Tag: History

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - Where is the king sleeping?

    The Gül mosque is keenly connected to conjectures referring to Constantine Palaeologus's grave.This article describes a wondrous tour in Constantinople to investigate credible information on an exciting scenario regarding the burial ground of Constantine Palaiologos. The information we gathered is astounding! Even though we were wandering around for several hours without finding exactly what we were looking for, we at least had the chance to daydream for a while. To us Greeks, Constantinople is the legendary city of our hearts, where we are allowed to daydream without the risk of being misjudged as stargazers.

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) 1453 - The last moments of the Emperor

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     The soldiers who defended Constantinople just before the Fall were hopelessly few, because the city's population was small and many young men betook to monasteries in order to avoid the recruitment. When Constantine Palaeologus asked to know about the last general recruitment’s results before the final confrontation with the Ottomans, his close partner Frantzis told him that only 4,937 out of 30,000 men were finally conscripted because the rest of them weren't able to carry arms. The king then sighed and asked him to keep the number secret.

  • The Acropolis Museum - The magic of ancient Greek art

    The Acropolis Museum is amongst the most modern in the world. It has a weird energy, which can be accredited to the immense beauty of the statues. The most beautiful statues of all times stand one beside the other and enchant the visitors. The Greeks visit the museum with their children. Classic ancient art is part of everyday life for Athenians. The huge glass surfaces of the building let plenty of light in regardless if it’s winter of summer. Sundays at the museum strongly resemble old-style celebrations. Crowds of visitors’ flock to the museum; a tight squeeze, but a wondrous one.

  • Venice - The Byzantine treasures of Saint Marcus

    The four authentic gilded horses decorating Constantinople's race circus."Put the camera down immediately because it is forbidden in this place". The guard's tone didn't take any objections. A few hours ago, when we were among tourists from all over the world at the ground floor of Saint Marcus's temple in Venice, no one prevented us from taking pictures of the place. When we got on the balcony, though, where pieces of art that had been snatched from Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1204 were being kept, after its conquest by the crusaders, we were almost treated as criminals.

  • Greek community of Venice - From the 10th century until today

    The Greeks of Venice fought for ages until they were allowed to build the church of Saint George.

    Two blocks away from the popular Saint Mark's square in the centre of Venice, there is the canal of the Greeks (Rio dei Greci), which delimits the homonymous islet (Campo dei Greci). This islet is where thousands of Greek immigrants from Greece and fugitives from the fallen Constantinople (Istanbul) have lived, succeeded and produced a priceless spiritual work for ages.

  • Muhammad the Conqueror - He conquered armed with fear

    Muhammad the Conqueror oversees the colossal task of the land transportation of the Ottoman ships from Bosporus to the Golden Horn (War museum of Constantinople).

    In February of 1451 sultan Murad died and he was succeeded by his son Muhammad, who was barely twenty years old. Constantine Palaeologos seemed to be happy when the young sultan promised to maintain the peaceful coexistence of Greeks and Turks in Byzantium, and continuing his father's policy.

  • Tricorpha, Arcadia - The barricades of Kolokotronis

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    Tricorpha is a range of mountains in the east section of Maenalus, where the rebellious Greeks used to entrench themselves. The rebels' barricades are saved until today at the tops of two mounds and thrill all the visitors. It takes more than half an hour of uphill trek on a really rugged terrain to go to each one of them.

  • Apodoulou, Rethymnon, Crete - The breathtaking story of Kallitsa

    She left her village as a slave and returned as a lady. (Kallitsa can be seen on the left)

    In 1823 an 11year-old girl named Kallitsa, was kidnapped by the Turks from the village Apodoulou in Amari of Rethymnon and was sent to the slave bazaars of Alexandria, Egypt to be sold to the highest bidder. There, she was bought by an English archaeologist who took her with him to England in order to use her as a household servant.

  • Venice - Greek Institute of Byzantine studies

    The Flangini Hall of the Greek Institute of Venice.

