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Kythira (, ; el, Κύθηρα, , also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...
peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian Islands
, although it is distant from the main group. Administratively, it belongs to the
Islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...
regional unit, which is part of the
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply a ...
region, despite its distance from the
Saronic Islands The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habita ...
, around which the rest of
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply a ...

Attica
is centered. The island is strategically located between the Greek mainland and
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, and from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants, sailors, and conquerors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilizations and cultures. This is reflected in its architecture (a blend of traditional,
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...

Aegean
and
Venetian
Venetian
elements), as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek, and Venetian cultures.


Administration

Kythira and the nearby island of
Antikythira Antikythera or Anticythera ( ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its po ...
were separate municipalities until they were merged at the 2011 local government reform; the two islands are now municipal units of Kythira municipality. The municipality has an area of 300.023 km2, the municipal unit 279.593 km2. The province of Kythira ( el, Επαρχία Κυθήρων) was one of the
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Lakonia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and Administrative regions of Greece, administrative region of Greece located on the southeastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. Its administrative capital is Sparti (municipality), ...
, then of Argolis and Korinthia, then of Attica Prefecture from 1929 to 1964. Then from 1964 to 1972 Kythira became part of newly establishment
Piraeus Prefecture Piraeus Prefecture ( el, Νομός Πειραιά or Νομός Πειραιώς) was one of the prefectures of Greece During the first administrative division of independent Greece in 1833–1836 and again from 1845 until their abolition wit ...
and after dissolution of Piraeus prefecture returned to
Attica Prefecture 350px, Division of the prefecture of Attica Attica Prefecture ( el, Νομὸς Ἀττικῆς) was a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...
as part of Piraeus prefecture (Νομαρχία). It was abolished in 2006. From 2011 it is part of the
Islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...
regional unit of
Attica region Attica ( el, Περιφέρεια Αττικής, translit=Periféria Attikís, ) is an administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an orga ...
.


History


Pre-classical and ancient

There are archaeological remains from the
Helladic period Helladic chronology is a relative dating system used in archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substanc ...
, contemporary with the Minoans. There is archaeological evidence of Kythiran trade as far as Egypt and Mesopotamia. Kythira had a
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
n colony in the early archaic age; the sea-snail which produces
Tyrian purple Tyrian purple ( grc, πορφύρα ''porphúra''; la, purpura), also known as Phoenician red, Phoenician purple, royal purple, imperial purple, or imperial dye, is a reddish-purple Purple is any of a variety of color Color (Ame ...
is native to the island.Xenophon refers to a Phoenician Bay in Kythira (''
Hellenica ''Hellenica'' ( grc, Ἑλληνικά) simply means writings on Greek (Hellenic) subjects. Several histories of 4th-century Greece, written in the mould of Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , ...
'' 4.8.7, probably Avlemonas Bay on the eastern side of the island). The archaic Greek city of Kythira was at Scandea on Avlemonas; its ruins have been excavated. Its acropolis, now Palicastro (Palaeocastron, "Old Fort"), has the temple of Aphrodite Ourania, who may well represent a Phoenician cult of
Astarte Astarte (; grc-gre, Ἀστάρτη, ''Astártē'') is the Hellenized form of the Ancient Near Eastern goddess Astoreth (Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic lang ...
. In classical times, Kythira was part of the territory of several larger city-states. Sparta took the island from Argos early in the sixth century, and ruled it under a ''kytherodíkes'' (kυθηροδίκης, "judge on Kythira"), in Thucydides' time ,53,3 Athens occupied it three times when at war with Sparta (in 456 during her first war with Sparta and the Peloponnesians; from 426 to 410, through most of the great
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
; and from 393 to 387/386, during the
Corinthian War The Corinthian War (395–387 BC) was a conflict in ancient Greece which pitted Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as wel ...
against Spartan dominance) and used it both to support her trade and to raid Laconia. Kythira was independent, and issued her own coins in 195 after the Achaean defeat of Sparta. In Augustus' time, it was again subject to Sparta, being the property of
Gaius Julius EuryclesGaius Julius Eurycles or Eurycles of Sparta (b. Sparta, Floruit, fl. 1st century BCE), was "''hegemon'' of the Lacedaemonians" (Λακεδαιμονίων ἡγεμών), a benefactor of Greece, Greek cities, and founder of the family of the Euryclid ...
, who was both a Spartan magnate and a Roman citizen. By this time, the Greek cities were in practice subject to the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. Kythira continued to exist under the Roman Empire and its
Byzantine successor state
Byzantine successor state
for centuries. Christianity is attested from the fourth century AD, the time of
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
; according to her legend, Saint Elessa came from Laconia to convert the island.


