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Τετάρτη, 27 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Samos General Information

File:Samos 050 2009.JPG
Samos is in the East part of the Aegean Sea, close to the Asia Minor coastline. It’s geographically located between the parallels 37.49° and 37.37° to the North and the meridians 26.33° and 27.04° to the East.

To the East of Samos is Turkey and Asia Minor, from which Samos is separated by the “Eptastadio” channel, (called Dar Bogaz in Turkish) whish is only 1650 meters wide at its narrowest point. To the North is the chersonese of Erythrea (Turkey), Northwest is Chios Island, west and southwest is Ikaria and the Fournoi islands and to the South are the islands of the Dodecanese. The ones closest to Samos are Agathonisi, Arkoi and Patmos.

The population of the island is 33814 inhabitants (2001 census), it is comprised of 4 municipalities, Vathi, Karlovasi, Pythagoreio and Marathokampos and its capital is Samos Town. Samos is a mountainous island and it has two high mountains. The first one is rough and rocky Kerkis (or Kerketeus) with a height of 1443 meters and the second is verdant and fertile Ambelos (or Karvounis) with a height of 1160 meters. The Samian climate is mild, healthy and pleasant, cool during the summer and warm in the wintertime. North wind is the prevailing wind in Samos and during summer it blows almost constantly cooling the island. South winds, that carry most of the rain, blow mainly during the winter period along with the rest of the winds. Sunshine on the island is one of the longest in Greece, since, for a semester and possibly more, during the summer period, there is hardly a cloud in the sky.



From the evidence that has been found, derives that human beings have lived on Samos since the 3rd millenium BC, if not earlier. Its history, however, begins at the time of Polycrates, 6th century BC. Before that, history is vague and obscure, mythical folklore being the only existing reference. 

In ancient times, Samos, although small, played a trully significant role in culture and politics, not only for the region of Ionia, but for the entire ancient Greece. 

THE ANCIENT HISTORY 

In the times of Polycrates, Samos became the center of the Ionian civilization. Various important monuments were constructed, such as the Eupalinion Tunnel, the temple of Hera, open-air theaters, as well as palaces, which Roman emperor Caligula tried to restore much later. In addition, Polycrates was the first to establish a library containing all significant texts produced by the human spirit up-till then. 

His royal court used to be a spiritual center offering hospitality to the top intellectuals of the world of his time. He had created a very powerful navy and his fleet used to be the leading one in the Aegean Sea being comprised by fast war-ships called Samenas. According to Herodotus, the predominant city-states of the sea were three: Knossos of king Minos (15th century BC), Samos (6th century BC) and Athens (5th century BC). Therefore Polycrates had rendered Samos a leading city-state among the Greeks and the Barbarians. He was also the first who tried to unite all Greeks against the Persians.

Following Polycrates’ assasination in 522 BC, many wars took place and Samos was the focal point of the conflicts between the Greeks and the Persians. It was finally devastated by the Athenians under Pericles in 439 BC after a siege that lasted for several months. 

In the time of Alexander the Great, and during the Roman period, no significant events took place that were important enough to be mentioned. 

THE MIDDLE AGE 

During the Byzantine period, Samos, just like all islands, suffered great catastrophes by various invaders and pirates. In the time of the Crusaders, it came under Venetian rule, later it came back to the Byzantines and it eventually fell to the Genovese in 1346. Since Samos was in the focal point of the pirate raids, its inhabitants started to abandon it and in 1476 the last inhabitants fled, along with the Genovese. So Samos became almost desolate with only a few inhabitants living on the mountains. 

In 1549 the Turkish fleet came to Samos, commanded by Admiral Khilich Ali Pasha. He was a Frenchman and a former pirate, who after having been captured by the Turks, managed to become an admiral because of his abilities. 

He admired the Samian environment and when he realized that the island was desolate, he requested the sultan to cede it to him as a present, a wish that the Sultan granted him. The pasha then intended to have the island repopulated by granting unprecedented privileges to the new inhabitants, who had to be Greek Orthodox Christians. Then new inhabitants started to come along from the nearby islands, Asia Minor and a little later from Peloponnese and Crete and thus the first villages were formed. 

Following Khilich Ali’s death, the privileges began to gradually be abated and so a Turkish commander was established on the island, though the Samians kept being in a more advantageous position than the rest of the Greeks. 

NEW GREEK HISTORY 

In 1821 Samos was one of the places rising in revolt against the Turks. The few Turks that were, at the time, on the island just had the time to leave and despite many attempts of the Turkish fleet to reconquer the island, they never made it. 

After the Greek State was established in 1827, the Great Powers of the time England, France and Russia did not include Samos as a part of it, even though it was at liberty. The Samians would not accept it, so in 1834 they were granted a form of political independence, under the patronage of the Great Powers, with the obligation of paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire. This regime remained until 1912, when Samos joined Greece. During this period, Samos experienced a significant economic prosperity. 

Travel to Samos
The island of Samos has two ports (Vathi, Karlovasi) which consist the two main ports of the island that have mixed character and they serve the carriage of men and products. Moreover, during the last years a new port is constructed on the area of Malagari using National and European Union’s funds. 