    "The greatest satisfaction for me here in Venice is when I see the joy on young scholars' faces, every time they discover files related to the historical course of Hellenism in the Institute's libraries".

  • Tripolis - The adventure of Kolokotronis's bones

    The statue of Kolokotronis in Areos square of Tripolis.

    The tomb of Kolokotronis is in the 1st Athens Cemetery, but his bones were transferred to Tripolis in 1930 by Eleftherios Venizelos himself. There wasn’t a Greek who didn't kneel before the horse drawn carriage that carried the bones of Kolokotronis from Athens to Tripolis. Eyes welled up and hearts beat fast. Kolokotronis's bones were placed in a crypt at the base of the Heroes Memorial of 1821, which is in Areos square in Tripolis. This spot was considered sacred and every year, on March 25th, residents used to lay wreaths and organize memorials for The Old Man. Unfortunately, though, in 1942 Italian conquerors defaced the square.

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) 29th of May 1453 - The service never finished

    Hagia Sophia is not only a universal monument of great beauty, but also a place of martyrdom.

    In the awful morning of the 29th of May 1453 Hagia Sophia was crowded with women, children and elderly people who were attending their last service. When the Ottomans arrived, stirring trouble outside the church the heavy door was bolted. At first they tried to open it by clanking their swords on it and pushing it with their bodies. The door was not budging, until they struck it with heavy wooden beams.

  • Levidi, Gortynia - Preserving the face of Kolokotronis

    The creator of the Arcadian Museum of Art and History next to the plaster cast of Kolokotronis's face.

    Theodore Kolokotronis died in Athens on February 3rd, 1843. His remains were laid out in a church in Athens, so the public could pay its respects. While the great general was on his deathbed, an unknown artist casted his face. This way, the facial characteristics of Kolokotronis, also known in Greece as the “Old Man of the Morea*”, were salvaged. This historical and valuable cast is kept at the Historical and Ethnological Museum of Athens.

  • Halandri, Athens - Twelve hundred articles about Kolokotronis

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    "I never accepted any payment for my work from a journal or any other printed material. It is unthinkable for me to get paid for writing about Theodoros Kolokotronis”. Nick Papageorgiou spent 30 consecutive years writing about incidents from Kolokotronis's life in the local newspaper "Gortynia". Papageorgiou, a self-taught historian and journalist has written 1,200 short stories about the so called ‘Old Man of the Morea’ to date.

  • Leonidion, Arcadia - The whisperer of countess Borghese

    An authentic locket with a portrait of countess Borghese.

    Tsakonians are an ancient Greek tribe with Laconian roots who took refuge in Kinouria of Arcadia in order to avoid Slav invaders and Frank conquerors in the Peloponnese. They have been living there ever since and they still use their tsakonian mother tongue a Doric dialect. Tsakonians are famous for their uncompromising spirit, their huge love for their country and their business success amongst the broader Balkan area.

  • Gorgopotamos - Living under the bridge

    The train nearly passes over the miller's house.

    " 'Why are you crying father,' my children once asked me when we had gone to Athens. 'It's not that is crying, it's my eyes because of the dust and the gas', I answered. I stayed in the hospital for 40 days and I couldn't even drink water. I don't like water from tanks and in nylon bottles. I couldn't wait; I wanted to go home beside the river as soon as possible. When I first came to live here I was bothered by the sound of water, but then I got used to it. My grandchildren don't like it here because they feel lonely. They don't even ask how the watermill works. They only care about the dogs; they are constantly gathering bones to feed them".

  • Kynouria, Arcadia - The Dorians still exist

    Descendants of the ancient Lacones who live in Arcadia and still speak an ancient Dorian dialect.

    "What are these people saying, dad? I don't understand them". "They are Tsakonians, my child, a tribe that lives in a different time. Mankind is so close to going to the moon and they keep speaking their old dialect. Isn't there someone to teach them to speak Greek? I wonder when evolution is going to reach this place".