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HISTORY



THE HISTORY OF AEGINA

Ancient ruins
The different findings in the area of Kolona as well as other areas show that the first inhabitants in Aegina appeared in the second half of the 4th millennium b.c. (3500-3000 b.c.).
The first inhabitants came from Peloponnisos.
Other settled at Lofo of Kolona and they made a living from shipping as they had a port at the bay of Karadima and others settled at Mesagro and they made a living from farming.
The colonization of the island continued with the Aegians during the early age of Copper (2500-2000 b.c.).
They settled in Kolona and they were occuried with shipping and trade. During the period of 2000-16000 b.c., the people of Aegina started to be very good in trading and shipping.
Around 1400-1300 b.c., the Mirmidones settled down in the area of Oros.
They came from Thessalia and they set up the Temple of Zeus.
About 950 b.c., the Dorians came to the island and around the 7th century,Aegina along with Poros and five other cities take part in the Amphictyony of Kalayrias.
The Amphictyony was at first religious and then it became a political federetion.
Members of the Amphictyony were Ermioni, Poros, Epidayros, Aegina, Prasies, Athens and Orxomenos.
The Amphictyony helped solve differences that they might have had between them as well as comercial transactions.
From the last prehistoric years up to the 5th century b.c., it reached its heyday.

From 734to 459 b.c. Aegina could compete with big cities in Mikra Asia that were based on trade.
Due to these comercial transactions,in 650 b.c. the people of Aegina made their own silver coins.
On one side of the coins was the image of a turtle which was a characteristic for God Poseidon.

During the 6th century b.c., Aegina had law-courts and a doctor.
In Kolona, there were beautiful houses, public buildings, churches and thetown was very well fortified.
It became the Acropolis of the island surrounded with strong walls.
It had a military port and a commercial port and its population consisted of 40.000 citizens that they were free and 400.000 slaves.
Around 500 b.c. Aegina monopolized in the trade of the East Mediterranean and Eyxinos Pontos and it reached the highest point in power and wealth.
In 480 b.c. they took part in the naval battle in Salanima along with the other Greeks against the Persians.
The people of Aegina even though they were opposed to the people of Athens because their fleet was very powerful and because they had changed their policy towards them, they stood by the Greeks and with the Athenians they won the naval battle in Salamina.
The people of Aegina didn't take advantage of the naval battle in Salamina nor did they increase their power.
Aegina, which was on friendly terms with Sparti, allied with Korinthos in 459 b.c.
The Athenians did not like this and attacked the fleet of Aegina and won the battle.
They besieged and took over the town in a few months.
The Athenians forced Aegina to pull down the walls, to hand over its hsips and the people of Aegina were obliged to pay taxes.
During the war in Peloponnisos (431-404 b.c.) the Athenians sended off to Peloponnisians the people of Aegina and they brought Athenians to the island.
When the war ended, Lissandros brought back the people of Aegina to their land.
After Alexandro's death, Aegina belonged to the Axaiki Simpoliteia.
The fleet of King of Pergamos and the Romans' fleet besieged, won and took over the city which they pillaged and destroyed.
Late, around 133 b.c. Pergamos bequeathed Aegina to the Romans who lead the island to decline. Findings that were left, were taken from Aegina.

After 400 a.d. many of the people in Peloponnisos went to Aegina to escape from the Gothians and the Evoulians raids.

The population increased, the city was rebuilt and the trade was revived. Due to its preculiar territory, the biggest part of Aegina suffered many raids.

In the 6th century there was the raid from the Avarous and then during the 9th century a.d. the raid that was carried out by the Sarakinon pirates which forced the inhaditants to leave and go to the coastal regions, where they built Palaioxora.

When the crusaders took over Konstantinoupolis (1204), Aegina was given to the Venetians.

In 1537 a.d. the Turks declared war against Venice and the leader of the turkish fleet called Varvarosa literally destroyed and burned Aegina.

Only a few churches in Palaioxora managed to save. The first turkish domination lasted from 1540 to 1687 a.d.

Later on, the Venetians took back Aegina, the trade was revived and the economy improved.

From 1715 to 1821, there is the second turkish domination till the revolution in 1821 in which Aegina played an important role.
The people of Aegina fought at the Xani of Gravias, in the battle of the Saint Mount, in Faliro and with Faviero they helped suply Acropolis.

In 1828 it became the first capital of Greece and Jonh Kapodistrias was the first governor.

In 1829 the capital was transferred to Nafplio and the population of Aegina was decreased significantly.
So Aegina, after having temporary rise during the period when it was the capital, it came back to the peaceful life of a provincial city.
 
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