History & Heritage

According to the testimonies of historians, the island was inhabited for the first time by the Thracians that had come from the opposite coast in 2.000 B.C. With regard to the name of the island there are many http://www.discoverthassos.com/resources/images/website/history_ancient_column.jpgversions such as ‘Aerie’ because of the purity of the air, ‘Aithria’ because of its deep blue sky and ‘Chrysie’ because of its gold. However the prevailing version is the one of Herodotus, according to which  Thassos owes its name to Thassos, son of the Phoenician king Aginora, who (in mythology) reached the island whilst looking for his sister, Europe, who had being kidnapped from Zeus. In the 7th century B.C. residents of the island of Paros colonized the island. Periods of large economic growth for the island were followed in the 6th, 5th and 4th century B.C. with the main features being: the foundation of colonies in Macedonia and in Thrace, the intense economic and cultural activity and the circulation of a powerful currency in all of the Mediterranean. In 356 B.C. the colonies of the Thassians and their mines in Paggaio were occupied by Philippos the second, who a few years later in 338 B.C. became the holder of the island and attached it to the Macedonian State.

http://www.discoverthassos.com/resources/images/website/history_byzantine_icon.jpgThe Romans succeeded the Macedonians and were accepted as saviours, as they granted autonomy to the island. Thassos prospered again in the Roman years and developed a commercial and intellectual activity. Afterwards, disorderly periods followed in the duration of the Byzantine years, as Thassos was permanently found in the sight of the pirates of the Mediterranean, who mercilessly plundered and depopulated the island, stopping every creative activity, a fact that caused the residents to abandon the coast and to relocate to the mountains where they built their new villages. The island also became a target of many prospective sovereigns of Medieval Europe and ended up in 1455 in the hands of the Ottoman Turks. In 1813 Thassos was granted to the Vizier of Egypt Mehmet Ali who loved Thassians and showed favour towards them. The administration of the island was undertaken again by the Turks in 1902. In October 1912 Thassos was free and incorporated into the body of Greece.