Kassandria Halkidiki
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Tuesday, August 04, 2020
This town, until 1956 was officially named: Valta. It is so called now and will be called as usual for many more years by the inhabitants of Kassandra. In 1956, following an approved decision of the then Community Council (it was still a Community then), it was renamed Kassandra from Valta. That is, it was given the name that the whole peninsula has from the very old years. It had this renaming until 1964. During that year, from a community that was this large village, it became a municipality and its first municipal council, with its decision, renamed it again from Kassandra to Kassandria. In other words, it gave it the name of the city that was built during the pre-Christian times of Kassandria. This city was located, as historians say, near the isthmus of the peninsula and where the ancient city of Potidaea was located. So, today, the town has as its official name the name Kassandria.
Kassandria is an old large village, built almost in the center of the middle part of the Kassandra peninsula. Her houses are built some on low points and some high on hills. Kassandria city of 3,500 inhabitants that in the summer season with its settlements becomes a large city of 25,000 inhabitants and is the reference center for the Kassandra Peninsula. It is one of the oldest Municipalities of the Prefecture of Halkidiki, which appears as a settlement from the 16th century, while it takes its name from King Kassandros of Macedonia, but also from the homonymous city of antiquity located on the isthmus of Kassandra.
The leading role of Kassandria appears from an early age, as it has been for years the seat of the Orthodox Diocese but also the seat of the sub-consulates of France and the Netherlands, while after the Holocaust of Kassandra in 1821, it gathers many inhabitants and develops the dynamics of the center. A city that stretches its borders from Fourka to Sani. A city that has many beautiful beaches and strongly combines green with blue. The vegetation-rich forests predispose you to the touring routes that exist for a beautiful walk and lead you to beautiful beaches, such as those of Ai-Nikola, Siviri, Stefani, or Kypsa. Well-developed settlements such as Siviri, Elani and Sani offer hospitality, comfortable accommodation and all the services required by the modern concept of tourism. The good and fresh fish of Siviri, the wetland of Kypsa, the building that respects the environment and the infrastructure for modern facilities are a seal for the area.
Kassandria is the seat of the Municipality of Kassandra. It is an intellectual, commercial and administrative center of the region and plays the necessary leading role for the region. The good organization of all levels of education that a provincial city can have, the activities that develop around it, the Municipal Conservatory, the Municipal Philharmonic, the cultural association "KASSANDRA" with folkore-dance groups, culminating in its Siviri's Festival, which organizes every year in the open theater of Siviri, are the best, to make the city a spiritual center. A modern concept and another way of organizing the market, combined with the plethora of stores that meet all the shopping needs of the public, can safely characterize the city as a shopping center. The necessary determination of the market with the construction of the sidewalk, the beautiful shop windows, the spicy taverns, the good prices and the mood for service, make the visitor to spend beautiful moments, taking a walk in the market. Necessary for an area that has developed settlements around it, is to have an administration that meets all the needs of local and foreign visitors.
The existence of all public services and organizations, the post office, the Health Center that is ready to meet the basic needs in health issues, the possibility of choosing the Bank, the existence of the Police that coordinates security and order throughout the penisula and all the rest of the Public and private services, give a solution to every problem and requirement of the citizen.
But all this would have no value, if they were not combined with all those elements that each visitor can see and thus determine the cultural and historical identity of the place, tradition, customs and traditions. Through a beautiful route, walking on cobbled and picturesque streets, you meet the history and the tradition, you discover the manners and the customs and you get to know the hospitable inhabitants of the city.
The main pedestrian street is the beginning of the route that predisposes you to meet and see something beautiful. The play of green with the water on the sidewalk, a necessary decor for the shop windows leads you to the main square of the city for a short break in front of the waterfall water or for a little coolness under the age-old old plane tree of the city. The cobbled narrow uphill alleys pass the visitor in front of old buildings such as that of Aristides Oikonomou or the house of Papastavros, a sample of the architecture of that time and lead him to the City Hall.
The City Hall dominates the area and shows a special architecture, with which the schools were built at that time, since it housed for years the Primary and the High School of the city. In 1915 the community of Valta (today Kassandria) decided to erect a building for the Urban School and to entrust the elaboration of a suitable plan to the distinguished architect Xenophon Paionidis. The laying of the foundation stone took place on June 15, 1924 and the construction was completed in 1927. Inside, today the services of the Municipality are housed and the architecture of the building can be seen in every detail.
Through cobblestones, you again lead to the central parish church Assumption of the Virgin, built in 1850. The old bell tower, the sculpted infrared arch (early Christian with relief representations), located at the western entrance and comes from the temple of Thessaloniki's Agios Dimitrios the rich decoration and the historical but also religious value of this temple predisposes you creating a strong religious feeling. The church of Agios Athanasios, 200 meters above, was built in 1850 and shows the way the churches were built, but also the interventions that were accepted afterwards.