Medieval and modern

Kythira is not mentioned in the literary sources for centuries after its conversion; in the period of Byzantine weakness at the end of the seventh century, it might have been exposed to attacks from both the Slavic tribes who raided the mainland and from Arab pirates from the sea. Archaeological evidence suggests the island was abandoned about 700 AD. When Saint Theodore of Cythera led a resettlement after the
Byzantine reconquest of Crete The Siege of Chandax in 960-961 was the centerpiece of the Byzantine Empire's campaign to recover the island of Crete which since the 820s Emirate of Crete, had been ruled by Muslim Arabs. The campaign followed a series of failed attempts to recla ...
in 962, he found the island occupied only by wandering bands of hunters. He established a great monastery at Paliochora; a town grew up around it, largely populated from Laconia. When the Byzantine Empire was divided among the conquerors of the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
, the
Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( ...
took her share, three eighths of the whole, as the Greek islands, Kythira among them. She established a coast patrol on Kythira and Antikythera to protect her trade route to Constantinople; Kythira was one of the islands Venice continued to hold despite the Greek reconquest of Constantinople and the Turkish presence all over the Near East. During the Venetian domination the island was known as Cerigo. Kythirans still talk about the destruction and looting of Paliochora by
Barbarossa Barbarossa, a name meaning "red beard" in Italian, may refer to: Arts and entertainment Fictional characters * Barbarossa Rugner, a character in the 1995 ''Suikoden'' PlayStation role-playing game * Barbarossa, pirate and protagonist in the 1953 ...
; it has become an intrinsic part of the Kytherian folklore. One can easily accept the stories of locals by noticing the number of monasteries embedded in the rocky hillsides to avoid destruction by the
pirate Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted ...

pirate
s. Barbary pirates ranged across the Mediterranean waters, raiding ships, coasts and islands, taking booty and slaves for the
Barbary slave trade The Barbary slave trade refers to slave markets on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which included the Ottoman provinces of Algeria, Tunisia and Ottoman Tripolitania, Tripolitania and the independent sultanate of Saadi dynasty, Morocco, bet ...
. Kythira was at the mercy of Barbary pirates due to its strategic location in the Mediterrean. In order to intercept merchant vessels, islands along the trade routes were of course more interesting for pirates. In the 17th century the small islands like Sapientza (Kalamatas) south of Messinia (district in south-western part of the Peloponnese), Cerigo (Kythira) south of the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese, and along the coast of Asia minor, the then deserted islands of Fourni southwest of Samos, and the island of Psara, west of Chios, were all pirate bases. When
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
put an end to the Venetian Republic in 1797, Kythira was among the islands incorporated in that most distant départment of France, called
Mer-Égée Mer-Égée (; ) was one of three short-lived French departments of Greece French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Républ ...
. Kythira shared a common destiny with the other
Ionian islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian islands
during the turbulent Napoleonic era, and is still regarded as one of them; it was counted as one of the
Cyclades The CYCLADES computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communicate with each other. These interconnections are made up of technologies, based on phys ...

Cyclades
in antiquity. In 1799, the Ionian islands became the
Septinsular Republic The Septinsular Republic ( el, Ἑπτάνησος Πολιτεία, Heptanēsos Politeia; it, Repubblica Settinsulare) was an oligarchic Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between ...
, nominally under Ottoman
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized soci ...
, but in practice dominated by
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
. In 1807, the French recaptured the islands, before they were captured again by the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
in 1809, who set up the
United States of the Ionian Islands The United States of the Ionian Islands ( el, Ἡνωμένον Κράτος τῶν Ἰονίων Νήσων, Inoménon-Krátos ton Ioníon Níson, ; it, Stati Uniti delle Isole Ionie) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece An ...
, a British protectorate. The British ruled over the islands for nearly half a century; under British rule, they were governed by a High Commissioner who was granted both legislative and executive powers. During the period of British rule, the city was known as Carigo or Cerigo, a name it had been acquired under Venetian control. After a long period of turbulence in the colony, which even eminent Commissioners as
William Ewart Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone (; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an ...

