Mykonos

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Mykonos
Μύκονος
Nickname: Νησί των ανέμων (Nēsí tōn anémōn, "Island of the winds")
Mykonos Montage L.pngView of Little Venice in MykonosPanoramic view of Chora (Mykonos City)The four windmills of MykonosStreets of Chora
Clockwise from top: View of Little Venice in Mykonos, panoramic view of Chora (Mykonos City), the four windmills of Mykonos and the streets of Chora.
Greece location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Mykonos
Map of Mykonos and neighboring Rineia and Delos islands within the South Aegean
2011 Dimos Mykonou.png
Coordinates: 37°27′32″N25°21′51″E / 37.45889°N 25.36417°E / 37.45889; 25.36417 Coordinates: 37°27′32″N25°21′51″E / 37.45889°N 25.36417°E / 37.45889; 25.36417
CountryGreece
Administrative region South Aegean
Regional unit Mykonos
Municipality Mykonos
Area
  Municipality85.5 km2 (33.0 sq mi)
Population
 (2011) [1]
  Municipality
10,134
  Municipality density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Mykonians
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
846 00
Area code(s) 22890
Website www.mykonos.gr

Mykonos ( /ˈmɪkənɒs,-ns/ , [2] [3] UK also /ˈmk-/ ; [4] Greek : Μύκονος [ˈmikonos] ) is a Greek island, part of the Cyclades, lying between Tinos, Syros, Paros and Naxos. The island has an area of 85.5 square kilometres (33.0 sq mi) and rises to an elevation of 341 metres (1,119 feet) at its highest point. There are 10,134 inhabitants according to the 2011 census, most of whom live in the largest town, Mykonos, which lies on the west coast. The town is also known as Chora (i.e. 'Town' in Greek, following the common practice in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town).

Contents

Mykonos's nickname is "The Island of the Winds", [5] [6] due to the very strong winds that usually blow on the island. Tourism is a major industry and Mykonos is known for its vibrant nightlife and for being a gay-friendly destination with many establishments catering for the LGBT community. [7] [8] [9]

History

Herodotus mentions Carians as the original inhabitants of the island. [10] Ionians from Athens seem to have followed next in the early 11th century BC. There were many people living on the neighbouring island of Delos, only 2 km (1.2 miles) away, which meant that Mykonos became an important place for supplies and transit. It was, however, during ancient times a rather poor island with limited agricultural resources. Its inhabitants were polytheists and worshipped many gods. [11]

Mykonos town (Chora) Mykonos City.jpg
Mykonos town (Chora)

Mykonos came under the control of the Romans during the reign of the Roman Empire and then became part of the Byzantine Empire until the 12th century. In 1204, with the fall of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade, Mykonos was occupied by Andrea Ghisi. The island was ravaged by the Catalans at the end of the 13th century and finally given over to direct Venetian rule in 1390.

In 1537, while the Venetians still reigned, Mykonos was attacked by Hayreddin Barbarossa, the admiral of Suleiman the Magnificent and an Ottoman fleet established itself on the island. The Ottomans, under the leadership of Kapudan Pasha, imposed a system of self-governance comprising a governor and an appointed council of syndics. When the castle of Tinos fell to the Ottomans in 1718, the last of the Venetians withdrew from the region.

Up until the end of the 18th century, Mykonos prospered as a trading centre, attracting many immigrants from nearby islands, in addition to regular pirate raids. In June 1794 the Battle of Mykonos was fought between British and French ships in the island's main harbour.

Portrait of Manto Mavrogenous at the Aegean Maritime Museum in Mykonos Mykon AMM 060372.jpg
Portrait of Manto Mavrogenous at the Aegean Maritime Museum in Mykonos

The Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire broke out in 1821 and Mykonos played an important role, led by the national heroine, Manto Mavrogenous. Mavrogenous, a well-educated aristocrat guided by the ideas of the Enlightenment, sacrificed her family's fortune for the Greek cause. Greece became an independent state in 1830. A statue of her sits in the middle of Mando Mavrogenous square in the main town.

