Volos

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For the Slavic god, see Veles (god). For the steamship, see SS Volos.
Volos
Βόλος
Volos seaside by night
Volos seaside by night
Seal of Volos
Location
Volos is located in Greece
Volos
Volos
Coordinates 39°22′N 22°56′E / 39.367°N 22.933°E / 39.367; 22.933Coordinates: 39°22′N 22°56′E / 39.367°N 22.933°E / 39.367; 22.933
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Thessaly
Regional unit: Magnesia
Districts: 18
Mayor: Panos Skotiniotis
(since: 2010)
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
Municipality
 - Population: 144,449
 - Area: 387.1 km2 (149 sq mi)
 - Density: 373 /km2 (966 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 118,707
 - Area: 27.678 km2 (11 sq mi)
 - Density: 4,289 /km2 (11,108 /sq mi)
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0–5 m ­(0–16 ft)
Postal code: 38x xx
Telephone: 24210
Auto: ΒΟx
Website
www.volos-city.gr

Volos (Greek: Βόλος) is a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 326 kilometres (203 miles) north of Athens and 215 kilometres (134 miles) south of Thessaloniki. It is the capital of the Magnesia regional unit. Volos is the only outlet to the sea from Thessaly, the country's largest agricultural region. With a population of 144,449 (2011), it is an important industrial centre, while its port provides a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Volos is the newest of the Greek port cities, with a large proportion of modern buildings erected following the catastrophic earthquakes of 1955. It includes the municipal units of Volos, Nea Ionia and Iolkos, as well as smaller suburban communities. The economy of the city is based on manufacturing, trade, services and tourism. Home to the University of Thessaly, the city also offers facilities for conferences, exhibitions and major sporting, cultural and scientific events. Volos participated in the 2004 Olympic Games, and the city has since played host to other athletic events, such as the European Athletic Championships. Volos hosted the 7th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics from 27 July to 5 August 2013.[2]

Location[edit]

Built at the innermost point of the Pagasetic Gulf and at the foot of Mount Pilio or Pelion (the land of the Centaurs), Volos is the third largest of Greece's major commercial ports (after Piraeus and Thessaloniki), with traffic by ferry and hydrofoil to the nearby Sporades Islands, which include Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. There are also connections to Limnos, Lesvos, Chios and Skyros.

History[edit]

Antiquity[edit]

Further information: Ancient Greece and Hellenistic Greece
The return of the Argonauts by Constantine Volanakis (1837–1907).

Modern Volos is built on the area of the ancient cities of Demetrias, Pagasae and Iolcos. Demetrias was established by Demetrius Poliorcetes, King of Macedon. Iolkos, Iolcos or Iolcus, was the homeland of mythological hero Jason, who boarded the ship Argo accompanied by the Argonauts and sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece to Colchis. To the west of Volos lie the Neolithic settlements of Dimini, with a ruined acropolis, walls, and two beehive tombs dating to between 4000-1200 BC, Sesklo, with the remains of the oldest acropolis in Greece (6000 BC), and also the foundations of a palace and mansions [clarification needed], among its most characteristic examples of Neolithic civilisation. Mycenaean settlements have also been discovered in Volos unearthing, at the Kastron of Palaia Hill, tablets bearing Mycenaean Greek inscriptions, written in Linear B.

Byzantine era[edit]

Further information: Byzantine Greece

According to a Byzantine historian of the 14th century, Volos was known as "Golos" (Greek: "Γόλος"). The most widely accepted theory for the derivation of the city's name suggests that Volos is a corruption of the Mycenaean Iolkos, which had become distorted through the ages to become "Golkos", later "Golos", and subsequently "Volos". Others contend that the name originates with Folos, who according to myth was a wealthy landlord of the region. It was conquered by Stefan Dusan, was king of Serbia in 1348 and was managed for 25 years. Volos returned to Byzantine rule in 1373 but was conquered by Ottomans in 1393. Volos returned to Byzantine again in 1402 but Ottomans retook it in 1423.[citation needed]

Ottoman era[edit]

Further information: Ottoman Greece

The city marked a Southern border of Vilayet-i Rumeli-i Şarki in the Ottoman Empire, known then as "Golos". Since the early stages of the Greek Revolution, the provisional government of Greece claimed Volos as part of Greek national territory, but the Treaty of Constantinople (1832), which established a Greek independent state, set its northern boundary between Arta and Volos.[3]

Modern Volos[edit]

The port of Volos by Constantine Volanakis (c.1875).
Modern sculpture of Argo, the mythic ship of the Argonauts, at the port.
Volos' promenade.
The church of Saints Constantine and Helen at the seafront.