William Ewart Gladstone
who served in the role for three weeks in the winter of 1859 failed to resolve, the British discussion whether they were a waste of money or a vital overseas possession ended with the cession of the Ionian Islands, including Kythira, to the new
King George I of Greece King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King George I of Greece
, who was brother-in-law to the Prince of Wales. The chief town of the island, Kythira (or Chora, "village") has the Historical Archives of Kythira, the second largest in the Ionian islands, after
Corfu Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch ...

Corfu
.


Geography

Kythira has a land area of ; it is located at the southwestern exit from the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
, behind
Cape Malea Cape Maleas (also ''Cape Malea''; el, Ακρωτήριον Μαλέας, colloquially Καβομαλιάς, ''Cavomaliás''), anciently Malea ( grc, Μαλέα) and Maleae or Maleai (Μαλέαι), is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula ...
. The rugged terrain is a result of prevailing winds from the surrounding seas which have shaped its shores into steep rocky cliffs with deep bays. The island has many beaches, of various composition and size; only half of them can be reached by road through the mountainous terrain of the island. The Kythirian Straits are nearby. Kythira is close to the
Hellenic arc The Hellenic arc or Aegean arc is an wikt:arcuate, arcuate mountain chain of the southern Aegean Sea located on the southern margin of the Aegean Sea Plate. Geologically it results from the subduction of the African Plate under it. The subduction ...

Hellenic arc
plate Plate may refer to: Cooking * Plate (dishware) A plate is a broad, concave, but mainly flat vessel on which can be served. A plate can also be used for ceremonial or decorative purposes. Most plates are circular, but they may be any shap ...
boundary zone, and thus highly prone to
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...

earthquake
s. Many earthquakes in recorded history have had their
epicentre The epicenter, epicentre () or epicentrum in seismology is the point on the Earth's surface directly above a hypocenter, hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or an underground explosion originates. Surface damage In most earthqu ...
s near or on the island. Probably the largest in recent times is the 1903 earthquake near at the village of
Mitata Mitata a small village in the middle of Kythira, is a municipality of areas such as Prininiadika and Sklavinika. History In 2006, an 2006 Greece earthquake, earthquake shattered Ayia Triadon making it no longer able to host church services. Mita ...
, that caused significant damage as well as limited loss of life. It has had two major earthquakes in the 21st century: that of November 5, 2004, measuring between 5.6 and 5.8 on the
Richter scale The Richter scale – also called the Richter magnitude scale and Richter's magnitude scale – is a measure of the strength of earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Ear ...
and the earthquake of January 8, 2006, measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the latter was in the sea about to the east of Kythira, with a
focus Focus, FOCUS, or foci may refer to: Arts * Focus or Focus Festival, former name of the Adelaide Fringe The Adelaide Fringe, formerly Adelaide Fringe Festival, is the world's second-largest annual arts festival (after the Edinburgh Festival ...
at a depth of approximately . Many buildings were damaged, particularly old ones, mostly in the village of
Mitata Mitata a small village in the middle of Kythira, is a municipality of areas such as Prininiadika and Sklavinika. History In 2006, an 2006 Greece earthquake, earthquake shattered Ayia Triadon making it no longer able to host church services. Mita ...
, but with no loss of life. It was felt as far as
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
and
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...

Jordan
.


Climate

Kythira has a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
''Csa'') with mild, rainy winters and warm to hot dry summers.


Mythology

In Ancient
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
, Kythira was considered to be the island of celestial
Aphrodite Aphrodite; , , ) is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotion Emotions are mental state, psychological states brought on by neurophysiology, neurophysiological changes, ...

Aphrodite
, the Goddess of love (cf.
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
, another island devoted to the Goddess of Love).


Demographics

Like many of the smaller Aegean islands, Kythira's population is decreasing. While the island had reached a peak population of about 14,500 in 1864, that has steadily declined mostly due to emigration, both internal (to major urban centres of Greece) and external (to Australia, the United States, Germany) in the first half of the 20th century. Today its population hovers around 3,354 people (2001 census).


