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Poros (Municipality, Greece)

Πόρος

Last modified: 2015-05-30 by ivan sache
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[Municipal flag]

Flag of Poros - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2014


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Presentation of Poros

The municipality of Poros (3,993 inhabitants in 2011, 4,958 ha) is made of the island of Poros and of Kyani Akti (213 inh.), a part of the mainland at the easternmost point of the Peloponnese peninsula between the islands of Poros and Hydra).
The municipality was not changed with the 2011 local government reform.

Poros is a small island-pair in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, about 58 km south from Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a 200 m wide sea channel. Poros is a popular weekend destination for Athenian travellers.
Poros consists of two islands: Sphairia (Σφαιρία) the southern part, which is of volcanic origin, where today's city is located, and Kalaureia (Καλαυρία), the northern and largest part. A bridge connects the two islands over a narrow strait. The landscape is very hilly and mountainous. The town of Poros, with its neoclassical edifices, is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill. Its most famous landmark is a clock tower, built in 1927.

During the Mycenaean dominance (1,400-1,100 B.C.) Kalavria was quite powerful as the most important naval base of the wider region was located on islet Monti or Liontari in the eastern coast of Poros. In the 7th century B.C., it is believed that Kalavria was part of an "amphictyonia", that is an alliance between multiple city-states. The amphictyonia was named "Amphictyonia of Kalavria" and its members were Athens, Poros, Aegina, Epidaurus, Hermione, Trizina, Nafplio, Orchomenos and Prasies. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., the Ptolemies of Egypt occupied Kalavria. Around that time, the famous orator Demosthenes came to the island and some say that this is the place where he committed suicide. In 273 B.C., the last explosion of the Methana volcano dramatically changed the morphology of Poros and the wider region.
During the Roman period (86 B.C. to 395 A.D.) Poros was part of the Roman Empire along with Trizina, to which it was a tributary. In Byzantine times, Poros and other islands were often raided by pirates that dominated the Aegean Sea which attacked the island multiple times. In 1484 the Venetians occupied Poros and used it as a strategic port against their sea battles with the Ottomans. During that time, the island had about 15,000 inhabitants, and was one of the largest cities in Greece.
In 1715 began the Ottoman Period, much later than in the rest of Greece. With the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji signed on 21 July 1774, Russia secured free shipping for its navy, war and merchant alike, throughout the waters of the Ottoman Empire. As Russian naval activity grew, land was acquired at the edge of Poros town. Extensive materiel, coal, and food storage facilities were built. Poros had a very important role during the Greek Revolution in 1821, due to its strategic geographical position. The most glorious Greek personalities often met in Poros in order to discuss and plan their actions. The first Greek warship Naval Base was established in Poros in 1828 and remained there until 1878. In September 1828, the ambassadors of England, France and Russia met in Poros with Ioannis Kapodistrias in order to determine the borders of the future Greek State, which was established in 1830.

After Greek independence, Kapodistrias requisitioned the facilities for use of the Greek war navy, and offered the Russians an alternative location in a nearby cove. The new facilities were far larger, and were used by Russian ships throughout the 19th century. The number of Russian residents of Poros increased and even a Russian school was established. As Russian naval activity declined, so did the base and by the early 20th century only a single Russian watchman was left guarding it. It was then granted to the Greek Navy by the Czar but was never put to actual use, and the abandoned buildings were left to decay. The ruins, in elaborately carved stone, were listed as protected architectural monuments in 1989.

Olivier Touzeau, 10 December 2014


Flag of Poros

The flag of Poros (photo, 2012) is white with a blue disk, bordered black, and the emblem of the municipality in full colors.

[Municipal flag]

Poros anniversary flag - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2014

The flag celebrating the 170th anniversary of the municipality (Kokkonis website) is white with the emblem of the municipality in black in white, and the words "ΔΗΜΟΣ ΠΟΡΟΥ 1834-2004" above on two lines and "170 ΧΡΟΝΙΑ (170 years) below.

Olivier Touzeau, 10 December 2014