Volos is a relatively new city, beginning its strongest growth in the mid-19th century. The locality of its castle was previously known as Golos by Ottomans and locals, while Ano Volos was known as Gkolos.

After its incorporation into the Greek Kingdom from the Ottoman Empire in 1881, the town had a population of only 4,900, but grew rapidly in the next four decades as merchants, businessmen, craftsmen and sailors gravitated toward it from the surrounding area. In the 1920s a large influx of refugees to the settlement took place, especially from Ionia, but also from Pontus, Cappadocia and Eastern Thrace. In 1882, Andreas Syngros established the Privileged Bank of Epirus and Thessaly, which the National Bank of Greece acquired in 1899 after its founder's death. Volos was occupied by Ottomans in 8 May 1897, during the Greco Turkish War.[4]

The city has been linked with a number of significant social movements in the past, such as the early teaching of Dimotiki, by Delmouzos in the early 20th century (when Katharevousa was the officially sanctioned version).[citation needed] Volos is also well known for its assortment of mezedes and a clear, alcoholic beverage known as tsipouro.

A street in a sister city, Rostov-on-Don, bears the name Улица Греческого Города Волос (Street of the Greek City of Volos), weaving through a mix of early 20th century buildings with characteristic inner yards, tiered balconies and open iron stairs that lend the old Rostov its characteristic Mediterranean look.

Administration[edit]

The municipality Volos was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 9 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[5]

Province[edit]

The province of Volos (Greek: Επαρχία Βόλου) was one of the provinces of the Magnesia Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipalities Volos, Rigas Feraios, South Pelion and Zagora-Mouresi.[6] It was abolished in 2006.

Geography[edit]

Volos panorama from Pelion mountain.

Volos is the administrative centre of the Magnesia regional unit. Many of the city domains are separated through natural barricades, such as rivers.

Three main rivers/mountain torrents all rise from mount Pelion (with its peak at 1610m), crossing the city to create a unique urban geography, before ending in the Pagasetic Gulf flowing west. The Anavros river, famous for Jason's pass, divides the Nea Demetriada district from the rest of the urban area. Krausidonas is the major river passing through the city, and constitutes the natural lung of the urbanized area of Volos, as well as the boundary between the major municipalities of the metropolitan city, the municipalities of Volos and Nea Ionia. Xirias (Ξηριάς), is the largest torrent of the metropolitan urban area of Volos, and passes through the Nea Ionia municipal area.

Climate[edit]

Climate graph of Volos.

Volos, having a Mediterranean climate, typically experiences neither particularly high nor extremely low temperatures throughout the year. Its climate is one of a low humidity, favourable for all kinds of activities. The Pelion mountain, with its own microclimate, affects the city's weather.[citation needed]

