History of Skopelos

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hiking at skopelos islandThe Temple of Asklepios

On the south-eastern side of the island in the area of Ambeliki, there are preserved parts of a church dating from the 4th century, buildings, statues and inscriptions are items to be seen there.

The Acropolis and ruins of a Venetian fortress

In the area of the castle you will see ruins of a Venetian fortress, sections of the walls and parts of ancient Peparethos are preserved to this day. In the area you will also see surviving remnants of ancient temples of the goddess Athena, the patron protectress of the island and the god Dionysus.

The Archaeological site of Stafylos

At this site a tomb dating from the Mycenaean period and a sword with a gold handle was unearthed. The archaeological findings of the region show that the island was first inhabited in Mycenaean times.

Sendoukia (which means Chests)

Rock-hewn tombs of the Late Roman period situated at the mountain Karya.

The island's churches and monasteries are too numerous to mention. We do however suggest you visit the church of the "Zoodohou Pigis" (which means Life-Giving Spring), where the miracle working icon of Archangel Michael is housed, the "church of the Virgin Mary", the church of "Agios Giorgos tis Kyratsos" (St. George of Kyratso), the chuch of Theotokou (Annunciation) and the church of "Panagias tis Faneromenis" (the Revelation of Virgin Mary).

Do not miss the "Moni Evangelistrias" (the Monastery of Annunciation), built at a difficult to get to location in the canyon because of the fear of pirates of the time, the "Moni Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros" (Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour) whose founding seems to be placed somewhere between 16th and 17th centuries and the "Moni Timiou Prodromou" (Monastery of St. John the Baptist) which dates from the 17th century.

Acquaintance with the monuments of ancient Peparithos (Skopelos)

Skopelos island,  Peparithos or Peparithus called in antiquity, was perhaps the most important of the pre Magnesia islands, as Strabo call the Northern Sporades. The oldest remains of habitation are dating to the early and middle stage of the Mycenaean period (16th-14th century BC). These buildings and a pit grave in "Stafylos" of Skopelos, containing rich gold offerings, suggesting that belonged to a king or ruler of the time.

Significant visible remains of the island’s three ancient cities survive up today.  “Peparithos”, at the location of the present Town of Skopelos. “ Panormos”, at  the site of the nowadays Panormos settlement, and “Glossa” at Loutraki area. The brief excavation conducted in 1936 by archaeologist N. Platona showed that most of the tomb was destroyed. The Minoan characteristics of these findings are obvious, while the name of the region “Stafylos” (grape) unchanged for millennia is a strong indication that theancient tomb belongs to the mythical hero. According to the ancient sources, the minoan Stafylos, son of Dionysus and Ariadne,  colonized Peparithos (Skopelos) at the times of Minoan naval supremacy.

The ancient Peparithos town, was a colony of Halkideon (Halkis or Chalkis of Euboia island), during the Second Greek Colonization (8th century BC). Peparithos was located in the present town of Skopelos, continuously inhabited from ancient times until today.

In classical times the Peparithos  acropolis was fortified with a strong wall, a small part of which is preserved in the "Castle", the highest point in Skopelos Town. Thucydides (History, III, LXXXIX, 4) states that during an earthquake (426 BC) created tidal waves and destroyed part of the city wall, the Prytaneum and a few houses.

Farther to the west and northwest of the "Castle", at the positions "Kanakis Lakka" and "Rahes - St. Constantine" are being preserved sections of well built retaining walls that made up the wall terraces, probably was respectively the temple of Goddess  Athena, which is attested by ancient inscription, and the temple of Dionysus, the worship of which is assumed by the performances of “Peparithiakon” coins (symbols of God Dionysus and grapes).

Among the important temples of the  Peparithos town is the  “Asklepion”, on the south side of the bay of SkopelosTown  in "Livadi - Ambeliki" which was identified thanks to the discovery of an inscribed on votive offering, dedicated to  God Asclepius.

The excavations herein have revealed a gallery of classic year with extremely elaborate masonry surrounding the shrine of three or maybe four sides. Found several marble votive offerings, such as a statue of a boy’s torso, a statue head of a girl and a column with a embossed representation of human figures.

The Imeros of Asclepius were probably also worshiped Apollo and Artemis,would certainly be favored place of worship, and recreational therapy for patients, sailors and travelers.

 

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