The History of Pelion
Pelion, the “pride of all mountains”! The whole region of Pelion is an endless source of myths, legends, history and cultural tradition, as for thousands of years gods, demigods, centaurs and titans lived in it.
It is located in the east side of central Greece and is considered one of the most beautiful and fertile mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. It consists of 24 villages, which were initially formed in the early 17th century as the inhabitants of the area left the coastline and resorted to the highlands after the Turkish invasion. In fact, they built their villages near monasteries to secure their safety. During the Ottoman period the area became a cultural center, giving prominence to some of the most important intellectual figures of the time like Anthimos Gazis, a scholar and priest from Milies, who played a leading part in the Insurrection against the Ottomans in Pelion during the Greek Revolution in 1821.
A large part of Greek mythology is dedicated to Pelion. According to the myths, that was where the Centaurs lived, the most known of them being Chiron, who had the ability to cure people and demigods thanks to his therapeutic knowledge of botanology, as in Pelion there are over 3.000 different kinds of herbs. The cave of Zeus was also located there and it was precisely in Mount Pelion where mythical events such as the Battle of the Titans, the marriage of the Nereid Thetis and Peleus and the birth of their son Achilles took place. Moreover, the famous “Argo” was made of wood from the forests of Pelion.
Pelion was inhabited more systematically in the 12th century by monks but the 24 villages began taking their current form and developing rapidly in trade and literature during the Ottoman period due to the special privileges they had been given. As a result, they promoted the Modern Greek Enlightenment and contributed to the creation of the rich tradition that one can feel even today while climbing up the mountain’s slopes…