Skiathos during Greek Independence War

During all these years the feeling of Freedom was strong although the fact that the island was away from the centre of activities and constituted an easy goal for Turkish fleet it soon opted for the Greek Revolution. The small commercial boats were transformed into militant and the citizens hosted proudly the flag of Revolution under the signal Freedom or Death.

So in 1770 Skiathos participated in the victorious sea fight of Cesme on the side of Russian admiral Alexei Orlov thus later offers men and ships to legendary Greek admiral Lambros Katsonis who combated against Turks by invasions to coastal Turkish places and attacks against Turkish ships.

Greek flag at Evangelistria Monastery in Skiathos

An event of historic importance for the whole Hellenism was the creation of first official Greek Flag by the heroes of Greek Revolution. The flag (blue background and white cross) was designed, blessed and hosted on September 1807 at the monastery of Evangelistria at Skiathos made by the blue inside part of cassock and the white fustanella of one co-warrior. Under it Nephon adjured the chieftains Theodoros Kolokotronis, Andreas Miaoulis, Papathymios Vlachavas, Giannis Stathas, Nikotsaras the teacher of nation Epifanios-Stefanos Dimitriadis, Lazaioi, Karatasos, Liolios, Tsamis and every warrior who were concentrated in Monastery in order to plan the following moves for Revolution.

Skiathos, at this period disposed a large number of equipped ships with crew that had experience thanks to previous maritime conflicts of “Chieftains of Olympus” in which Skiathos participated until 1816. So the ships of Skiathos contributed a lot to the Combat for Nation’s Freedom.

Soon after the outburst of Greek Revolution (on 25th March of 1821) many refugees of nearby regions who were obliged to leave their homes found a refuge at Skiathos when the revolutionary movements were suppressed. The refugees that found a shelter at North Sporades are counted up to 30.000 and theirs origins were mostly from the villages of Pillion, Olympus, Euboea and Epirus. Nevertheless the concentration of such a huge number of persons in such small place caused problems of housing and alimentation and as many of them were armed anarchy was dominated. As a consequence, Skiathos was suffering for years actions of violence and depredation. Liapides were the most violent and they remained in the island even after the majority of refugees returned to their countries or were installed in other places.

In 1823 Turks made a hasty and desperate effort to occupy the island but the result was the decimation of their forces.

In 1829 after the signature of London Protocol that provided for the establishing of Greek State, tributary to Turks people of Skiathos abandoned Kastro and they were installed again in the port where the ancient city of Skiathos was. On 9th October 1831 the first governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias was murdered and Great Powers sent the 17 years old Othon to be the governor of Greece. On 18-30 August 1832 Othon started the negotiations with Turks by discussing the fourth and last London Protocol and one of the conditions posed by Turks were the exclusion of North Sporades from the Greek State, a condition that was not accepted by Othon despite the fact that he was young and had no experience concerning diplomacy.

People of Skiathos abandoned Kastro and they returned to their old city which was built again. Then right after the 4th Crimean War (1853-1856) was started the gold period for Skiathos’s navigation and ship building. Shipbuilding, agriculture and commerce were developed and traders and seamen from Skiathos travel all over the world by their sailboats. Soon after the beginning of 20th century, steamboats appeared and the traditional shipbuilding entered at second place. The local society of Skiathos and other islands are unable to follow the evolutions with sore consequences for the economy of island.

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