Simi History

Simi History
About the history of Simi island, Greece

Despite its small size, the history of Simi dates back to the ancient times. It is mentioned in the Illiad of Homer for its role on the Trojan War, as it was headed by the Simian King Nireas. In addition, Herodotus referred to Simi as a member of the Dorian Hexapolis, meaning 6 cities. In fact, since 480 B.C. Simi belonged to the Athenian League, while in the Roman and Byzantine periods its luck was more signed by the close Rhodes, which keeps on being related to Simi until present.

The island of Simi was not always known by its current name, as it was formally called Kirki, Metapontis and Aigli. The name we use today is related to mythology, and is taken from the nymph Simi, who married Poseidon, the god of the sea and gave birth to the later leader of the island's inhabitants, Hithonios.

Simi was conquered by the knights of Saint John in 1309. But after this event, a blossoming period began due to the improvement of sponge commerce, shipping, and ship building among others. In fact, many of these disciplines characterize the island of Simi with urban constructions that can be seen to this day. This great development consisted of a nice collection of houses, this time away from the castle, as well as the abandonment of many traditional settlements. In addition, most of the churches were obviously built during this time, as a reflection of the increasing prosperity. Then, in 1832 Simi fell under the Turkish domination again, causing many damages; and in 1912 this was ended by the Italian domination.

Not all the periods of the island were signed by prosperity, as the replacement of sailing with motor-ships caused sponge diving to decrease. Besides, the 2nd World War implicated a huge migration of inhabitants. However, when the Italian domination finished in 1943, Simi started to be on the English side, and then changed to the Germans, several times, although the English took the island in 1944 for the third time. The following year, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender and finally in 1947 a British Military Administration handed over to Greece.

After much power struggle and internal turmoil, Simi was included in the Protocol of Integration of all Dodecanese islands to the state of Greek in 1948. Simi, although not as prosperous as it used to be, has enjoyed peace since then. The history of Simi is shown in the marvellous settlements and historical monuments.

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