History of the Area

The history of Magnesia and the people who inhabited it starts long before the first records of Greek history in space. In the region of Magnesia there Palaeolithic findings in Settlements Sesklo and two months. Fertile land, rich in natural goods both plain Magnesia and Pelion have centuries of history. Many people during these centuries admired the natural beauty of Pelion fell in love the place, conquered, protected him or lived. The people who live here today have grown up listening to stories about mythological people who lived in this place, but for historical figures who left their mark here.

Here was born the legend of the Centaurs, half men, half horses with the famous centaur Chiron, son of the Titan Cronus, teacher Asclepius, Achilles, Hercules and Jason. From here the Argonauts, here met by Paris three goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite here gave the apple to Aphrodite, who he met Helen.

From Homer, Hesiod learn about major cities like Sipiada and Olizon. For the first we know that it took its name from the myth of Peleus and Thetis. According to legend, after returning from Peleus argonautica, he fell in love and chased Thetis. To elude him she constantly turned into fire, water, lion, etc. Hunted finally arrived Thetis in today’s cape Sipiada where transformed into cuttlefish (sepia) and threw himself into the sea to escape from Peleus. From there he took the name of the town on the Aegean coast and the town of the Municipality. Peleus finally caught and married Thetis, the result not of marriage was the mythical hero Achilles.

For the ancient Olizona know that he has two ports. One of these was in Pagassitikos (today Valtoudi) and the other in the Aegean (in coarse sand). By Homer in the Iliad we learn about the king of Olizonas Philoctetes, who took part in the Trojan war, with the bow of Hercules, seven ships and 350 men. Many other items are not there, but let’s not forget that Philoctetes, the king is the hero of Sophocles’ Philoctetes. ”

Herodotus O explains that magnets came from the North to the South and wanting to find their way to the sea subjugated the inhabitants of Pelion and gave their name to the peninsula. From the 6th century magnets subjugate the inhabitants of Feres and found Pagases. In 353 BC Philip of Macedonia conquers Pagases and carry.

In 293 BC Demeter was built by Demetrius the Conqueror. In this annexation Magnissa, The Iolcos the Orminio and Sipiada. Dimitriada flourished until the early 2nd BC century before it was conquered by the Romans. The area remains under Roman and Byzantine rule initially free until later occupied by the Turks. However, during the Byzantine period receives raids by land and sea. The 6th AD century Justinian restores the walls of Demetriada. Among the various foreign tribes that settled in Thessaly during the 7th and 8th centuries. were the Slavs, who unlike the others sought peace.

Archaeological excavations have revealed structural remains of ancient settlements in the mountainous parts of Pelion. From this it is concluded that only temporarily inhabited Mount Pelion in antiquity. Settlements have been found in the area where today Lehonia and Promiri. This setting changes when the 10th and 11th AD century the prosperity of the region and the intense religious feeling lead establishing monastic communities even at highest mountain peaks. Pelion has corresponding natural environment of Mount Athos acquires in this way many monasteries and churches in later centuries constitute the centers of development of the current villages, many of which acquire their names. From 1204 onwards, Thessaly subjugated by the Franks. Boniface of Montferrat Share Thessaly in various vassal rulers like Kon / nos Melissinos Maliasinos or to whom he gave Dimitrada. From the family that founded two monasteries extremely important to rejuvenate the area and will become the initial core of the residential development Makrynitsas. When such settlements evolve in villages, they get their name from their respective monasteries. So Makrynitsa got its name from the church of Panagia Makrinitissa, Portaria from Notre Portaria while other villages have kept exact names eg Saint Lawrence, Agios Georgios, Agios Dimitrios, Agios Ioannis, etc.

The evolutionary appearance of settlements in Pelion slopes, which metaplastic offering dynamic village with a strong social, economic and cultural life, is also due to: a) clusters of huts in the estates where they stayed growers during cultivation and harvest, b) movement of people, when life on the coast became difficult because of the pirates, and c) the gradual exodus of the plain (a region of Thessaly, Lamia, etc.) after Turkish dominion initially in 1379-1397.

