Nea Skioni was founded in 1918 on the spot where there were fishing huts. It is built near the ancient city of Skioni. The old village, originally located in the mountains, was called Tsaprani and was abandoned in 1930. The new village took its name from the ancient Skioni, which was the oldest colony of Halkidiki. According to the Historian Thucydides, it was built immediately after the Trojan War by the Greeks of the Peloponnese, who parked in the area to spend the winter. It is said, in fact, that the captive Trojans brought with them by the settlers, burned their ships forcing them to marry them and stay with them forever. After the Median Wars, the village became a member of the Athenian Alliance.
During the Peloponnesian War he joined the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians, furious to punish Skioni, slaughtered the men over 18 years old and in the now deserted city settled the fugitives Plataeans. Ancient Skioni flourished in Roman times and it is not known when it was finally destroyed. The inhabitants of Skioni (Tsapraniou) participated in the revolution of 1821. An important fighter of the revolution of 1821 was Nikolaos Stergiou. The village is 110 km (southeast) from Thessaloniki. Remarkable is the church of Panagia Faneromeni, which dates from the 16th century and is located 2 km from the village, at the site of ancient Skioni. The icon of the Virgin Mary is kept in the church, painted on an upright marble base of a statue. Popular belief states that the image reached here sailing from Thessaly. When the villagers discovered it, they gathered and admired it. This small, permanently whitewashed church is part of the area of Flamouri Monastery. It is located near the beautiful beach of the same name, on the road to Nea Skioni. It is built right on the shore and houses magnificent 16th century frescoes.
Today, Nea Skioni stretches around its enchanting port, where the fishing boats, after their fish, supply fresh fish to the fish taverns of the village. Its inhabitants are mainly engaged in tourism. On the beach, which has been awarded the blue flag, vacationers have the opportunity to admire the dolphin toys, which often approach the shore. One of the activities that has been established in Nea Skioni is “the anchovy festival”, at the beginning of August and includes cultural events lasting 3 days. Attendees have the opportunity to have fun during the events that take place on the beach, to enjoy local wine and fresh fish accompanied by traditional music.
ANCIENT & NEW SKIONI (Skioni - Tsaprani - Nea Skioni)
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
It is the oldest and one of the most important cities of the Pallini peninsula in antiquity on its south coast. The lack of competent excavation material - since minimal excavation work, and in fact in the last decade, has been carried out in this area - does not allow us to fully and satisfactorily monitor its development. Thus we will be satisfied mainly with the ancient Greek writers, with the minimal works that exist, and with the "History of the Greek Nation" by our national historian Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos.
Different views have been expressed about the exact location of the ancient city. Herodotus informs us that the city was located between Therambos and Mendi, as he mentions in turn the cities of Pallini, from which Xerxes during his campaign against Greece received naval and military forces. The same information, regarding the location of the city, is given to us by Skylakas in his work "Periplous". Also the English topographer and numismatist William Martin Leak (G. M. Leake), who for two whole years from 1805 toured Greece exploring and determining the ancient sites and collecting coins, following Skylakas, places the ancient Skioni between the capes. Kanastraio and Poseidi.
Some confused historians and travelers place it opposite Toroni on the east side of the Kassandra peninsula, in the bay of Chrousos. And this, because they misinterpreted a verse of the historian Thucydides, which states that the Spartan general Brasidas passed through Toroni opposite Skioni of Pallini. Most researchers have placed it correctly on the south west side of the peninsula, but without specifying its exact location. The theologian Gymnasiarchis P. Stamos in his book "The heroic Cassandra through the centuries" (Athens 1961), says the following about the location of the city: "Probably on the beach between Panagia Faneromeni and Loutra Agia Paraskevi".
In 1986 excavations were carried out in this area by the Tax Office of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, the exact location of the ancient city was determined and its area was demarcated. Its location was located about two kilometers south of the current village of Nea Skioni on the hill, which today's Skionians call "Mytika", as well as in the coastal area below it, where the ancient port of the city was located.
According to Thucydides, Ancient Skioni was founded by Achaeans from Pellini in the Peloponnese, when they returned from Troy after the end of the Trojan War and were swept away by the storm and settled there. Thus the presence of this ancient city is noted in the 12th BC. century. There is even the following tradition about its founding. On their return from Troy, the Achaeans of Pellini in the Peloponnese stopped at this point either to spend the winter or to obtain food, water and other necessities for the journey. Then the Trojan slaves, carried by the Achaeans, burned their ships, to get rid of the sufferings of slavery that awaited them in Achaia. That is why the Pelinians were forced to settle in this area and marry their slaves.
Then Skioni was colonized by Evian settlers. At least that is what many historians believe. And this can be believed, since the Evians during the period of movement and spread of the Greek sexes developed rich colonial activity. Settlers from Evia were constantly climbing and colonizing various areas of Pallini. Some of them arrived, probably, in Skioni, settled there, mixed with the Achaean Pelinians and over time outnumbered them. Thus the city took Evian form and is presented in historical times as a colony of Evia. Despite its Evian appearance, however, the city retained several features from the first Achaean settlers. As Thucydides informs us, the Skionians boasted that they came from the Pelinians. They show this by imprinting the hero of the Trojan War Protesilaos on their coins, which is a memory of their ancestral past and a very close relationship with the Trojan War.