As a result of sailing and merchant activity, the island's economy quickly picked up but declined again during the late 19th century and especially after the opening of the Corinth Canal in 1904 and the First World War at the beginning of the 20th century. Many Mykonians left the island to find work in mainland Greece and many foreign countries, especially the United States. [12]

Tourism soon came to dominate the local economy, owing a lot to the important excavations carried out by the French School of Archaeology, which began work in Delos in 1873. Mykonos became popular with international "jet set" tourists in the 1960s. In the 70s it was popular spot for Americans to treat as a nude beach, which Americans imagined to be a feature of those natural "far out" Greeks, and then flourished further to become a popular gay tourist destination in the 1980s. By the 2000s, Mykonos had become one of Greece's most expensive islands.

Mythology

In Greek mythology, Mykonos was named after its first ruler, Mykonos (Μύκονος), [13] the son or grandson of the god Apollo and a local hero. The island is also said to have been the location of the Gigantomachy, the great battle between Zeus and Giants and where Hercules killed the invincible giants having lured them from the protection of Mount Olympus. According to myth, the large rocks all over the island are said to be the petrified corpses of the giants. [14]

Geography

20100706 Mykonos chora port panorama Greece.jpg
Panoramic view of Chora port
Village of Ano Mera GR-mykonos-anomera-ort.jpg
Village of Ano Mera
Houses of Chora Houses in Mykonos.jpg
Houses of Chora

The island has an area of 85.5 square kilometres (33.0 sq mi) and rises to an elevation of 341 metres (1,119 feet) at its highest point. It is situated 150 kilometres (93 miles) east of Athens in the Aegean Sea. The island features no rivers, but numerous seasonal streams two of which have been converted into reservoirs.

The island is composed mostly of granite and the terrain is very rocky with many areas eroded by the strong winds. High quality clay and baryte, which is a mineral used as a lubricant in oil drilling, were mined on the eastern side of Mykonos until the late 1900s.

It produces 4,500 cubic metres (160,000 cu ft) of water daily, by reverse osmosis of sea water in order to help meet the needs of its population and visitors. [15]

The island has a population of nearly 12,500, most of whom live in the main town of Chora. [16]

Climate

Mykonos has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen;BSH) because of the low overall rainfall, although it has lots of Mediterranean characteristics and it is highly influenced by the Mediterranean Sea. The sun shines for up to 300 days a year. The rainy season lasts from October until March.[ citation needed ] Vegetation follows the typical pattern for the region and grows around mid-autumn and ends in the beginning of the summer. [17] The average daily temperature in the Winter is around 15°C, while it is 27 in the summer. The average night temperature is 11°C in the winter and 23°C in the summer.

Because of the seasonal cool "meltemi" wind (similar to the other Cyclades islands) and the moderating sea, summer days are relatively cool, dry, sunny and pleasant. The reason for the low overall rainfall is the rain shadow of the Pindus Mountains, which dry out the westerly winds. Winters in general are mild and wet, with many sunny days even in mid-winter. Snow is infrequent and doesn't stay long on the ground when it falls.

Climate data for Mykonos
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)13.7
(56.7)
14.6
(58.3)
16.4
(61.5)
17.9
(64.2)
22.7
(72.9)
25.9
(78.6)
26.8
(80.2)
27.2
(81.0)
26.4
(79.5)
23.6
(74.5)
19.8
(67.6)
17
(63)
21.0
(69.8)
Average low °C (°F)10.3
(50.5)
11.1
(52.0)
12.7
(54.9)
14
(57)
17.5
(63.5)
22.1
(71.8)
23.6
(74.5)
24.2
(75.6)
23.1
(73.6)
20.1
(68.2)
16.6
(61.9)
13.7
(56.7)
17.4
(63.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches)75.3
(2.96)
66
(2.6)
36.3
(1.43)
32.8
(1.29)
1.1
(0.04)
0.2
(0.01)
0
(0)
0
(0)
7.7
(0.30)
29.1
(1.15)
36.3
(1.43)
67.4
(2.65)
352.2
(13.86)
Source: http://penteli.meteo.gr/stations/mykonos/ (2019 & 2020 averages)