Climate data for Volos
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
24.7
(76.5)
26.0
(78.8)
34.0
(93.2)
35.2
(95.4)
45.3
(113.5)
44.2
(111.6)
39.6
(103.3)
36.8
(98.2)
30.4
(86.7)
27.2
(81)
24.4
(75.9)
45.3
(113.5)
Average high °C (°F) 11.3
(52.3)
12.9
(55.2)
15.0
(59)
19.4
(66.9)
24.0
(75.2)
28.5
(83.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.6
(87.1)
27.0
(80.6)
21.7
(71.1)
17.3
(63.1)
13.2
(55.8)
21.0
(69.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.8
(46)
9.0
(48.2)
11.3
(52.3)
15.4
(59.7)
20.1
(68.2)
24.6
(76.3)
27.0
(80.6)
26.6
(79.9)
22.9
(73.2)
17.7
(63.9)
13.3
(55.9)
9.6
(49.3)
17.4
(63.3)
Average low °C (°F) 4.5
(40.1)
5.4
(41.7)
7.3
(45.1)
10.5
(50.9)
14.9
(58.8)
19.0
(66.2)
21.3
(70.3)
21.2
(70.2)
17.9
(64.2)
13.6
(56.5)
9.8
(49.6)
6.3
(43.3)
12.6
(54.7)
Record low °C (°F) −8.2
(17.2)
−7.8
(18)
−3.2
(26.2)
1.8
(35.2)
6.2
(43.2)
11.6
(52.9)
14.0
(57.2)
14.8
(58.6)
9.2
(48.6)
1.4
(34.5)
0.6
(33.1)
−6.0
(21.2)
−8.2
(17.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 58.4
(2.299)
35.4
(1.394)
40.5
(1.594)
27.3
(1.075)
32.5
(1.28)
22.5
(0.886)
15.1
(0.594)
10.9
(0.429)
35.0
(1.378)
51.8
(2.039)
52.2
(2.055)
47.2
(1.858)
428.8
(16.882)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.5 9.7 9.9 8.2 6.6 5.2 2.8 2.7 5.3 8.1 10.1 10.1 89.2
 % humidity 72.7 70.0 69.5 65.7 65.0 61.2 58.1 60.1 65.5 70.4 74.0 73.7 67.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 104.7 117.8 157.5 213.8 266.3 307.2 337.1 320.1 247.6 171.8 126.0 101.0 2,470.9
Source: Meteovolos[7]

Architecture[edit]

The administrative building of the University of Thessaly.
The new building of the archaeological museum.

The development of the new city coincided with the flourishing of neoclassicism. Public buildings conformed to this style and prestigious private buildings belonging to prosperous merchants were particularly sophisticated. Typical examples include:

Demographics[edit]

Volos is a relatively new city, and according to local statistics, its growth was substantially launched in 1881 when the area became part of the former Greek Kingdom. At this time the city had a population of around 4,000, mostly distributed around the old castle city (modern Palaia District). Over the following century the city multiplied its population, reaching an overall population of approximately 150,000, including both permanent and temporary citizens, as well as university students.

A large proportion of the population (today, around 34% of the total) derives from the refugee population, established in the area in 1924, while another population group, comprising almost 30%, are the internal immigrants of Thessaly, whose consolidation began in 1890 and reached its peak in the late 1970s. The remaining population is mainly from Pelion and Almyros county, as well as from elsewhere in Greece. A significant number of inhabitants from elsewhere in Europe have also lived and continue to live in the city.

The city represents a fully urbanized Greek city with a large population in tertiary employment; 52%; 42% in secondary and less than 6% in primary employment. Volos today attracts more than 65% of Magnesia's perfectural population.

Districts[edit]

City Centre (60,420)

  • Agios Nikolaos
  • Kallithea
  • Hiliadou
  • Oxygono
  • Agios Konstantinos
  • Agios Gerasimos
  • Agios Vasileios
  • Palia
  • Analipsi
  • Metamorfosi
  • Karagats

North (15,000)

  • Agia Paraskevi
  • Aerokampos
  • Agios Georgios




East (15,000)

  • Nea Dimitriada

North-West (33,000)

  • Nea Ionia
  • Melissatika


South-West (21,000)

  • Agii Anargyri
  • Neapoli
  • Alykes

Squares[edit]

  • Neoleas
  • Paleon
  • Politismou
  • Riga Ferreou
  • Eleftherias
  • Tehnon
  • Episkopis
  • Dimokratias
  • Logotehnon
  • Agiou Konstantinou
  • Olympiakon Agonon
  • Anavrou
  • Irinis
  • Agoniston
  • Filias
  • Antheon
  • Syntrivaniou

Education[edit]

There are many school monads in Volos. The conurbation is obliged by 56 kindergartens, 51 primary schools, 18 junior high schools and 13 senior high schools.[citation needed] Also, there is the University of Thessaly, which is housed in Volos.

Panorama view of the city. The industrial port can be seen at the left.
Panoramic view of Volos.

Economy[edit]

View of the port.
Cargo ship at the harbour.

