Things you didn’t know about Mykonos
Everybody knows Mykonos for its cosmopolitan nature and the non-stop parties that last till the early morning hours. But, the Island of the Winds hides secrets very little know of. In reality, you’d be surprised by the exciting things you probably do not know about the Queen of the Cyclades. Here is a small taste of facts about Mykonos that impress.
Did you know that…
- The islanders used to be bald? Several ancient Greek writers mention Mykonos people actually being completely hairless from birth!
- Mykonos residents were once considered to be particularly greedy and money-hungry by the rest of the ancient Greeks.
- The Mykonos ruling changed several hands. From the Venetians and Ottomans, the island came into the possession of the Russians in the 1770s. During the Ottomans’ governance, Mykonos saw its lands become raided by (and home to) pirates that dominated the seas at that time.
- The Armenistis Lighthouse was designed after the 1887 shipwreck of the English steamship VOLTA. The French company that was responsible for the construction of the 19-metre stone-built lighthouse delivered it in 1891. The original mechanism placed inside the lighthouse was a SAUTER LEMONIER and was awarded first prize at the Paris International Exhibition. However, it was replaced by a new one in 1983. You can find the original at the Aegean Maritime Museum at the Tria Pigadia region in Mykonos.
- In 1923, the population exchange treaty signed by Greece and Turkey forced some 1.5 million Greeks to be uprooted from their homeland (that would be Turkey at the time). Many of these Greeks settled in Mykonos and taught locals how to weave, among others, which turned Mykonos into a major weaving centre.
- Around 20 Mykonos windmills were operating since 1700 to help grind wheat, utilising the power of the northern winds that still batter the island. For about 200 years, the island was thriving because of these windmills and was even recognised as a must-stop destination for windjammers, riggers, and sailboats for their rusk supplies.
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- Peter the Pelican is not one rather than four different pelicans named the same over time. The first Peter the Pelican was found in 1958 and died in 1986. Jackie Kennedy donated a female pelican then, while the Hamburg zoo donated Peter the Second! In the mid-1990s, another wounded pelican reached the Mykonos shores, where it remained, like all its predecessors.
- Panagia Paraportiani, the famous Mykonos landmark, is not one but a complex of five Byzantine-style churches. The four chapels are interconnected, while the fifth one is literally on top of these four. You may access it by climbing a ladder on the exterior.
- The population of the island has tripled within 30 years and climbed from less than 4,000 people in the early 1970s to over 10,000 residents in the early 21st century.
- Mykonos hosts one of the rarest archaeological finds – a big ancient pot that bears paintings displaying the Trojan War and many more, called the Mykonos Pithos.
- Little Venice was once the place where Mykonos women used to gather to wash their husbands’ whites.
Mykonos is a remarkable island, no matter what. Now that you know these little secrets, bet you see it from a different and perhaps even more enticing angle!
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