Cyclades

The Cyclades (/ˈsɪklədiːz/; Greek: Κυκλάδες [kikˈlaðes]) are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς) the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos.

Cyclades

Νομός Κυκλάδων
Former prefecture
Location of Cyclades in Greece
Location of Cyclades in Greece
Location of municipalities within Cyclades Prefecture
Location of municipalities within Cyclades Prefecture
CountryGreece
PeripherySouth Aegean
Established1833
Disestablished2010
CapitalErmoupoli
Subdivisions
Area
 • Total2,572 km2 (993 sq mi)
Area rank23rd
Population
 (2005)
 • Total119,549
 • Rank29th
 • Density46/km2 (120/sq mi)
 • Density rank34th
Postal codes
84x xx
Area codes228x0
ISO 3166 codeGR-82
Vehicle registrationΕΜ

History

Harp player, Cycladic civilization - Greece
Harp player, example of Cycladic art, at the National Archeological Museum, Athens

The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. (These figures have been looted from burials to satisfy a thriving Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century.)

A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, and tuna that were apparently speared from small boats (Rutter). Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala (on Kea) with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities (Rutter), and when the highly organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.

Archaeology

Ancient Greek theatre in Delos 01
Ancient theatre, Delos

The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged, then picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose. The context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been mostly destroyed and their meaning may never be completely understood.

Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was increasingly swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.

In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, and as a result there have been problems with erosion, pollution, and water shortages.

Geography

Aegean Sea with island groups labeled
The Cyclades encircle the sacred island of Delos
Syros ermoupolis 140707
Ermoupoli, capital of the Cyclades. Syros
Mykonos City
Mykonos town
Vraka Aegean Islands Greek Costume
Traditional vraka (breeches) in the dress of the Aegean islands

The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos, and Thira or Santoríni. There are also many minor islands including Donousa, Eschati, Gyaros, Irakleia, Koufonisia, Makronisos, Rineia, and Schoinousa. The name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle ("circular islands") around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture.

The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini. The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile; agricultural produce includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco. Lower temperatures are registered in higher elevations and these areas do not usually see wintry weather.

The Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete.[1]

Administration

The Cyclades Prefecture (Greek: Νομός Κυκλάδων) was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region:

Municipalities and communities

The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.

Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Amorgos 3101 840 08 22850-2
Andros (town) 3103 845 00 22820-2
Ano Syros 3105 841 00 22810-8
Drymalia 3107 Chalkeio Naxou 843 02 22850
Ermoupoli 3109 841 00 22810-2
Exomvourgo 3108 Kampos 842 00 22850-5
Ios 3112 840 01 22860-9
Kea 3113 Ioulis 840 02 22880-2
Korthio 3115 Ormos Korthiou 845 02 22820-6
Kythnos 3117 840 06 22810-3
Milos 3118 848 00 22870-2
Mykonos 3119 846 00 22890-2
Naxos 3120 843 00 22850-2
Paros 3123 844 00 22840-2
Poseidonia 3124 841 00 22810-4
Santorini 3111 847 00 22860-2
Serifos 3125 840 02 22810-5
Sifnos 3127 840 03 22840-3
Tinos 3129 842 00 22830-2
Ydrousa 3130 Gavrio 845 01 22820-7
Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Anafi 3102 840 09 22860-6
Antiparos 3104 840 07 22840-6
Donousa 3106 843 00 22850-5
Folegandros 3131 840 11 22860
Irakleia 3110 843 00 22870-7
Kimolos 3114 840 04 22870-5
Koufonisia 3116 843 00 22870-7
Oia 3121 847 02 22860-7
Panormos 3122 842 01 22830-3
Schoinousa 3128 843 00 22870-7
Sikinos 3126 840 10 22860-5

Provinces

  • Province of Amorgos: Amorgos
  • Province of Andros: Andros
  • Province of Kea: Ioulis
  • Province of Milos: Milos
  • Province of Naxos: Naxos
  • Province of Paros: Paroikia
  • Province of Syros: Ermoupoli
  • Province of Tinos: Tinos
  • Province of Thira: Thira

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.