Villages of Kythira

The largest villages (2001 Greek census) are Potamós (pop. 396), Agía Pelagía (281), Chóra/Kýthira (267), Áno Livádi (175), Kálamos (157), and Livádi (126). * Agia Pelagia Kythira, Port * Agios Ilias * Alexandrades * Ano Livadi * Aroniadika * Avlemonas * Chora, (also Kythira) Kytherian Capital * Christoforianika * Diakofti, Port * Fratsia * Friligianika * Gerakaria *
Kalamos Kalamos (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers ...
* Kapsali *
Karavas Karavas ( el, Καραβάς; tr, Alsancak but locals mostly use ) is a town in the Kyrenia District Kyrenia District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is Kyrenia ( el, Κερύνεια; tr, Girne). It is the smallest of C ...
* Karvounades * Kastrisianika * Keramoto * Kontolianika *
Livadi Livadi ( el, Λιβάδι) is a town and a former Communities and Municipalities of Greece, municipality in the Larissa (regional unit), Larissa regional unit, Thessaly, Greece. Livadi is a majority Aromanians, Aromanian town. Since the 2011 local ...
, which is becoming the business center of the island * Katouni * Logothetianika * Louriantianika *
Mitata Mitata a small village in the middle of Kythira, is a municipality of areas such as Prininiadika and Sklavinika. History In 2006, an 2006 Greece earthquake, earthquake shattered Ayia Triadon making it no longer able to host church services. Mita ...
* Mylopotamos * Pitsinades * Pitsinianika * Platia Amos * Potamos, Kythira, Potamos, largest village * Stathianika * Viaradika * Vouno, Kythira, Vouno


Economy

Since the late 20th century, the Kythirean economy has largely focused and, in the process, has become dependent on Tourism in Greece, tourism, which provides the majority of the island's income, despite the fact that Kythira is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. The popular season usually begins with the Greek holiday of Pentecost at the end of May, and lasts until the middle of September. During this time, primarily during August, the island's population will often triple due to the tourists and natives returning for vacation. Dependence on tourism has resulted in increased building activity in many of the island's villages, mostly for commercial purposes (hotels and hospitality facilities, shops etc.), but also secondary homes; prominent examples are Agia Pelagia and Livadi, both of which having witnessed significant growth in their size since the early 1990s. Minor sources of revenue are thyme honey, famous within Greece for its rich flavor, as well as some small-scale cultivation of vegetables and fruit and animal husbandry that is, nevertheless, increasingly restricted to local consumption. Only five of the island's villages are on the coast (Platia Amos, Agia Pelagia, Diakofti, Avlemonas, & Kapsali). During July and August, several traditional dances will be held in various villages. These dances usually attract the majority of the island's population, the biggest of which are the festival of 'Panagia' in Potamos on 15 August, and the wine festival in Mitata on the first Friday and Saturday of August.


Kythira (town)

The capital, Chora, is located on the southern part of the island having no ports connected to the southern Peloponnese or Voies, Vatika. Kythira's port for Vatika was previously situated at Agia Pelagia, although in recent years this port has been decommissioned and has been replaced by a new port at the coastal town of Diakofti, Kythira. Most of the over 60 village names end with "-anika" and a few end with -athika, -iana and -wades. This is due to the villages being named after influential families that settled first in that region. For Example, 'Logothetianika' is derived from the Greek last name of 'Logothetis'. Officially, Greek is Kythira's main language. Despite popular belief, most places such as public services and local administrations, will be able to oblige to an individual's needs in English as well. In specific areas, some of Kythira's population is fluent in Italian.


Transportation

The island in the past has been plagued by a poor infrastructure, exacerbated by the effect of weather on transportation during the winter months. However the construction of the new port in Diakofti along with the renovation of the island's airport have significantly reduced these effects. A new road from the island's most populated town of Potamos in the north to the island's capital of Chora in the south is currently in the planning and development stage.


Port

Despite the fact that the island has been a trade route for centuries, construction of a modern port was postponed several times until the latter half of the 20th century. In 1933, efforts were made to construct a port in the village of Agia Pelagia, yet financial and governmental problems meant that it was only decades later that one was built. That small port of Agia Pelagia (currently being renovated from a ferry dock to a tourist/recreational boat dock) was the island's main port until the mid-1990s. Around that time the new port of Diakofti, the site originally chosen by the British colonial administration in the 19th century, was constructed along with a modern wider road, aiming to support larger cargo and passenger vessels. The port of Diakofti currently serves scheduled routes to/from Gytheio, Gythion, Kalamata, Antikythera, Piraeus'Athens port, Crete & Neapolis - Vatika. Proposals have been made to attach a Marina to the south side of the port, however no plans or timetables have been produced. Additionally, the harbour of Agia Patrikia (north of Agia Pelagia) is the primary fishing boat harbour, housing two wide boatramps and a boat repair facility.


