History & Mythology

According to Greek mythology there are two versions regarding the creation of the island of Mykonos. The first refers to the battle between Hercules and the Giants during the Gigantomachy, where Hercules killed them and buried under the rocks of the island. In the second version, the islands is allegedly named after the hero Mykonos, son of the King of Delos.

Originally, Mykonos was inhabited by Egyptians, Minoans and Phoenicians, but around 1.000 BC the island was colonized by the Ionians, who acquired control.

The island had two cities. One of them was located at the position of today's Chora, while the second was near the castle. The island of Delos, however, was that it was cradle of civilization, in contrast to Mykonos that was of inferior importance.

Gods who were worshiped on the island were mostly Dionysus, coins depicting the head, and Demeter, Poseidon and Apollo.

Later the windy island was inhabited by Roman, Byzantines, Venetians and the Turks. During the Ottoman Empire, the island was destroyed and then self-ruled according to the system of the time. Before the end of 18th century there were periods of famine and epidemics, but the 19th century welcomed the island with population growth due to migration from Crete, Naxos, Kimolos and other islands.

The Mykonians excelled in shipping and trade activities brought wealth to the island. With their fleet, they took part in the Greek Revolution of 1821. Manto Mavrogenous was their leader. The thirst for revolution and the economic contribution helped the liberation struggle.

After the liberation and the creation of the New Greek state, trade and shipping rose again. Trade relations with cities such as Smyrna (Asia Minor coast), Alexandria (Egypt), Istanbul were established.
The late 19th century finds Mykonos in a recession. The development of technology in the maritime sector, the construction of the Corinth canal and the First World War affected the local economy. Many residents are forced to migrate in both major urban centers in Greece and abroad (Russia, USA).
Tourism, and the economic growth that resulted from it, appeared in early 1930. Politicians, artists and wealthy people visit Mykonos, where they are charmed by its beauty, its people and its blue waters.
The transformation of the windy island into a cosmopolitan destination was complete!

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