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Aegina 

Aegina

Situated almost in the middle of the Saronic gulf, its harbor, Aegina is only 16 nautical miles from Piraeus. A beautiful island with mild climate, several flat tracts of land some hills it has developed as a tourist center. Its sandy beaches and picturesque villages, its well organized tourist facilities make Aegina an ideal holiday spot very close to Piraeus and Athens.
 
Aegina named after the homonymous nymph, one of the daughters of the river Asopos. The first settlements of the island date to around 3000 BC, at the site of Kolona, Northwest of the present town. Between 2500-2000 BC,colonisers from Asia Minor settled here.Afterwards 2000-1600 BC ) Achaeans also arrived from Peloponnese. The Aeginites ,as early as 1800 BC, were involved in marine and mercantile activities and Aegenite products , like famous Aeginite pottery was trade in the Greek mainland, the Cyclades and Crete. In the 5th century BC the island was conquered by the Athenians. For some time Aegina was belonged also to Spartans, Thebans, Macedonians and Romans (133 BC ) who sold it to King Attalos of Pergamum. In Byzantine times piratical raids forced the inhabitants to retreat into the hinterland. In 1537 it was attacked by Barbarosa, the male population decimated and the women and children sold into bondage. Many freedom-fighters sought refuge in Aegina during the Revolution of 1821. In 1828Aegina was the first capital of the Greek State after the liberation.
 
Must see: Temple of Athena Aphaia some 4 km from Aghia Marina. Twenty-four columns from the peristyle of the temple, are preserved, as well as part of the restored cornice and two columns of the pronaos.Some remains of the buildings used by the priests, the propylaia and the foundation of an altar.In the village Agii Asomatoi stands the church of Sts.Theodore or Omorfi Eklisia (Lovely church), founded in 1282 by an Athenian family and adorned with important wail-paintings.Of the many monasteries and churches on the island that most frequently visited is St Nektarios (6 km east of Aegina), built in 1904 by the Bishop Pentapoleos who died there in 1920 and was canonized in 1961.Other monasteries and churches are: The monastery of St.Catherine, Dormition of the Virgin etc.`````````````````
 
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