Last modified: 2014-11-08 by ivan sache
Keywords: monemvasia | voies |
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The municipality of Monemvasia (21,942 inhabitants in 2011, 94,700 ha) was formed in the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities of Asopos (Ασωπός, 4,187 inh.), Molaoi (Μολάοι, 4,980 inh.), Monemvasia (4,041 inh.), Voies (Βοιές, 7,871 inh.), and Zarakas (Ζάρακας, 1,538 inh.).
Olivier Touzeau, 9 May 2014
Flag of Monemvasia - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 9 May 2014
The town of Monemvasia itself is located on a small island off the east
coast of the Peloponnese. It is the site of a powerful medieval fortress,
its nicknames are the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock.
The town and fortress were founded in 583 by people seeking refuge from the Slavic and the Avaric invasion of Greece. From the 10th century AD, the town developed into an important trade and maritime centre. The fortress withstood the Arab and Norman invasions in 1147. William II of Villehardouin took it in 1248 after three years of siege; in 1259 William was captured by the Greeks after the battle of Pelagonia and in 1262 it was retroceded to Michael VIII Palaiologos as part of William's ransom.
Monemvasia remained part of the Byzantine Empire until 1460, becoming the seat of an imperial governor, a landing place for Byzantine operations against the Franks, the main port of shipment for Malmsey wine, and one of the most dangerous lairs of corsairs in the Levant. In 1397 the Despot of the Morea, Theodore I Palaiologos, deposed the local dynast of Monemvasia, who appealed to Sultan Bayezid I and was reinstated by Turkish troops.
After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 Monemvasia held out against the threats of Sultan Mehmed II in 1458 and 1460, when it became the only remaining domain of the Despot of the Morea, Thomas Palaiologos, claimant of the Imperial throne. He had no forces to defend it; he offered it to the Sultan, and finally sold it to the Pope. By 1464 the inhabitants admitted a Venetian garrison. The town was fairly prosperous under the Venetian rule until the peace of 1502-1503, in which it lost its farm lands, source of its food supply and of Malmsey wine.
The rock was governed by the Venetians until the treaty of 1540, which cost the Republic Nauplia and Monemvasia, her last two possessions on mainland Greece. The Ottomans then ruled the town until the brief Venetian recovery in 1690, then again from 1715 to 1821. The commercial importance of the town continued until the Orlov Revolt (1770) in the Russo-Turkish War, which saw its importance decline severely. The town was liberated from Ottoman rule on July 23, 1821 by Tzannetakis Grigorakis who entered the town with his private army during the Greek War of Independence.
The flag of Monemvasia (Kokkonis website) was light pink with the municipal emblem, showing in the background the Rock of Monemvasia, and its name in English... with a typo: "Munisipality of Monemvasia".
The new municipality of Monemvasia uses another emblem on a purple background, but I could not find any evidence of a municipal flag in actual use.
Olivier Touzeau, 9 May 2014
Flag of Voies - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 May 2014
Vatika (Βάτικα) is a predominantly agricultural region with a few minor villages and one dominant town. Vatika is the common term for the area, but Voies is used in a more official context, particularly for postal situations. Neapoli (Νεάπολη, 3,130 inh.) is the administrative capital of the municipality, and is also the urban center to the numerous villages that surround the hinterland.
The ancient Boiai (Βοιαί), according to the ancient writer Pausanias, was founded "by Boios, one of the Heraclidae, who is supposed to have gathered the people from three cities: Etis, Aphrodisias and Side", hence the name of the region.
The flag of Voeis (Kokkonis website) was white with a blue decorative border with typical Greek design, and in the center of the flag, between olive branches, a cross, an anchor and the head of a wild boar. Below these elements is written in yellow "ΔΗΜΟΣ ΝΕΑΠΟΛΕΩΣ ΒΟΙΩΝ".
Olivier Touzeau, 28 May 2014