Villages

There are ten villages:

Cuisine

Baklava Mykonos Baklava(1).png
Baklava Mykonos

Local specialities:[ citation needed ]

Government

The town hall annex (Town Hall is to its left) Town Hall of Mykonos Town.jpg
The town hall annex (Town Hall is to its left)

The municipality of Mykonos (officially: Greek : Δήμος Μυκόνου) is a separate regional unit of the South Aegean region, and the sole municipality in the regional unit. [18] As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Mykonos was created out of part of the former Cyclades Prefecture. The municipality, unchanged at the Kallikratis reform, also includes the islands Delos, Rineia and several uninhabited islets. The total area of the municipality is 105.183 km2 (40.611 sq mi). [19]

The mayors of Mykonos have been:

[20]

Demographics

There are 10,134 inhabitants (2011) most of whom live in the largest town, Mykonos, also known as Chora (i.e. the Town in Greek, a common denomination in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town).[ citation needed ]

YearMunicipality population
19713,863
19815,530
19916,179
20019,320
201110,134

Economy

It being a Greek island, the economy of Mykonos is closely linked with the sea. However, with the rise of tourism, it plays a minor role during summer. [21]

Landmarks

Against Greek skies, one of the Mykonos Island Windmills, Chora. Cyclades, Aegean Sea, Greece Against Greek skies, one of the Mykonos Island Windmills, Chora. Cyclades, Agean Sea, Greece.jpg
Against Greek skies, one of the Mykonos Island Windmills, Chora. Cyclades, Aegean Sea, Greece
Chora or lower windmills The four windmills in Mykonos.JPG
Chora or lower windmills
Mikri Venetia (Little Venice) Little Venice, Mykonos.JPG
Mikri Venetia (Little Venice)
Elia Beach Elias Beach on Mykonos.JPG
Elia Beach

The original Neoclassical building underwent refurbishments and expansions in the 1930s and 1960s and the large eastern room was added in 1972. The museum contains artefacts from the neighbouring island Rhenia, including 9th- to 8th-century BC ceramic pottery from the Cyclades and 7th- to 6th-century BC works from other areas in the Aegean. Its most famous item is the large vase produced in Tinos, showing scenes from the fall of Troy. [28]

Aegean Maritime Museum exhibit Mykonos Maritime Museum paddleship exhibit.jpg
Aegean Maritime Museum exhibit

Churches

Church of Paraportiani Church of Panagia Paraportiani 01.jpg
Church of Paraportiani
Monastery in Ano Mera Monastery of Panagia Tourliani 03.jpg
Monastery in Ano Mera

There is an abundance of churches because, for many years, the islanders were required to build a church on their land before building a house.

Transportation

Blue Star Ferry Mykonos Blue Star Ferries Ithaki 03.jpg
Blue Star Ferry

Mykonos Airport is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) southeast of the town of Mykonos and it is served by international flights during summer. The flight from Athens to Mykonos takes 25 minutes. [35]

Mykonos is also accessible by boat and ferries. High speed vessels visit daily from the surrounding islands and from Athens. [36]

Taxis, buses or boats are available for transportation. There are three main bus depots in Mykonos. The northern depot is situated behind Remezzo Club above the old Port and provides regular service to Ano Mera, Elia and Kalafatis. A few hundred meters below, at the Old Port, lays another Depot focusing on the northern destinations of Tourlos (New Port) and Agios Stefanos. The southern Bus Depot is at the town "entrance", called Fabrika and it provides regular service to Ornos, Agios Yannis, Plati Gialos, Psarou, Paraga, and Paradise Beach. Small boats travel to and from the many beaches. [37] Tour boats go regularly to the nearby island of Delos. [38]

Culture

In 2013 the Mykonos Biennale was inaugurated offering theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic, and musical productions. [39]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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