipalities Seat
Aristotelis Arnaia Ierissos
Panagia
Stagira-Akanthos
Kassandra Kassandra Kassandreia
Pallini
Nea Propontida Kallikrateia Nea Moudania
Moudania
Triglia
Polygyros Polygyros Polygyros
Anthemountas
Zervochoria
Ormylia
Sithonia Sithonia Nikiti
Toroni

Provinces[edit]

  • Province of Chalkidiki – Polygyros
  • Province of Arnaia

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.

Television[edit]

Transport[edit]

  • Chalkidiki has no railroads or airports.
  • A bus system, KTEL, serves major municipalities.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Chalkidiki is twinned with:

Notable inhabitants[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deltsou, Eleftheria (2007). "Second homes and tourism in a Greek village". Ethnologia Europaea: Journal of European Ethnology. 37:1-2: 124. 
  2. ^ Suzanne Daley (January 13, 2013). "Greece Sees Gold Boom, but at a Price". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kallikratis reform law text PDF
  4. ^ ArkadiaLykaionEpigraphical Database
  5. ^ PhokisDelphiEpigraphical Database

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Chalcidice at Wikimedia Commons