Learning Greek on Vacation.com - Institute of Greek Language and Culture “Aristotle”


Chalkidiki’s history is recorded 700.000 years ago, in Petralona, where is located the world famous cave which attracts scientific and touristic interest. It was where the first people’s settlements traces 700.000 years old, the first controlled fire traces and bone as well as stone tools were discovered. Furthermore, the glorious human head discovered in this cave dating between 700.000 and 200.000 years old is the most ancient European ancestor that has been found until this day and offered in humanity a new human being type. Moreover, prehistoric settlements’ discoveries along the coastline prove that by 4000 B.C organized societies were observed where art was flourishing in people’s everyday life.

Pelasgians and Thrasians were the first residents of the area, while recorded incidents are referring to the Chalkidiki’s settlement during the Trojan War era. However, its methodical settlement starts from Homer’s era and during 8th century B.C by populations coming from southern Greece and mainly from Chalkida, the city that Chalkidiki was named after, Eretria, Andros and Korinthos. The most important cities – states which were founded were Potidea whose revolution against Athenians was one of the occasions of the Peloponnesian war, Olynthos under its guidance the “Chalkidean League” was established in 432 B.C as well as an independent state consisted of 32 significant cities of Chalkidiki: Skioni, a great commercial centre of that time, Toroni, Apollonia where it was located a big temple of Apollon god, Stagira, Aristotle’s birth place, one of the most important Greek philosophers and teacher of Alexander the Great etc.

From Herodotus, Greek historic, we draw more detailed information on Chalkidiki’s luck during Persian wars (499-448 B.C). In 480 B.C. Chalkidiki was conquered by the Persian king, Xerxis, while the creation of isthmus of Athos peninsula was realized so that the Persian fleet avoids its circumnavigation and catastrophe experienced by the Persian general, Mardonius twelve years earlier. During the Peloponnesian war, Chalkidiki was a battlefield between Athenians and Spartans for many years with destructive consequences for many cities of the area, as Thucydides, Greek historic, inform us. In 348 B.C. Philippe the second incorporates the area of Chalkidiki in the Macedonean kingdom and by that moment it follows the same line with Greek Macedonia until its conquest by Romans in 168 B.C.

As it seems Chalkidiki was initiated to Christian religion in 50 A.D, when Apostle Pavlos visited Apollonia. In Byzantine time and especially during 9th century the monastery state of Holy Mount was organized in Athos peninsula. It was a special world with special benefits, a place of mystery and ascetic life as well as spiritual orientation. In 1430, the area was subjected by Ottomans – Turks. Later on, there were various revolutions organized by the inhabitants and monks in 19th century that were suppressed. The much desired freedom and union with the rest of Greece was finally realized in 1912. After 1922 and the Asia Minor’s catastrophe, thousands refugees were settled in Chalkidiki completing its third and last settlement. Currently, 80 years after, Chalkidiki experiences a significant financial growth attempting to be one of the most important tourist resorts of Europe.