Cuisine

Local specialities of the Cyclades include:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Saundry, Hogan & Baum. 2011

References

External links

Coordinates: 37°00′N 25°10′E / 37.000°N 25.167°E

Aegean Sea (theme)

The Theme of the Aegean Sea (Greek: θέμα τοῦ Αἰγαίου Πελάγους, thema tou Aigaiou Pelagous) was a Byzantine province in the northern Aegean Sea, established in the mid-9th century. As one of the Byzantine Empire's three dedicated naval themes (Greek: θέματα ναυτικᾶ), it served chiefly to provide ships and troops for the Byzantine navy, but also served as a civil administrative circumscription.

Antimilos

Antimilos (Greek: Αντίμηλος) is a Greek island in the Cyclades, 13 miles (21 kilometres) northwest of Milos. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Milos. Antimilos is an uninhabited mass of trachyte (671 m height), often called Erimomilos (Desert Milos). It is a volcanic island and the crater is still obvious. Ancient inhabitants transformed the crater to an open rain tank. On the island lives a rare variation of the common goat called Capra aegagrus pictus. It is similar but not the same as the Cretan goat known as "kri-kri" (Capra aegagrus creticus).

Cycladic culture

Cycladic culture (also known as Cycladic civilisation or, chronologically, as Cycladic chronology) was a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC) found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology (mainland Greece) and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.

Donousa

Donousa (Greek: Δονούσα, also Δενούσα Denousa) is an island and a former community in the Cyclades, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Naxos and Lesser Cyclades, of which it is a municipal unit. Donousa is the easternmost island of the Lesser Cyclades.

HSC Cyclades Express

Cyclades Express is a high speed catamaran operated by NEL Lines in the Aegean.

Irakleia (Cyclades)

Irakleia or Heraklia (Greek: Ηρακλειά; Ancient Greek: Ἡράκλεια) is an island and a former community in the Cyclades, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Naxos and Lesser Cyclades, of which it is a municipal unit. Its population was officially 141 inhabitants at the 2011 census, and its land area 17.795 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi). It is a small island between the islands of Naxos and Ios. Close to Schoinoussa, Koufonisi, Donoussa, and Keros, together they form the Lesser Cyclades. The port is called Agios Georgios, while the "capital"/chora on the top of the island is called Panagia (Madonna). The biggest caves in the Cyclades are located on Irakleia. Irakleia can be reached by ferries from Athens, Naxos and Paros.

Kardiotissa

Kardiotissa (Greek: Καρδιώτισσα), anciently, Lagusa or Lagousa (Ancient Greek: Λάγουσα or Lagussa or Lagoussa (Λαγοῦσσα), is a Greek island in the Cyclades. It is uninhabited and administratively a part of the island community of Sikinos. It lies midway between that island and the island of Folegandros.

Keros

Keros (Greek: Κέρος; anciently, Keria or Kereia (Ancient Greek: Κέρεια) is an uninhabited Greek island in the Cyclades about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Naxos. Administratively it is part of the community of Koufonisia. It has an area of 15 km2 (6 sq mi) and its highest point is 432 m (1,417 ft). It was an important site to the Cycladic civilization that flourished around 2500 BC. It is now forbidden to land in Keros.

Keros is especially noted for the flat-faced Cycladic marble statues which later inspired the work of Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.

List of caves in Greece

This article show a list of caves in Greece.

List of islands of Greece

Greece has a large number of islands, with estimates ranging from somewhere around 1,200 to 6,000, depending on the minimum size to take into account. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166 and 227.The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea. The second largest island is Euboea, which is separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, and is administered as part of the Central Greece region. After the third and fourth largest Greek Islands, Lesbos and Rhodes, the rest of the islands are two-thirds of the area of Rhodes, or smaller.