Airport

The island's primary airport is the Alexander S. Onassis Airport also known as Kithira Island National Airport, located in the region between the village of Friligiannika and Diakofti, about from the capital. The airport was revamped and extended at the turn of the 21st century, largely by private funds provided by the local population. The island is served by Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines flights.


Notable people

*Philoxenus of Cythera, Philoxenus (435-380 BC), dithyrambic poet *Marco Venier, Lord of Cerigo (– 1311) was a Lord of Cerigo *Valerios Stais (1857–1923), archaeologist *Yianis Vilaras (1771–1823), poet and author *Juliette de Baïracli Levy (1912–2009), herbalist and author *George Miller (director), George Miller, Academy Award-winning Australian director and producer, Mad Max, Babe, Happy Feet *Alex Freeleagus, Australian lawyer and former Consul-General to Greece in Queensland *Tess Mallos, food and cooking writer, journalist, author and commentator *Manuel Aroney, organic chemistry


In popular culture

* Named as a destination of the galley carrying Judah Ben-Hur in ''Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ'' by Lew Wallace. * Botticelli's ''The Birth of Venus (Botticelli), The Birth of Venus'' and other similarly themed paintings show the goddess Venus (mythology), Venus arriving either at the shore of Kythira or
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
, as classical mythology identifies both islands as her birthplace. * In the 1499 text ''Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Hypnerotomachia Polifili'' the protagonists Polia and Polifilo travel to Cythera to explore their love and find the fountain of Venus. * The island's status as the birthplace of the goddess is also referenced in the title and subject of the Antoine Watteau painting ''Embarkation for Cythera''. * Francois Couperin wrote ''Le Carillon de Cythere'' for harpsichord. * Charles Baudelaire, in the poem ''A Voyage to Cythera'', called the island a "banal Eldorado". * The Baudelaire poem is quoted and the island is referenced in Anthony Powell's ''The Kindly Ones (Powell novel), The Kindly Ones'' (1962), part of ''A Dance to the Music of Time''. * A stanza from the Baudelaire poem is quoted as an allusion to Haiti by young Philippot in Graham Greene's ''The Comedians (novel), The Comedians''. * ''A Voyage to Cythera'' is the title of a short shory (1967) by Margaret Drabble. * ''Taxidi sta Kythira (Voyage to Cythera)'' is the title of a movie (1984) directed by Theo Angelopoulos. * The song "In Cythera" was released by alternative rock group Killing Joke on their 2012 album ''MMXII (album), MMXII''.


Gallery

File:Kythira - Kapsali.jpg, View on Kapsali File:Kythira - Moni Agia Elesos.jpg, Church of Agios Georgios File:Steno Kythira.jpg, View of the Kytherian Straits File:Kythira1.jpg, West coast File:Kythira - Soutwestern Coast.jpg, Avlemonas at southeastern coast File:Paleopoli Beach.jpg, Paleopoli Beach File:Mertidiotisa.jpg, Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa File:Panagia Mertidiotisa Icon.jpg, Gold Icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa File:Church of Agia Despoina.jpg, Church of Agia Despoina File:Castle of Kythira by night.jpg, The castle of Kythira by night File:Winery kithyra.JPG, Winery in Martesakia (Pitsinianika) showing neoclassical architecture File:Cave hytra kythera.JPG, Cave in islet Hytra File:Diakofti-port-200408.jpg, Kythira's main port, Diakofti File:Cythera shipwreck.jpg, The shipwreck File:Melidoni.jpg, Melidoni beach File:Kaladi.jpg, Kaladi beach File:Hytra.jpg, Hytra view from the castle


See also

* 2006 Southern Greece earthquake * List of islands of Greece


References

13. ^Islands, Pirates, Privateers and the Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranea


External links


Visit Kythera
Travel Guide
Kythera
Travel Guide
The Kythera Island Project
an archaeological, ecological, and historic research project of the island and its peoples.
Kythera-Family.net
A cultural archive for the island of Kythira, with over 15,000 heritage entries from people of Kytherian descent from all over the world. {{Authority control Kythira, Mediterranean port cities and towns in Greece Municipalities of Attica Populated places in Islands (regional unit) Provinces of Greece Ionian Islands Septinsular Republic Spartan colonies Landforms of Islands (regional unit) Islands of Attica Islands of Greece Territories of the Republic of Venice