General Information about area

Send this page to a friend  

At the center of Crete, the biggest island of Greece the mountainous block of Psiloritis or Mountain Idis according to its ancient name, spreads. This place has been a place of birth of immortal Gods and heroic action of mortal people.
The history of the area is linked indissolubly with the history of Crete. The first residents of the island inhabited places near to the coasts of the island during the Stone Age. We come across Minoan habitations across the mountain with important centers those of Tylisos, Gonies, Zominthos, and Grivila near Achlades in Mylopotamos, Monastiraki and Apodoulos of Amari. During the Geometric and Archaic era the cities of Aksos in Eleftherna, Tylisos and Sivritos flourished. After the Roman conquest, Crete was the district of an
endless empire. During that period the centre of cultural and economic life of the island was Gortina. The predominance of Christianity demarcates the Byzantine period of the land's history. Gortina, Aksos, Eleftherna and Syvritos were the centers of bishops. The Byzantine presence in the island was violently interrupted by the Arabic conquest at 823. We do not have any essential information concerning the island's status from the dark ages of the Arabic conquest. At 961 Nikiforos Fokas conquered Crete once again. The second Byzantine period in the island began this way. Then, according to the legend, noble families inhabited the land from Istanbul such as the family of Kallergis, the family of Klados, the family of Chortatzis, the family of Vlastos, the family of Varouchis names of families that we still come across in the area of Psiloritis. The 4th Crusade (1204) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. Crete was then conquered by the queen of seas, Venice. The Cretans did not stop insurrecting against the Venetians with constant rebellions. Thus, the wider area during the rebellions of the family of Kallergis (1299) abstracted privileges for the Greek orthodox residents. The area was conquered by the Turks at 1645. The wild Turkish Cretans had as their center the village of Ampadia in the Area of Amari. The residents of Psiloritis never accepted to subject to the foreign dynast. They were fighting for freedom with constant rebellions. During this period the caves of the area offered a hideaway to the legendary insurgents of the mountains (Also known as "Chainides"). During the big revolution for independence at 1824, four hundred people from Melidoni village were tortured to death at the historic place of Gerondospilios. At Gonies village of Melidoni at 1830, the Turks executed 75 residents. The epilogue of the Greek Revolution in Crete is captured in the dramatic adjurations of the Cretans towards the grand powers of the era, from the letters that were written in Margarites which was the center of the Revolutionary Council of the Cretans. At 1822 and 1867 the holocaust of Anogia took place. The heroic Arkadi village was the center of the revolution at 1866. Today is considered as a humanitarian symbol of freedom and sacrifice. During the Second World War and the Battle of Crete at Latzimas site near Prinos village at Mylopotamos, great battles took place between the allies and the German intruders. During the Nazi years, resistance groups were made up which had found their shelter in the gnarled tops of Psiloritis. The residents of Psiloritis paid with blood their participation to the National Resistance. At Gournolakos site, south of Livadia village in Mylopotamos, 32 men were executed. An enormous event of the Resistance in the island was the kidnapping of General Kraipe at Damasta village. The sabotage was successed by the holocausts of Anogia at Mylopotamos, Kedros at Amari, Vorizia and the execution of 25 men from Gergeri and Nivritos villages as well as 30 other people at Gonies village.


For more information : www.psiloritis.eu 

Psiloritis Unesco Global Geopark



Psiloritis Geopark Repository

Activities of the development organization of the area of mountain of psiloritis in Crete.
Phone Phone :+302834031606, +302834031793