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Icaria
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Icaria
Ικαρία


Administrative region: North Aegean

Icaria, also spelled Ikaria (Greek: Ικαρία), is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles (19 km) southwest of Samos. It derived its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who fell into the sea nearby. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos. The historic capitals of the island include Oenoe and Evdilos.


It is one of the middle islands of the northern Aegean, 255 square kilometres (98 sq mi) in area with 102 miles (164 kilometres) of coastline and a population of 8,312 inhabitants. The topography is a contrast between verdant slopes and barren steep rocks. The island is mountainous for the most part. It is traversed by Aetheras range, whose highest summit is 1,037 metres (3,402 feet). Most of its villages are nestled in the plains near the coast, with only some of them on the mountains. Icaria has a tradition in the production of strong red wine. Many parts of the island, especially the ravines, are covered in large bushes, making the landscape lush with green. Aside from domestic and domesticated species (small goat herds make their presence known with their bells, disturbing the serenity of the island) there are a number of small wild animals to be found, such as martens, otters, jumping spiders and toads. Icaria exhibits a typical Mediterranean climate.






Icaria has been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, when it was populated by the Neolithic pre-Hellenic race of Pelasgians. Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletus colonized Icaria, establishing a settlement in the area of present day Campos, which later became the ancient capital city of Oenoe.

Icaria, in the 6th century BC, became part of Polycrates' sea empire, and, in the 5th century BC, the Icarian cities of Oenoe and Thermae were members of the Athenian-dominated Delian League. In the 2nd century, the island was colonized by Samos.[3] At this time, the Tauropolion, the temple of Artemis was built at Oenoe. Coins of the city represented Artemis and a bull.There was another, smaller temenos that was sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, at Nas, on the northwest coast of the island. Nas had been a sacred spot to the pre-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean and an important island port in antiquity, the last stop before testing the dangerous seas around Icaria. It was an appropriate place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis Tauropolos, who, among other functions, was a patron of seafarers; here, the goddess was represented in an archaic wooden xoanon.


The temple stood in good repair until the middle of the 19th century when the marble was pillaged, for their local church, by the Kato Raches villagers. In 1939, it was excavated by the Greek archeologist Leon Politis. During the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, many of the artifacts that were unearthed by Politis disappeared. Local custom states that there are still marble statues embedded in the sand off the coast.



The ruins of the lighthouse on the promontory that faces Samos, called the "Tower of Icarus", were strictly off limits to the islanders, as tradition asserted that there was treasure to be found in them.In 1827, during the Greek War of Independence, Icaria broke away from the Ottoman Empire, but was not included in the narrow territory of the original independent Greece and was forced to accept Ottoman rule once more a few years later.

The Archaeological Museum, located in the village of Kambos, stand on a hill which was once the ancient fortress of Oinoe, and immediately next to Agia Irini, Ikaria's oldest church. The museum contains over 250 artifacts, including Neolithic tools, pottery vessels, clay statuettes, columns, coins and carved headstones.

ikeharel, cornejo, PiotrF, jcpix, Sonata11, omid266, aliabazari, danos has marked this note useful

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