Jan 22, 2011

Lemnos island

A friend of mine is a soldier at Lemnos and sent me this card a few days ago!

Lemnos is the eighth biggest island of Greece of 438 s.m. extend. Belongs to the north Aegean sea, the Thracian sea, between Agio Oros, Samothraki, Imbros and Lesvos. Lemnos and Agios Efstratios comprise the courthouse of Lemnos of Lesvos municipality. Capital city and main port of Lemnos island is Myrina, that took the name of the king Thoanta's wife. Till 1955 Myrina was named Kastro, a name that some local people use it till nowadays.

Lemnos is a volcanic island. There are no forests, but there are many extensive, fruitful plains with vines and cereals. The beaches of the island are wonderful and Lemnos is ideal for calm vacation. The basic occupations of the residents are cattle-raising, agriculture and fishing. Also tourism, commerce and nautical occupations develop also.  Lemnos produces many goods of excellent quality like: cereals, legumes, wine, figs, almonds and honey. In Lemnos island you can taste the great "Lemnos" wine, with special odor and taste. Dairy products like feta cheese, salamoura and varelaki. The island has a lot of special fish. The rocky beaches around the island are ideal for underwater fishing.
According to the myth islands Lemnos and Imbros were once united (were one island) that belonged to one sovereign. After his death the island passed to the possession of his two children. The first son wanted to take the biggest part of the island. The gods got angry and slit the island into two parts. Lemnos and Imbros were created.
This myth must have a historical base since very deep in the sea, in Saint Ermolaos gulf there are remnants of houses, temples e.t.c. According to mythology, Lemnos is the island of Hephaestus, the god of fire and volcanoes. A myth says that he landed on this island when Hera, his mother, threw him from Mount Olympus (where the Gods resided) because she found that he was an ugly baby. Hephaestus broke his leg (or hip) when he landed on the island and stayed lame ever after. The people of the island took care of him and the god taught them his art of ironsmith.
Lemnos was always the intermediate station for those that were coming from Minor Asia to Greece. The first inhabitants came during the 5th millennium b.C. Archaeological excavations have brought in sight many monuments that show the existence of a remarkable civilization. Famous king of Lemnos was Thoantas, and while he was king terrible volcanic explosions happened to the island. After a while Jason and the Argonauts reached the island. Argonauts got married with the women of Lemnos and their children were the Minies. From 1000 b.C. Pelasgioi came to Lemnos and investiture the first people entitled to a share. These people were from Athens.
The geographical position of the island and the security of its gulfs for the imperial fleet upgraded its military position.After the fall of Byzantium, Lemnos was a prey to many pirate raids. The island passed under the rule of the Genoese in 1453, which brought a great financial and commercial prosperity. From 1462 to 1479, Lemnos was an object of quarrels between the Venetians and the Turks. Venice was forced to consign it to the Turks when the Ottoman Empire became supreme in the Aegean.
After the Greek Revolution of 1821, Lemnos, like other North-Eastern Aegean islands, did not join the newly built Greek State. Due to the Balkan Wars, the island was only incorporated to the rest of Greece in 1920. In 1821 Lemnos fought from independence. Liberation came in 1912, thanks to admiral Kountouriotis, who managed to neutralize the Turkish guards. Lemnos island had an important role in 1913 during the Balkan wars. Later in decade of 50 started the immigration of local people to U.S.A., South Africa e.t.c. [Ministry of Tourism]

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