Corinth Canal in Greece

20 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Nicholas Hartmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Nicholas Hartmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Corinth Canal is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, arguably making the peninsula an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance. The canal was initially proposed in classical times and a failed effort was made to build it in the 1st century CE. Construction started in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893 but, due to the canal’s narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslides from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic expected by its operators. It is now used mainly for tourist traffic.   read more…

Kalymnos in the southern Aegean

27 November 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Cruising near Pserimos © kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cruising near Pserimos © kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kalymnos is a Greek island and municipality in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It belongs to the Dodecanese and is located to the west of the peninsula of Bodrum, between the islands of Kos (south, at a distance of 12 km (7 mi)) and Leros (north, at a distance of less than 2 km (1 mi)): the latter is linked to it through a series of islets. Kalymnos lies between two to five hours away by sea from Rhodes.   read more…

Symi in the southern Aegean

19 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Karelj/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Karelj/cc-by-sa-3.0

Symi is a Greek island and municipality. It is mountainous and includes the harbor town of Symi and its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology. Symi is part of the Rhodes regional unit. The shipbuilding and sponge industries were substantial on the island and, while at their peak near the end of the 19th century, the population reached 22,500. Symi’s main industry is now tourism and the population has declined to 2,500.   read more…

Mystras in Lakonia

23 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Mystras and Sparta plain © Bgabel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mystras and Sparta plain © Bgabel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mystras is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparti was built, approximately eight kilometres to the east.   read more…

Kalamata on the Messenian Gulf

21 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Kalamata's promenade © Pfloros/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kalamata’s promenade © Pfloros/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kalamata is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece and the largest city of the homonymous administrative region. The capital and chief port of the Messenia regional unit, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf. Kalamata is renowned as the land of the Kalamatianos dance and of the Kalamata olives. In independent Greece, Kalamata became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean sea. It is not surprising that the second-oldest Chamber of Commerce in the Mediterranean, after that of Marseille, exists in Kalamata.   read more…

Karitena in the highlands of Arcadia

22 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Nochoje/cc-by-3.0

© Nochoje/cc-by-3.0

Karytaina is a village and a community in Arcadia. Karytaina is situated on a hill on the right bank of the river Alpheios, near its confluence with the Lousios. Karytaina is 54 km (34 mi) from the capital of Arcadia, Tripoli, 20 km (12 mi) from Megalopoli and 17 km (11 mi) from Stemnitsa, built on the slopes of the hill of Achreiovouni, some 550 m above sea level. The village dates back to the Middle Ages, but its history is unknown before the Crusader conquest ca. 1205. Karytaina became the seat of a barony under the Frankish Principality of Achaea, and the Castle of Karytaina was built in the mid-13th century on a steep rocky outcrop by Baron Geoffrey of Briel. The area returned to Byzantine control in 1320, and came under Ottoman control in 1460. After a brief period of Venetian rule (1687–1715), Karytaina returned to Ottoman control, and prospered as an administrative and commercial centre. Karytaina and its inhabitants were among the first to rise up during the Greek War of Independence of 1821–29. Today Karytaina is a protected traditional settlement and has, alongside the remains of its Frankish castle, several other medieval and Ottoman monuments.   read more…

NASA and ESA

12 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

NASA

© nasa.gov

© nasa.gov

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.   read more…

Thessaloniki, Greece’s co-capital

8 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

White Tower © MaurusNR

White Tower © MaurusNR

Thessaloniki, historically also known as Thessalonica or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the periphery of Central Macedonia as well as the de facto administrative capital of the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally “co-capital”, a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or “co-reigning” city of the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a population of 364,000, while its Urban Area had a population of 773,000. The Larger Urban Zone of Thessaloniki has an estimated 996,000 residents, while its area is 1,455.62 km² (562.02 sq mi). With a history of over 2,300 years, it is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Thessaloniki is Greece’s second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and the southeastern European hinterland. The city is renowned for its events and festivals, the most famous of which include the annual International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.   read more…

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

9 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Cape Sounion with Temple of Poseidon © Kuno Lechner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cape Sounion with Temple of Poseidon © Kuno Lechner/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cape Sounion is a promontory located 69 kilometres (43 mi) south-southeast of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece. Apart from a world-renowned archaeological site, Sounion is an upscale summer home location for Athenians. Construction flourished between the 1960s and 1970s, with massive yet minimal villas and condos erected. Sounion is one of the most expensive areas in Greece, with the value of some homes exceeding twenty million euros.   read more…

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