There is a daily connection with the ports of Ikaria, Cyclades and Piraeus either with conventional or power ships. Furthermore, once the week there is a connection with the islands of North Aegean and Dodecanese through the subsidized line from the Government. In addition, Samos is daily connected with Kousantasi of Turkey with two Greek and two Turkish ships. 

The existence of airport in Samos consists one of the most important reasons for the tourist evolution of the island since 1963 there is a daily connection with Athens and weekly with Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Chean, Mytilene, Limnos. There are also daily connections during the tourist period through charter flights with England, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Check Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and all the Scandinavian countries.

Sights
On Samos, you will be flooded with the spirit of ancient Greece, with the archeological site of the island, is where, according to tradition the goddess Hera was born and raised. It is here that you will find the ruins of the temple of "Imvrasia Hera". One of the largest temples in antiquity, it also had the right to be called a sanctuary. Here, you will also find the "Sacred Way" which had a length of 4.880 metres and linked the ancient city to the Heraion.

In Pythagorio there are the ruins of the "Wall of Polycrates", the "Ancient Theatre", the "Roman Baths" and the famed "Evpalinio Tunnel" (1036 metres), masterpiece of 6th century engineering that supplied the ancient city with water. In the archeological collection, there are dedicatory columns of the archaic period, column capitals and portraits of Roman emperors.
File:Samoskouros.JPG
Kouros of Samos, the largest surviving Kouros in Greece (Archaeological Museum of Samos).
In the city of Samos is the fabulous archeological museum, with exhibits of incredible interest, sculpture, ceramics and bronze works. The giant 5.5 metre - tall Kouros stands out as a unique find as does the sculptural composition by the Samiote Genelaos (6th century BC) , dedicated to the goddess Hera, and made up of 6 figures on a single base, of which only 3 survive to this day. Objects, consecrated vessels and holy relics from the monasteries of the island have been collected and are on display at the Ecclesiastical - Byzantine museum.

In Mytilinii, the Paleontological museum hosts finds of major importance. Prehistostoric bones of vertebrates, joints of local wild animals, lactic teeth and bones of mastodoms. The most precious find: the petrified brain of a pony that is 13 million years old.
File:Samos 070 2009.JPG
Panorama of Pythagoreion, the place of birth of Pythagoras.
File:Pythagoreion harbour.jpg

Walks
Nature sumptuously endowed the island of Samos. Unique, beatiful, picturesque villages perched on the slopes of the mountains Ambelos and Kerkis. Routes through vineyards, olive, pine and plane trees and ravines with breathetaking views to get from one village to the next will satisfy any nature - lover.
The mountainous mass that is mount Kerkis, with dozens of caves and an area stretching from the river to Mikro Seitani and Megalo Seitani makes up a giant ecological park.
Virginal areas of windly impressive beaty constitute the perfect destination for those who love nature and hiking.
For more information you can visit the site of Samos Climbing and Walking Club 

Info

No Department-Office Telephone number
1 Prefecture of Samos – Department of Tourism and Culture +3022730 80006
Municipality
2 Municipality of Vathy +30 2273081031
3 Municipality of Pythagorio +30 2273061238
4 Municipality of Karlovasi +30 2273032881
5 Municipality Marathokambos +30 2273031111
Banks
1 Banks are open Monday to Thursday from 08:30 to 14:30.
On Friday from 08:30 to 14:00.
During the weekend are closed.
Hospitals
1 Samos Hospital +30 2273083100
2 Karlovasi Hospital  +30 2273032222
Health Centre
1 Pythagorio - Health Centre +30 2273061111
2 Kokkari - Health Centre +30 2273092203
3 Marathokambos - Health Centre   +30 2273031207
Post Offices
1 Daily Open, Monday – Friday from 08:00 to 14:30. Closed on weekend 

Airport
1 Samos Airport +30 2273061219
Museum
1 Museum of Samos +30 2273027469
2 Museum of Pythagorio  +30 2273061400
3 Museum of Ireo +30 2273095277
4 Paleontologic Museum   +30 2273052055
Police
1 Police Department of Samos +30 2273087315
2 Police Department of Karlovasi  +30 2273032444
3 Police Department of Pythagorio +30 2273061100
4 Police Department of Kokkari +30 2273092202
5 Police Department of Marathokambos +30 2273031222
6 Tourist Police   +30 2273087344
Port-office
1 Port-office of Samos +30 2273027318
2 Port-office of Karlovasi   +30 2273030888
3 Post-office of Pythagorio +30 2273061225
TAXI
1 TAXI of Samos +30 2273028404
2 TAXI of Karlovasi  +30 2273030777
3 TAXI of Pythagorio +30 2273061440
4 TAXI of Kokkari +30 2273092585
Other Offices and Associations
1 Office of Tourism – Department of Samos +30 2273028582
2 Hotels Association Samos - Ikaria +30 2273023973
3 Association of Tourist and Nautical Agencies in Samos   +30 2273022116
4 Association of Lodgings in Samos +30 2273023055
5 Cars for Hire Association in Samos  +30 2273023811

File:Karlovasi.JPG
Picture of the town of Karlovasi.
File:Marathokambos.jpg
View of Marathokampos village.

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