Makronisos

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Makronisos
Μακρόνησος
Makronissos.jpg
Aerial picture of Makronisos
GR Makronissos.PNG
Geography
Coordinates 37°42′N 24°07′E / 37.70°N 24.12°E / 37.70; 24.12Coordinates: 37°42′N 24°07′E / 37.70°N 24.12°E / 37.70; 24.12
Archipelago None
Area 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi)
Highest elevation 281 m (922 ft)
Country
Greece
Region South Aegean
Regional unit Kea-Kythnos
Demographics
Population 0 (as of 2001)

Makronisos (Greek: Μακρόνησος, lit. Long Island), or Makronisi, is an island in the Aegean sea, in Greece and is located close to the coast of Attica, facing the port of Lavrio. It has an elongated shape, 13 km (8 mi) north to south, around 500 m (1,640 ft) east to west, and its terrain is arid and rocky.

In ancient times the island was called Helena.

It is part of the prefecture of the Cyclades but it is not part of that island chain. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Kea.

Today it remains uninhabited, but its historical symbolism is significance for many Greeks; from the time of the Greek Civil War up until the restoration of democracy following the collapse of the Regime of the Colonels, it was used as a penal island (concentration camp) for Greek communists and left-wing supporters, hosting thousands of prisoners, such as Giaros island. Because of its history, it is considered as a monument of the civil war era; therefore the island itself and the original structures on it are protected from alterations.

The straits between Makronisos and neighbouring Kea are the site of the sinking, in 1916, of HMHS Britannic, sister ship of the RMS Titanic.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hamilakis, Yannis, "The Other 'Parthenon': Antiquity and National Memory at Makronisos", Journal of Modern Greek Studies 20:2 (October 2002), pp. 307–338.

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