History- Mythology

The region of Pelion has been inhabited from the Neolithic era until nowadays. Over the centuries, the area suffered various cultural influences while countless myths and legends were created about these majestic wooded mountains.

According to the Greek mythology, the mountains of Pelion have either been crossed or either have hosted gods, demigods, heroes and anthropomorphic entities. Among the most famous of the myths, there is the one of considering Pelion the homeland of the Centaurs. They were peculiar creatures half anthropomorphic (with the form of  a man) and half - from the waist and down- horsemorphic (with the form of a horse). The Centaurs were famous for being a warlike people who lived by the rivers. Two very famous battles, the one between the Centaurs and the Lapiths and the other of the Centaurs against Hercules, have also take place in Pelion. Chiron, was the most important Centaur beside whom legendary heroes such as Hercules, Jason and Achilles have been apprenticed. He was said to have lived in a spectacular cave located just outside of the village Milies. Other mythological sources indicate that Mount Pelion has been the summer resort of the Olympian gods, the battleground between Giants and Gods and the residence of nymphs and dryads. Furthermore, in the mountainous villages of Pelion,  it was said to have been celebrated various events such as the famous wedding of Peleus and Thetis, and not to mention, the first beauty contest between the goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena.

Archaeological findings from the sites of Sesklo and of Diminio documented that the area has been firstly inhabited in the Neolithic period (5th millennium BC). During the first centuries of the historical times, the city of Iolcos has flourished and according to the legend, was actually the port where Argonauts have started for their famous mission. Pagases was another important city of the time, on the honor of which Pagassitikos bay has later been named. In the 3rd century BC, the Macedonian king Demetrius Poliorkitis founded the Macedonian city Dimitriada after his name, which has prospered for more than 18 centuries! During the Byzantine times, Slavs have settled in the area. In the subsequent years, the socio-political conditions taking place  have favored the development of the mountainous settlements. The villages of Pelion flourished and became a major administrative and economic center while managed to ensure relative autonomy from the Ottoman Empire. The large influx of intellectuals, merchants and artisans was instrumental for the establishment of libraries, schools, monasteries, handicraft etc. In 1881, the area finally annexed to the Greek state, while after the Asia Minor Catastrophe, the region of Pelion accepted many refugees greatly influencing the culture of the time.

 


Scroll to top