Serifos Cyclades, GR 84005

Tel: +30 6974 800942
Email: aspeserifos@gmail.com

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History of Serifos

According to ancient testimonies first inhabitants of Serifos were Aeolians from Thessaly, and later arrived on the island Ionian colonists from Athens. Iron and copper mines existed since antiquity and metallurgical activities dating to the Early Cycladic period (3rd millennium BC). Particularly archaeological findings in Serifos  do not exist. The only ancient buildings are preserved marble towers with more known Aspropyrgos bay, Koutala the rectangular Psaropyrgos (or Cyclops’ Throne) Cyclops peninsula, southwest of Mega Livadi and a circular tower made of marble and gneiss in the peninsula of Kefalas. Some of them seem to be associated with the mining and metallurgical activities. According to mythology Serifos reached the box, in which King Acrisius of Argos had closed his daughter Danae with her little son Perseus, in order to disappear. There Perseus grew. When he grew up, the king of Serifos Polydektis persuaded to bring him the head of Medusa, one of the three Mermaids, who, whoever saw her face was ossified. Perseus with the help of the gods will succeed and return to Serifos. Meanwhile Polydektis had attempted to rape Danae and she in order to protect herself had found shelter in a temple. Perseus in order to avenge Polydektes he showed him the trophy (the head of Medusa) and Perseus was petrified. From ancient testimonies is known that the residents of Serifos worshiped Perseus.

History of Serifos

Also in ancient times there was a tradition that the frogs of Serifos are speechless, which responds to several ancient writers. It seems there was the proverbial expression serifios frog or toad from Serifos for voiceless people.

 

Ancient coins from the 6th century onwards have found in Serifos, which depict Perseus, the head of Medusa or serifios frog, associated with the local worship of Perseus. In Roman times the island is a place of exile.

 

The history of Serifos in the Middle Ages is similar to that of the other Cyclades. When the Duchy of the Aegean was founded Serifos was reached the Italian noble family of the Gkizi brothers, who ruled as vassals of the Duke of the Aegean, while often it fell victim of pirates culminating the invasion of Hairedin Barbarossa in 1537. In 1566 the Cyclades islands came under the Ottoman Empire, where they remained until the Revolution of 1821.

History of Serifos

Also in ancient times there was a tradition that the frogs of Serifos are speechless, which responds to several ancient writers. It seems there was the proverbial expression serifios frog or toad from Serifos for voiceless people.

 

Ancient coins from the 6th century onwards have found in Serifos, which depict Perseus, the head of Medusa or serifios frog, associated with the local worship of Perseus. In Roman times the island is a place of exile.

 

The history of Serifos in the Middle Ages is similar to that of the other Cyclades. When the Duchy of the Aegean was founded Serifos was reached the Italian noble family of the Gkizi brothers, who ruled as vassals of the Duke of the Aegean, while often it fell victim of pirates culminating the invasion of Hairedin Barbarossa in 1537. In 1566 the Cyclades islands came under the Ottoman Empire, where they remained until the Revolution of 1821.

History of Serifos

From the late 19th century the systematic extraction of metals began from companies which were granted the exclusive right of the state. First was the “Greek Mining Company” in 1870, which exported crude ore in European countries. In 1880 the exploitation of iron ore on the island was taken by the company “Serifos – Spiliazeza” who founded by wealthy Greeks from Constantinople with the help of the Ottoman Bank (of British, French and Ottoman interests). In the Mega Livadi there is the preserved neoclassical building that was the headquarters of the mining company.

 

The mines languished until 1934, when, following a recovery in global markets, the intensive exploitation begins again with director the German. The main destination of ore was Germany. The mines remain active during the Occupation. By the end of the occupation, George Grohmann abandons Greece as collaborator. The mines close permanently in the summer of 1963 as a consequence of depletion of the high cost of relatively small-scale operation, in particular as a result of the collapse in prices of iron ore worldwide.

How to get to Serifos

Serifos is connected to Pireaus, the islands of the Milos ferry line, many other islands of Cyclades and the island of Crete. During the summer season there are daily ferries while during the rest of the year the frequency of ferries shape accordingly. Traveling by convetional car ferry takes about 4 hours and by the high speed ferry, traveling only during the summer period, the duration is about 2.5 hours.

Ship Agency: Kondilis Shipping & Tourism: 22810 52340-52135, Fax: 22810 52235