Kassandra, Chalkidiki

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Kassandra
Κασσάνδρα
Location
Kassandra is located in Greece
Kassandra
Kassandra
Coordinates 40°3′N 23°25′E / 40.050°N 23.417°E / 40.050; 23.417Coordinates: 40°3′N 23°25′E / 40.050°N 23.417°E / 40.050; 23.417
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Central Macedonia
Regional unit: Chalkidiki
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
Municipality
 - Population: 16,672
 - Area: 333.7 km2 (129 sq mi)
 - Density: 50 /km2 (129 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 10,760
 - Area: 206.1 km2 (80 sq mi)
 - Density: 52 /km2 (135 /sq mi)
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Postal code: 631 00
Telephone: 23710
Auto: ΧΚ

Kassandra (Κασσάνδρα) is a peninsula and a municipality in Chalkidiki, Greece. The seat of the municipality is in Kassandreia.[2]

Municipality[edit]

The municipality Kassandra was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units (communities in brackets):[2]

History[edit]

In Late Antiquity, the center of the peninsula was the city of Cassandreia, located at the site of ancient Potidaia. A polis and a bishopric, Cassandreia was destroyed by the Huns in 539 or 540 AD.[3] After this, Emperor Justinian I built a wall at the entrance of the peninsula, but it is not until the 10th century that a sizeable settlement—described as a township (polichnion) and later as a fortress (kastron)—re-appears in the peninsula and that the bishopric is mentioned again, as a suffragan of Thessalonica.[3] The area prospered due to its fertility, and both Thessalonians as well as the monks of the growing monastic community at nearby Mount Athos had estates there.[3]

In the winter of 1307/08, the peninsula and the city were seized and held by the Catalan Company during their move from Thrace to southern Greece.[3] The 14th-century historian Nikephoros Gregoras describes Kassandreia as "abandoned" during his time, and sometime before 1407, Emperor John VII Palaiologos rebuilt the old fortifications of Justinian. As a de facto annex of Thessalonica, the peninsula shared the city's fate and came under a brief Venetian control in 1423, before being captured by the Ottoman Empire in ca. 1430.[3]

Kassandra was one of the places that rebelled against the Ottomans in 1821. Because it managed to stop the Turkish army from fighting the south Greece rebels it was burnt from edge to edge. The refugees moved with fishing boats to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Evoia. Nobody lived in the peninsula for more than 30 years. Then the population started to gather again. In 1912 it became a part of Greece.

The peninsula was lined with paved road in the mid-20th century. Tourism also arrived beginning after the war period of World War II and the Greek Civil War. More paved roads were added in the 1970s and the 1980s and tourism popped out. Agriculture shifted to tourism and other businesses as its primary industry in the 1980s.

On August 22, 2006, the peninsula was struck by a major forest fire that affected the central and the southern parts of the peninsula, the day of the heatwave when temperatures soared nearly 40 °C. Several houses were destroyed including villas, hotels and one campground disappeared as the natural beauty was to be erased. It burnt about 1,000 to 20 square kilometres of forests including some farmlands. Aerial pictures were reported near Sani Beach inland to a point where pastures and mountain roads are located and saw smoke throughout the peninsula. It can be seen across the gulf. The cause of this tremendous fire was dry lightning occurred throughout the evening. Power were cut to all affected villages. The forest fire lasted nearly five days and devastated the economy and the peninsula. All roads in the southern part were closed. Villages that were affected were Chanioti, Nea Skioni, Polychrono, Pefkochori, Kriopigi, Kassandrino and near the coastline.

Twin cities[edit]

Cassandreia is twinned with the following cities:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Detailed census results 2011" (xls 2,7 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece.  (Greek)
  2. ^ a b Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  3. ^ a b c d e Gregory, Timothy E.; Kazhdan, Alexander (1991). "Kassandreia". In Kazhdan, Alexander. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1109. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.