The place where Ancient Skioni was founded was of strategic importance. It was built in a naturally fortified place, to be protected from various invaders. The area, rich in shipbuilding timber, helped significantly, in order to very quickly develop a great commercial movement and to become a remarkable and predictable naval power. It was the first city encountered by ships coming from the southern seas. Its port was a station on the west coast of the Pallini peninsula. From here the ships started or ships from other cities came to procure the products that the city produced - such as wine, oil, honey, wood, etc. - or bring their own to it. Thus she came in direct contact with all the developed cities of her time, both near and far, as a result of which she made known her presence in history, sometimes an independent and equal ally and sometimes again subordinate to the strongest.
In the time of the Median Wars the city, against its will, was forced to submit to the wishes of the Persians and to support them with ships and an army. Skionaios Skyllis, the best diver of his time, when the Persian fleet arrived in Afetes, dived into the sea and swam to Artemisio, where the Greek fleet was located. There he informed the Greek generals about the plans of the Persians, who had decided to blockade the Greek fleet in the straits of Euripus. Herodotus believes that Skyllis arrived at Artemisio by boat. Thus the Skionians with Skyllis offered the greatest service for the good of Greece.
After the naval battle of Salamis, the city rebelled against the Persians and sent aid to Potidaea, which was besieged by the Persian general Artavazos. The head of the auxiliary body of the Skionians was Timoxinos, who, however, wanted to betray the city and help the Persians capture Potidaea.
After the Median Wars, Skioni joined the Athenian alliance, participated as an equal member in it and paid six (6) talents a year to the allied fund of Delos. Unfortunately, the Athenian hegemony during the Peloponnesian War became very oppressive and unbearable for the city. That is why during the ninth year of the war (424 BC) the city rebelled from the Athenians to Brasidas, the Spartan general, whom the Scythians accepted as the liberator of Greece with many and great honors. The Athenians, indignant at the departure of Skioni, sent against her and Mendi, who had also revolted after Skioni, fifty (50) triremes and about 3,000 soldiers. Athenians and allies, led by Generals Nicaea and Nikiratos. First they besieged Mendi, which fell and was looted. Then the Athenians besieged Skioni. After a siege of about two years, the Athenians captured the city, slaughtered all the men and sold the women and children as slaves. Fugitives from Plataea were brought and settled in the now deserted city. Thus was lost this glorious and remarkable city, which with its continuous and pan-Hellenic activity made its presence felt and played an important role in the history of Greece.
In later times it will present some glimpses, but not very remarkable. Plutarch reports that the Spartan admiral Lysander expelled the Plataean settlers and the Athenian guard and repatriated to Skioni all the women and children of the Skionians who had fled to Olynthos by the Spartan general Brasidas since the beginning of the siege of the city.
After the Peloponnesian War, end of the 5th BC century, participates as a member of the Halkidiki alliance, which consisted of 32 cities of Halkidiki. But this alliance was dissolved very quickly, because a new force appeared in the foreground, the king of Macedonia Philip II. He gave the final blow to the city, which was destroyed but not completely. It remained as a small settlement away from the glory of its historical past.
In Roman times and from 148 BC. until the 4th AD century the area is experiencing some prosperity. The port of the city regained its importance in the previous strategy and a large settlement was developed around the area of today's Panagia Faneromeni.
Strabo mentions it as one of the four great cities of Pallini. From the end of the 3rd AD. century and during the Byzantine period, as our national historian Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos informs us, various barbarian tribes (Goths, Huns, Slavs, Avars, Saracens, etc.) besieged large cities, such as Thessaloniki and Kassandria, and caused large disasters in the province, and of course in the area of Skioni. Finally in the 6th AD. century the Huns conquered Kassandria and burned and killed what they found in front of them. Then the Ancient Shadow was lost, we would say completely, after a historical presence of eighteen centuries with rich creative activity.
In the same area, on the border of Byzantine times and Ottoman rule, a small settlement called "Tsaprani" was revived, NE of the present village and at an altitude of about 200 meters from the sea. After 1930 the Mediterranean village began to be abandoned by its inhabitants, who preferred to settle on the coast. The settlement, which they founded there, was named Nea Skioni, a name which it maintains to this day with its new cosmopolitan tourist appearance. The new village is a quiet coastal settlement, surrounded by olive groves. The beach of the village has been awarded a "blue flag" for a number of years.
MUNICIPALITY OF KASSANDRA:
https://kassandra.gr/ Cultural Association of Nea Skioni "YDNA":
https://www.facebook.com/PolitististikosSyllogosNeasSkionesYdna We love our village (ideas and solutions for a better Nea Skioni):
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