The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters: the Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic gulf near Athens; the Cyclades, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea; the North Aegean islands, a loose grouping off the west coast of Turkey; the Dodecanese, another loose collection in the southeast between Crete and Turkey; the Sporades, a small tight group off the coast of Euboea; and the Ionian Islands, chiefly located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. Crete with its surrounding islets and Euboea are traditionally excluded from this grouping.

Naxos

Naxos (; Greek: Νάξος, pronounced [ˈnaksos]) is a Greek island and the largest of the Cyclades. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. The island is famous as a source of emery, a rock rich in corundum, which until modern time was one of the best abrasives available.

The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census). The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glynado.

Nisiotika

Nisiotika (Greek: νησιώτικα) is the name of the songs and dances of Greek islands including a variety of Greek styles, played by ethnic Greeks in Greece, Cyprus, Australia, the United States and elsewhere.

The Aegean Islands have a well known folk dance tradition, which comes from the dances of ancient Greece like: syrtos, sousta and ballos. The lyre is the dominant folk instrument and other like laouto, violin, askomandoura with Greek characteristics vary widely. In the Aegean, the violin and the Cretan lyra are very widespread Greek musical instruments.

Famous representative musicians and performers of Nisiotika include: Mariza Koch as credited with reviving the field in the 1970s, Yiannis Parios, Domna Samiou, the Konitopouloi family (including Giorgos Konitopoulos, Vangelis Konitopoulos, Eirini Konitopoulou, Nasia and Stella Konitopoulou) and others.

There are also prominent elements of Cretan music on the Dodecanese Islands and Cyclades.

Greek folk dances of Nisiotika include:

Ballos

Ikariotikos

Kamara (dance)

Kalymnikos

Karavas (dance) of Naxos

Lerikos

Mihanikos

Parianos

Pirgousikos of Chios

Pidikhtos

Rhoditikos

Sousta Lerou

Sousta Tilou

Syrtos Kythnou

Syrtos Serifou

Syrtos Naxou

Trata

Panthiraikos F.C.

Panthiraikos Football Club (Greek: Πανθηραϊκος Α.Ο.) is a Greek football club based in Santorini, Cyclades. They currently play in Gamma Ethniki, the third division of Greek soccer.

Regional units of Greece

The 74 regional units (Greek: περιφερειακές ενότητες, perifereiakés enóti̱tes, sing. περιφερειακή ενότητα, perifereiakí̱ enóti̱ta) are administrative units of Greece. They are subdivisions of the country's 13 regions, further subdivided into municipalities. They were introduced as part of the Kallikratis administrative reform on 1 January 2011 and are comparable in area and, in the mainland, coterminous with the pre-"Kallikratis" prefectures of Greece.

Schoinoussa

Schoinoussa or Schinoussa (Greek: Σχοινούσσα, before 1940: Σχοινούσα, pronounced [sçiˈnusa]; anciently, Ancient Greek: Σχινοῦσσα) is an island and a former community in the Cyclades, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Naxos and Lesser Cyclades, of which it is a municipal unit. It lies south of the island of Naxos, in the Lesser Cyclades group, between the island communities of Irakleia and Koufonisia. The population was 256 inhabitants at the 2011 census. Its land area is 8.512 square kilometres (3.29 sq mi).

Serifopoula

Serifopoula is a Greek island in the Cyclades. It is a part of the municipality of Serifos. Serifopoula was uninhabited at the 2001 Greek census.

Tinos

Tinos (Greek: Τήνος [ˈtinos]) is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophiussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of 194.464 square kilometres (75.083 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 8,636 inhabitants.

Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gysis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.

The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Evangelistria church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (15 August, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 metres (2,600 feet) from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion.

Vous Island

Vous (Greek: Βους; Translation: Ox) is a small island 2 kilometres off the coast of Serifos in The Cyclades, Greece. It received its name from its shape, which was an ox. There is no known populated place on the island, as it is too small in area for the creation of a village. The island has a perimeter of approximately 2 kilometres and is 570 metres at its longest points. The island is a popular attraction for tourists seeking a fishing holiday in the Greek Islands. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Serifos.

Islands of the Cyclades
Main
Other
Uninhabited

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.