Population & Housing Census 2011:

MUNICIPALITY OF KASSANDRA (Headquarters: Kassandria) - 16,672

Municipal Community of Kassandria - 3,075
● Elani - 31
● Kassandria - 2,775
● Sani-Stavronikita - 18
● Siviri - 251
● Xenophon Prison - 0

The windmill of Kassandria (1904)

Tuesday, August 04, 2020
The grinding of cereals during the pre-revolutionary years was done with horse mills. Horse mills were built, it seems, and after the revolution, the inhabitants of Valta (Kassandria) who returned to their village, from the places of their refuge, milled their grains again. After a few years, windmills were built, as they saw in Kymi, Evia. Two windmills that were built first, at quite high points, one in the south and the other in the western part of the village and near it. Another three, younger, were built in the northern and northeastern part, in somewhat high places near the village. The last of the three was built in 1904 and operated until 1925. Of the others, there is no sign today in their places. The latter, abandoned since 1925, survives to this day in ruins, without its wing, without a roof and only with its walls and through them with the thick beams of its interior. The windmills were succeeded in the milling of grain after 1900 by locomotives, which installed three or four small entrepreneurs in the village.
The building of the windmill is like a small cylindrical tower on the outside, with a conical roof. Its walls, made of stone with lime, narrowed a little upwards, because on the outside they were built with a very slight slope towards the inside. Towards their foundations their thickness was 1.20 m and high, at their last point, no more than 1 m. The diameter of the inside of the building is about 4 m.
The height of the building, to the last point of its walls, is about 6.50 m. With a door to enter its ground floor. The door is always to the south and up to 50 points above the ground, with two stone steps to its doorstep. Its height is about 1.80 m., Its width is 1 m. And on its upper side the wall in the shape of an arch.

The old plane tree of the old square

Tuesday, August 04, 2020
The old plane tree is located in the old square in the center of Kassandria and next to the oldest fountain. It is probably the oldest tree of Kassandra according to written testimonies and of course it appears in many old photos of Valta.
The plane tree is called the long-lived deciduous plant, which belongs to the plane tree family. These are ten species of trees that grow in Europe, Asia and North America. The common plane tree is native to almost all of Greece and close to areas with a wet element, such as river banks, springs, fountains, torrents, lakes, etc. The height of the plane tree can reach up to 30 m, while its trunk can to reach a diameter of 4 m. The bark of the tree is scaly, the leaves and leaflets are large, the flowers are single, anemogamous in different inflorescences mainly spherical. The fruit is small, spherical, hard and has a tuft of hair.

Old Houses of Kassandria

Tuesday, August 04, 2020
The houses of the town of Kassandria (Valta) today, one can very easily distinguish them in houses: older, old and new houses the difference between them is obvious.
The oldest houses were built after the return of the Kassandrians to their place from the places where they had taken refuge, when the Ottomans entered Kassandra in November 1821. They were built during the years from 1840-'50 to 1900 close. This is evident from their external appearance, their internal layout and the materials with which they are built. It is more or less revealed by their design and even by many details that exist in the construction of their exterior parts (walls, windows, roof), but also in the construction of interiors, such as partitions, floors, doors, etc.
The older houses either had large (long, wide) balconies, or they did not have such, but they had "douxata", as they said at the time, relevant spaces that the upstairs houses had in the middle of them on the upper floor. Both the "rooms" and the "rooms" are low, with small and few windows, their spaces inside, the "arches" (rooms), are usually large, without ceiling (light planking) to the roof), unless, in later and newer years, they were made as such. Their roofs are with local tiles (of Byzantine type). These houses have their rectangular foundations.
The old houses were built again during the years close to 1900, 1910 and until 1930-'40. These houses are different from the houses built during the previous period. Both the "lower" and the "upper" have a higher height than their counterparts older, somewhat larger windows, the "upper" have one or two "balconies" ( on the front or on the back), with or without a roof on them. And the layout of the old houses is simple inside them, like that of the older ones. Their average area in sq.m. smaller than those, because they were built and were built then for a single family mostly, while the older ones were built for two or even three more fraternal families. Many of the old houses had their roofs with "local" tiles and most of them probably with European tiles, that is, tiles of the Allatini factory of Thessaliniki. The foundation of the old houses is also rectangular in shape.
The new town houses, built after 1940-'50 and more those that are being built now, are clearly different from the houses built during the two previous periods. Everything that is done today has been done and is being done, with the design of an experienced craftsman or even an architect. Their design is proportional to the size of the plot, depending on its location and in relation to the requirements, needs and financial capabilities of the householder. An effort is made to make the house that is being built as convenient and helpful as possible for its occupants. In recent years, the materials used in the past have not been used for home materials, nor do they come from the place. Almost all home materials today are commercial materials except sand, gravel. The basic and most important materials with which houses were built after 1940-'50 were stones, lime, cement, iron on rods of similar thickness and so on.


Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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