Volos is one of the most industrialized provincial cities of Greece, due to its strategic location between the largest population centers of the country (Athens - Thessaloníki) and its port. Industry is intensely specialized in steel production and manufacturing, and METKA has two large factories in the industrial area of Volos, while large factories of SIDENOR - a steel producer - operate in close proximity from the nearby city of Almyros. Hellenic Steel industry (Ελληνική Χαλυβουργία) also has production facilities in Volos, and AGET - Hraklis, a member of the Lafarge group, operates one of the largest cement facilities in the world (with capacity exceeding 7,000,000tn[8]) with its own private port, next to the city. Volos is also active in the research sector, hosting the CERETETH.

International relations[edit]

The city of Volos has always had a major role in the financial, economic, commercial and administrative matters of the region of Thessaly and Central Greece, due to the strategic position of the city's port, unique between Athens and Thessaloniki.

International consulates[edit]

Several European countries have established consulates in Volos including:

  • Italy Italy
  • France France
  • Belgium Belgium
  • Germany Germany
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Volos is twinned with:

Culture[edit]

Tsipouro of Volos.
Spetsofai, traditional dish with country sausage, onion, peppers and tomato, originating from the region of Pelion.

Museums and galleries[edit]

Cuisine[edit]

Local specialities include:

Sports[edit]

Volos has a number of professional football clubs including:

Transport[edit]

All land transport reaches Volos, while the International Airport of Central Greece in Nea Anchialos links the city to international destinations, and the Port of Volos provides links to the islands, mostly the Sporades, as well as to some destinations in Pilio.

Motorways[edit]

Volos is linked through Greece's E75 Highway Axis (most often known as PATHE) with Northern and Southern Greece. Beyond this, the Axis E65 will be the gateway to Western Greece and the port of Igoumenitsa, through the plains of inner Thessaly; this part of the E65 motorway will be completed by 2012.

Airport[edit]

The city of Volos, along with the rest of Central Greece, is linked to the rest of Greece and Europe by the Nea Anchialos National Airport. The airport represents the biggest air lane in Greece after Eleftherios Venizelos.

Volos is the first city in Europe to feature Seaplane Services through Argo Airways, which is based in Volos. The seaplanes connect Volos with Skiathos, Skopelos, Allonisos, Athens and Thessaloniki.

Railway[edit]

The old railway station, designed by Evaristo De Chirico. Today Thessaly Railway Museum.

Volos' railway station building was designed by Evaristo De Chirico soon after the liberation of Central Greece. Part of the station still functions in this picturesque 1884 structure, reminiscent to some of a stately home. The adjacent neoclassical building, built between 1900 and 1903 under Evaristo De Chirico, served as the administrative headquarters of the Thessaly Railways.

Today, the city is served by direct lines to the rest of Greece, and the railway complex houses facilities for train maintenance. Volos is directly linked with Athens once per day, with Thessaloniki twice per day, and with Larissa 15 times a day. In the past Volos was served by railway lines of three different gauges, the metre gauge line of Thessaly Railways to Kalampaka, the standard gauge line to Larissa and the 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge line to Pelion. Remnants of triple gauge lines still exist near the station.

Notable people[edit]

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was born in Volos.

Ancient[edit]

Modern[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Detailed census results 2011" (xls 2,7 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece.  (Greek)
  2. ^ http://www.ioaa2013.gr/ 7th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics official website
  3. ^ Comstock, John (1829). History of the Greek Revolution. New York: W. W. Reed & co. p. 5. 
  4. ^ Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism
  5. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  6. ^ Detailed census results 1991 PDF (39 MB) (Greek) (French)
  7. ^ "Volos Climate Normals 1958-1983". Hellenic National Meteorology Service. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "AGET Hraklis Facilities". 
  9. ^ "Batumi - Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Batumi City Hall. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  11. ^ vagelis tsekeris. "Archaeological Museum of Volos". Travelinfo.gr. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  12. ^ http://www.diki.gr/museum/EL/info/default.asp/ Modern History Museum of Volos City
  13. ^ "ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ ΠΟΛΗΣ - Σχεδιασμός". www.i-politismos.gr. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  14. ^ "::: Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation :::". Piop.gr. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 

External links[edit]