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Sifnos (Municipality, Greece)


Last modified: 2015-08-15 by ivan sache
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Flag of Sifnos - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 9 January 2015

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Presentation of Sifnos

The municipality of Sifnos (2,625 inhabitants in 2011, 7,394 ha) is formed of an island in the Cyclades group. The main town, Apollonia (Απολλωνία, 942 inh.), is home of the island's folklore museum and library. The town's name is thought to come from an ancient temple of Apollo on the site of the church of Panayia Yeraniofora. The second-largest town is Artemonas (Αρτεμώνας, 744 inh.), thought to be named after an ancient temple of Apollo's sister-goddess Artemis, located at the site of the church of Panayia Kokhi.
The municipality was not modified with the 2011 local government reform.

Sifnos was inhabited from at least 4000 BC. The island was very wealthy in ancient times, thanks to its gold, silver, and lead. Sifnos was one of the first places in Greece to mint coins, beginning around 600 BC, although the number minted does not seem to have been great.
During the extensive Greek migrations probably in the 12th century BC, Sifnos was mostly populated by Ionian Greeks from Athens. In the sixth century BC it was invaded by pirates from Samos. In the fifth century BC, Sifnos was an official member of the Greek defensive alliance formed to fight the Persian Wars. In the next century the island was briefly taken over by the Persians but liberated by a fleet sent by Alexander the Great.
Little is known of Sifnos during the Roman and Byzantine eras. In the early 14th century Sifnos came under the power of the Hospitaller Januli da Corogna, who proclaimed the island independent from the Sanudi dynasty which then ruled most of the Cyclades area. The Corognas ruled Sifnos for over a hundred years; around 1440 as a result of a dynastic marriage power over the island passed to a Bolognese family, the Gozzadini, who ruled until 1617 and the Ottoman rule.
Ottoman rule on Sifnos was fairly loose, consisting mainly of the collection of taxes, with the islanders largely administering their own affairs. By the early 17th century Sifnos was a significant commercial center, and from 1821 the island played an important role in the Greek national revolution.

Olivier Touzeau, 9 January 2015

Flag of Sifnos

The flag of Sifnos (Kokkonis website) is white with the municipal emblem, portraying Artemis and Apollo.

Olivier Touzeau, 9 January 2015