Aegina

Aegina IslandAegina is one of the Saronic Islands in the Saronic Gulf, 17 miles (27 km) from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of Aeacus, who was born in and ruled the island. During ancient times, Aegina was a rival to Athens, the great sea power of the era.

Aegina is roughly triangular in shape, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) from east to west and 10 km (6.2 mi) from north to south, with an area of about 87 km2 (34 sq mi).

Aegina - traditional streetAn extinct volcano constitutes two thirds of Aegina. The northern and western side consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today (2000s) is pistachio. Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. Its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros (531 m) in the south, and the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side.

The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction. Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina; the regular ferry takes about an hour. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast.

Aegian Aphaia TempleAegina, according to Herodotus, was a colony og Epidaurus, to which state it was originally subject. Its placement between Attica and the Peloponnesus made it a center of trade even earlier, and its earliest inhabitant came from Asia Minor.  Minoan ceramics have been found in contexts of ca. 2000 BC. The discovery in the island of a number of gold ornaments belonging to the latest period of Mycenaean art suggests the inference that the Mycenaean culture held its own in Aegina for some generations after the Dorian conquest of Argos and Aegian DrahmeLacedaemon.  It is probable that the island was not doricized before the 9th century BC.
Read of Aegina’s history at wikipedia

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