Astipalaia

Astipalaia on Google

The coasts of Astypalaia are rocky with many small pebble-strewn beaches. A small band of land of roughly 100 metres wide almost separates the island in two sections at Sterno. The capital and the previous main harbour of the island is Astypalaia or Chora, as it is called by the locals. A new harbour has been built in Agios Andreas on the mid island from where now the connections are west and east with Piraeus and the other islands of the Dodecanese. Flight connections with Athens from the airport close to Maltezana.
In Greek mythology, Astypalaia was a woman abducted by Poseidon in the form of a winged fish-tailed leopard. The island was colonized by Megara or possibly Epidaurus, and its governing system and buildings are known from numerous inscriptions. Pliny the Elder records that Rome accorded Astypalaia the status of a free state.

During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantines until 1207, when - in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade - it became a fee of the Querini, a noble Venetian family, until 1522. The Querini built a castle that is still in place and added the name of the island to their family name, which became Querini Stampalia. Astypalea was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1522, and remained under Ottoman control until 1912, with two interruptions: from 1648 until 1668, during the War of Crete, it was occupied by Venice, and from 1821 to 1828 during the Greek War of Independence.

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