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History

According to Mythology, Mykonos was shaped by the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules, and took its name from the son of Apollo, Mykonos. The excavations in the region of Ftelia brought in to light an important Neolithic settlement while in the historical years there were two ancient cities on the island, Mykonos and Panormos.

The ancient people connected the island with the myth of the struggle of Hercules with the Giants.

The ancient city of Mykonos was founded on the 11th century B.C. from Iones from Athens, who with Ippoklis, the son of Nileas, as their ruler, inhabited the island, in the place of current Hora.

The Iones pushed away the Kares, the Phoenicians and the Leleges, who according to Herodotus and Thoukydidis were the first residents of the central space of the Aegean. Despite that Mykonos is close to Delos and consequently in the centre of religious interest in antiquity, very little is known about Mykonos in the classical years.

Mykonos of course had narrow bonds with Delos and was a member of the Delian alliance. At the height of Delos, Mykonos knew prosperity from the economic blossoming of the neighbouring island, but with the destruction of Delos it faded out too.

The island was found in the crossroad of commercial roads of the past. Thus, it always interested various conquerors. However the poverty of the island did not attract the conquerors that made permanent bases there. Thus neither the Venetians nor the Turks, left remarkable monuments, as they did in the remaining Cyclades.

After the Byzantine period, from 1204 with the fall of Constantinople to the Franks, the island passes to the hands of the Venetians. From then on the Catalans, pirates, Turks for a small interval at the period of Catherine the Great and Orlof and finally Russians, up to its release in 1821, passed from the island.

From then until the means of the 20th century the history of Mykonos does not have something separately interesting.Residents always fought with the sea, since Mykonos was always a barren island, which fought to survive through centuries. In the first post war years, life in Mykonos, difficult in the beginning, began to be stimulated from the economic autonomy, which made it a progressive establishment, as an ideal resort, in the minds of domestic and foreign economic and intellectual “elite”. In this, decisively helped the presence of the French Archaeological Company and the conduct of decades of excavations, that brought in to light the priceless treasures of Delos. In the middle of the 20th century, Mykonos “was discovered” by locals and foreigners and became one of the most known tourist resorts in the world.

Its residents were easily adapted in these new conditions, a thing that resulted in the Myconean tourist model. The locals, ensured glamour and wealth to their island, being guided from intuition and hard work.
Today the island of Mykonos, improves its infrastructure and services and claims a distinguished place, in the international tourism, with much bigger competitors. It assembles alone the 1/10 of tourist movement of the whole country. All sorts of personalities from around the world have connected their name with Mykonos.

Today the island is known for its windmills and pigeon houses, samples of cultural heritage and traditional architecture, jewels of Aegean art.

Occupations of residents

The particular characteristics of traditional life in Mykonos are found in direct interrelation with the territorial and climatic particularities of the island. Mykonos is one of the least mountainous islands of the Cyclades. It is deprived of forests and its flora is poor. It has small valleys out of which the main one is that of Ano Mera.

Locals have always dealt with shipping. The agriculture and the livestock-farming were practised as domestic employment for the needs of the family. However there were and continue to exist, craftsmen whose works of art or products, represent “places” where the market of the island meets its past.By visiting them you will see the other aspect of life of the place, with traces of a forgotten past.

After the deterioration of sail shipping at the struggle of 1821 for the release from the Turks,shipping of Mykonos recovered fast and its commercial fleet ensured economic comfort to the residents of the island. At the means of the 19th century the local ships transported wheat from the East to the West and returned with industrial products and luxury items, such as morrors, frames, furniture, utensils etc.

The changes that involved the predominance of steam in shipping, influenced negatively the economic life of Mykonos, which along with Galaxidi, Hydra and Spetses, could not modernise their fleets. Very few Captains, will achieve to overcome the crisis and the local shipping reached 20 ships after the war.

Today the growth of tourism has ensured a high level of existence to the permanent population. Apart from its economic growth, Mykonos constituted an active place of intellectual movement for matters that concerned local history, folklore and literature, before the B' World War.
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