Nea Potidaia Halkidiki, Telephone: 2373043043

Nea Potidaia

Notable locations in the area include the remains of the castle in which the rebellious islanders barricaded themselves in 1821. Another important tourist destination is the church of the Taxiarches founded in 1591. The church is dependent on Mount Athos and the Dochiariou monastery. Others come to see the marble statue of Aristotle, built in memory of the philosophers born in the nearby village of Stageira.

Ancient Potidea was founded in 600 BC on the saddle of the Pallini Peninsula. As the name of the city denotes, its patron was Poseidon. During the expedition of Xerxes against Greece in 480 BC, the city was defeated following a siege. However, a year later it gathered forces and resisted the siege of Artavazos. In the same year, it was the only city of Macedonia which, along with other Greek cities, took part in the battle of Plataea.

Its history goes back a long way in the depths of the centuries. Potidea was a member of the first Alliance between Athens and Delos. It seceded from the alliance in 432/1 BC with the support of the Corinthians and King Perdikas II. In 431 BC, after the siege by the Athenian general Kallias, it was subjugated and subsequently forced to take in settlers from Athens. When the Peloponnesian war was over, Potidea was freed from the domination of Athens and received a second wave of Athenian settlers in 362/1 BC. In 356 BC, it was ruined by the king of Macedonia, Philip II and was turned over to the Olynthians.

In 349/8 BC the city had the fate of the other cities of Chalkidiki, that is, it became part of the Macedonian Kingdom.

After a period of desertion of about 40 years, in 316 BC, Kassandros built on the site of Potidea a new city, which was named after him, Kassandria (this may indicate that he intended to make it his capital, or at least an important naval base). In the following period until the taking of Macedonia by the Romans (168 BC), Kassandria developed into one of the most powerful cities of Macedonia. It was almost certainly during this time that the canal was opened up, which facilitated navigation and boosted trade and economic development.

In 168 BC, the city came under Roman rule and flourished anew. Potidea's decay is linked to the invasions of the Huns, who invaded Macedonia in 540 AD. Consequently, despite Justinian's efforts in the 6th century AD, the city was completely deserted, according to historical sources. Its castle, being of great importance for the security of the whole peninsula, was repaired by John VII Paleologos in 1407 and later by the Venetians when they were given the city of Thessalonica in 1423 in an attempt to keep it from the ottomans. In 1430 it came under Turkish domination.

During the Greek Revolution of 1821, the people of Chalkidiki entrenched themselves in the castle. They fought hard until the ”turmoil of Kassandra“, the well-known "holocaust", when the canal 'ran with blood', which is commemorated with big official celebrations every year on its anniversary, November 14. After the revolution, the old fortification was repaired and re-used, and a new cutting of the canal was made.

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