Last modified: 2016-04-02 by ivan sache
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Flag of Kallithea - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 29 October 2013
The municipality of Kallithea (lit., the Best View; 100,641 inhabitants in 2011, 475 ha) is the 8th largest municipality in Greece and the 4th
biggest in the Athens urban area (following Athens proper, Piraeus, and Peristeri. Additionally, it is the most densely populated municipality in Greece.
The municipality was not changed with the 2011 local government reform.
The site on which the town was developed covers the biggest part of the area to the south of Athens, protected in ancient times (5th century BC) by the Long Walls to the west and the Phaleron Wall to the east. Somewhere within this area lays the ancient town of Xypete.
The plans for the establishment of the new city of Kallithea were officially approved in December 1884. Near the center of the town the Shooting Range (Skopeftirion) was built to house events of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Events of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games too took place in the district of Kallithea, notably handball, taekwondo, and beach volleyball.
In the 1920s the town was flooded by thousands of refugees following the
Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), the Asia Minor Catastrophe (1922), and the
Treaty of Lausanne (1923). These refugees arrived mainly from the south
Black Sea (Pontus), from ancient Greek towns such as Sinope (now Sinop, Turkey), Sampsus (now Samsun, Turkey), Kerasus (now Giresun, Turkey),
Trapezous-Trebizond (now Trabzon, Turkey), Tripolis (now Tirebolu, Turkey), and Argyroupolis (now Gümüshane, Turkey). A few had arrived earlier (1919) from the north and east (Russian) coasts of the Black Sea, from places such as Odessa and Mariupol'. Black Sea immigrants of Greek origin also settled in Kallithea in the 1930s, as a result of the change of Soviet policy toward ethnic groups. Their origins were mainly in the east coast of the Black Sea (Batumi, Sukhumi, Novorossiysk, and Anapa.
The first refugees settled originally near the site of the first Olympic shooting range (1896), until they were gradually transferred to new dwellings. After its evacuation the building bound with the shooting range served as a school, until the Nazi Occupation of 1941, when it was converted to a prison. The prison of Kallithea was demolished in 1966.
In the 1990s, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a new wave of Greek immigrants arrived in Kallithea from the east coast of the Black Sea, from the Caucasus highlands in Georgia, as well as from distant Greek settlements in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan where their Black Sea Greek ancestors were expelled during the 1930s.
Olivier Touzeau, 29 October 2013
The flag of Kallithea (Kokkonis website) is horizontally divided dark red-blue-dark red (1:4:1) with the emblem of the municipality, in ochre, in the middle of the blue stripe.
The emblem shows a silhouette of Theseus, trying to lift the rock under
which his father had left his sword and sandals for him to find when he grew up.
Theseus is the hero who was responsible for the synoikismos ("dwelling together") - the political unification of Attica under Athens, represented emblematically in his journey of labours, subduing highly localized ogres and monstrous beasts. It is believed that the connection between Theseus and Kallithea is that when he came from Crete he reached the shore today known as Tzitzifies and the celebrations for his return took place in Kallithea.
Olivier Touzeau, 29 October 2013
Burgee of NOTK - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2010
The Tzitzifies Kallithea Yacht Club (NOTK) was founded in 1958, as the Tzitzifies Kallithea Nautic Club. Tzitzifies is a beach famous for its fish taverns. Based in the Nautical Sports Port built for the 2004 Olympic Games, NOTK is involved today in sailing, canoe-kayak, swimming and fishing. In 2000, NOTK had the largest sporting yacht fleet among the clubs registered with the Hellenic Sailing Federation.
NOTK member Sofia Bekatorou (b. 1977), won the gold medal in the
women's 470 class, pairing with Aimilia Tsoulfa, in the 2004 Olympic
Games (Athens); the two sailors extinguished the Olympic flame during
the closure ceremony. They were honoured with the ISAF Rolex World
Sailor of the Year Award in 2002 and 2004.
In the 2008 Olympics (Beijing), Sofia Bekatorou, teaming with Virginia Kravarioti and Sofia Papdopoulou, won the bronze medal in the Yngling class.
Sofia Bekatorou also won the 470 European Championship in 2001 and 2002, and the 470 World Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
The burgee of NOTK (club's website), is horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the blue letters "NOTK" in the white stripe.
Ivan Sache, 14 March 2010