The Turkish domination as occurred after the Turkish expansionist efforts under Bayezid (1402 AD), Suleiman (1410 AD) and Tourahan Bey (1423 AD) became almost peacefully after the capitulation of local rulers and acceptance of tired of war population. After the conquest by the Turks settled in the plain of Thessaly and ignore the harsh climate and environment in Pelion where they receive their taxes. In the Iolkou installed military center and Turks are taking the rich estates of Ano Volos and Lehonia but treading in Pelion. There’s a hard but lush environment and underdeveloped communities near monasteries give a sense of hope and freedom. The colonization of Pelion proceeds as establishing new villages and the population then amplified by residents of Evia and the nearby islands. There the residents find shelter from the Turks and pirate raids on the coast.

So the plain dies national and cultural but upgrades the role of Pelion. In this role contribute monasteries maintain the orthodox faith and knowledge are poles. The church in this period takes off from religious and spiritual responsibilities, social and political responsibilities. Military forces in Pelion acquire dual structure of thieves and freedom-fighters. The estate of Byzantine monasteries and confiscated the power goes to the same ruler (Timarioucho). In villages, things are different. Each has its own Timarioucho. In the mountainous Pelion Turkish conquerors not tread, they are interested only taxes, so the villages govern themselves. Result of government is the increased sense of freedom that leads to increase of their population. However although there are positive signs the situation is characterized by social anxiety, uncertainty, robbery, heavy taxation, apaidefsia and migration.

In the 17th and 18th century AD the situation changes. By sultan decrees granted the proceeds villages of Pelion in Turkish Turkish tycoons or charitable institutions. Since 1615 the Pelion villages divided into Vakoufia and Chasia.

Foundations were the regions with the proceeds earmarked to meet the financial needs of sacred institutions and dependents of these charitable shops. The Vakoufio was owned by the Crown depended on the Valide Sultana, which nominated the voivode (dealer) who was in consultation with the notables, giving them great freedom. Foundations essentially depend directly from the City. They built churches freely, had light taxation and administered by notables Makrynitsas. So given the scope of a specific development of community life, which will lead to economic and cultural development, and by extension the Revolution 21, through the privileges acquired (and agonizing retained) and the Church. In dope power belonged to the Sultan, who had the members of the royal family or senior officials of the State. Their privileges were fewer, larger taxes, ruled by emissaries of the Pasha of Larissa, without security and administrative freedom of Foundations. Nevertheless, the Community their administration is in the hands of elected elders who were Greeks, except Lehonia and Golou.

Foundations in the area of ​​Pelion were: Makrynitsa the Drakeia, Saint Lawrence, Saint George, Pinakates the Vyzitsa Argalasti The Glebe, the Bistinas the Siki, the beer, the Lafkos Promiri the Mourisi , Ivy, Anilio and Makrirrachi.

Instead Portaria, the Upper Volos, the Apples with Propan (Kalamaki) the Lampinou, Neohori with Niaou (Afetai) Tsagarada and Zagora in Puri was Chasia.

In 1668 Sultan Mehmet the D fascinated by the beauty of Pelion, according to tradition, made villages owned by his mother, prohibiting the permanent establishment of the Turks. Pelion until the 17th century under the Velestino, and later created a separate vice governship based Argalasti. The 1790 the office passed into the hands of Makrynitsas while the administrative division into Vakoufia Chasia and repealed in 1840.

The relative autonomy of the traditional villages in the 17th and 18th centuries. led to intellectual, economic and cultural development. The material prosperity comes from commercial development, development of handicrafts and cottage industries and maritime traffic leading to new population displacements Pelion, especially from the region of Epirus, and later by wealthy Moschopolis and Vlachs. Even the immigrants send money to renovate and establishing churches.

So Pilio come in contact with the advanced societies of Europe and the Greek Diaspora, which has already permeated by the spirit of the Enlightenment. Schools with new libraries and teaching institutions. Scholars engaged in publishing and writing work seeking moral education.

This gradual rise in Pelion gave residents a free spirit combined with the Greek struggle for freedom from the Turks. As in any struggle for freedom price are disasters. Pelion passed such during the Greek revolution characteristic burning of Argalastis 1823 by Dramali.

The same behavior exhibited free Pelion during the Second World War where many insurgent groups found refuge continuing their struggle. Pelion was a staple in many businesses struggle against the conquerors.

From the mid-20th century due to the surge in tourism, Pelion knows gradually flourished.