Mykonos by pelican-hotels.com

Mykonos History

:: general info :: history :: beaches :: map :: transportation :: image gallery ::

With tales coming to us from deep in the past the fame of Mykonos island is anything but a modern-day phenomenon. Inheriting its name from Mykonos, the grandson of Apollo, a recently discovered Neolithic settlement dating back to 3000 BC confirms its place in history. With its near proximity to Delos, the archaic culture center just off its west shore, Mykonos often played the role of a much needed supply island. The importance of Delos as the birth place of Apollo together with its central location in the Aegean Sea prompted the settlement of many civilizations. An historic trail of architecture and artifacts verifies the presence of large populations whose cultures while flourishing in Delos extended to that of Mykonos, its closest neighbor. The recorded arrival of the Phoenicians, Ionians, Athenians and Romans all played a role in the development of Mykonos through ancient times.

As the glory of the ancient cultures declined into the void of the Dark Ages, historic knowledge of Mykonos faded. With the coming of the Crusades and the capture of Constantinople in 1204 the islandīs story again begins to immerge. Given over to the administrative control of Venice, as a sort of outpost Mykonos was maintained until 1537 when the growing wave of the Ottoman Empire swept the area. For two centuries the inhabitants of Mykonos lived through unstable times. Throughout the Veneto-Turkish Wars spanning from 1645 to 1699 and the Russo-Turkish Wars from 1770 to 1774, Mykonos with its pre-established Christian heritage had allied itself first with Venice and then with its Orthodox neighbor Russia. The present day Town Hall of Mykonos is an excellent reminder of this era as it was built by the Russian Count Ivan Voinovitch to be his residence at this time. Centrally located, Mykonos began to develop its own sailing fleet of 100 small and 40 to 50 large ships in the 18th Century. Due to its geographic position the islandīs prevailing winds became an ideal power supply needed to refine the shipments of Russian wheat into flour for more efficient transport to Europe. The row of windmills that overlook the town of Mykonos today are only a fraction of those that once existed. With the increase of sea trade an uprising of piracy developed. The many bays and beaches of Mykonos were ideal shelters contributing greatly to the islandīs history as a pirate haven.

After the Greek-Turkish War of Independence where the islandīs heroine Mando Mavrogenous defended the island from a Turkish navy attempt to land in 1822, the importance of Mykonos began to decline with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. Steam ships soon made the islandīs sailing fleet obsolete and many Mykonians chose to emigrate first to southern Russia and later to America. With this modernization in travel also came the first appearances of casual visitors who were now allowed quicker access to the island. The roots of a tourist industry were just barely evident when the arrival of the Second World War put a halt to everything and reduced the island to a state of famine.

As post-war European and North American affluence began to increase, the secluded beauty spots of the world became more in demand. Through the 50īs and 60īs Mykonos with its colorful history, sunny weather conditions and relative remote location soon became a favorite destination of the rich and famous as well as the adventurous traveler. Today, with over 50 years of development in the tourist industry together with great attention paid to maintaining its original charm, Mykonos has now become one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world.

Mykonos by pelican-hotels.com

Mykonos by pelican-hotels.com

Mykonos by pelican-hotels.com