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Loutra Edipsou
Loutra Edipsou
Waters Aegean Sea
Geographical location 38 ° 30 ′  N , 24 ° 0 ′  E Coordinates: 38 ° 30 ′  N , 24 ° 0 ′  E
Evia (Greece)
length 175 km
width 45 km
surface 3 660  km²
Highest elevation Dirphys
1745  m
Residents 220,000
60 inhabitants / km²
main place Chalkida

Euboea ( ancient Greek Εὔβοια Euboia , Latin Euboea ; modern Greek Εύβοια ( f. Sg. ), Pronunciation : [ ˈɛvia ]) is the second largest Greek island after Crete with an area of ​​3,660  km² and a population of around 220,000 inhabitants (as of 2005) . The capital is Chalkida (formerly Chalkis ). The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges; one of them bridges the Euripos , the narrowest strait in the world at only 40 meters .

Evia is an elongated island, about 175 kilometers long and 6 to 45 kilometers wide, the total coastline is 678 kilometers. Over its entire length, the island is traversed by a mountain range, which connects to Thessaly in the northwest and continues south over the islands of Andros , Tinos and Mykonos .

The island belongs to the Sterea Ellada region (Central Greece). The Euboea regional district also includes the island of Skyros , a small part of the mainland and a large number of rocky islands, such as the Petali archipelago .


Like most of the Greek islands, Evia used to be known by other names, for example Μάκρις Makris , and Δολίχη Doliche , which refer to the shape of the island, or as Ellopia , Aonia and Abantis after the tribes inhabiting them (see Abanten ). The ancient and current name Εὔβοια is derived from εὖ 'good' and βοῦς 'beef' . Hence the meaning 'land of well-fed cattle'.

In the Middle Ages, Byzantine authors used not only Euboia but also the names Chalkis and Euripos for the island (transferred from the name of the capital or the strait). When the Venetians occupied the area in the 13th century, they named the island Negroponte .


Chalkida promenade
Coastline in autumn
Typical landscape on the island

Euboea is separated from mainland Greece by the elongated Gulf of Euboea . It is believed that Evia was originally part of mainland Greece and was separated from it by an earthquake. Since the island is close to a fault line and tremors in the northern part of the island are also reported by Thucydides and Strabo , such a scenario is quite conceivable.

The strait between Evia and mainland Greece is called Euripos ( Porthmós Evrípou ) near Chalkida, where it is narrowest at only 40 m . The unusually strong tidal changes at this point have aroused great interest since ancient times. The current changes direction frequently and very suddenly while maintaining the same strength. The first bridge was built at this point in 410 BC. BC, in the 21st year of the Peloponnesian War . The strait in the north - between the northern foothills of the island and the coast of Thessaly - is 2.4 kilometers wide at its narrowest point.

The largest mountains on the island are Dirphys (1745 m), Pyxaria (1341 m) in the northeast and Ochi (1394 m).

In addition to the main town of Chalkida, there are a number of small towns: Karystos , Kymi , Psachna , Aliveri , Loutra Edipsou and Limni .


Location of Chalkis and Eretria on the Gulf of Evia


Most of the history of ancient Euboia is the story of the two largest cities, Chalkis and Eretria . Both are Ionian settlements founded from Attica . Originally Chalkis was a settlement of Phoenician purple Fischer , hence the very early form of a derived from the Phoenician own epichoric red or Western alphabet . Their historical importance is shown in the large number of their colonies in Magna Graecia and Sicily , such as Cumae , Rhegium and Naxos . As a result, these cities opened up new trade routes for the Greeks and broadened the sphere of influence of western civilization.

Euboia was an important center of trade, as can be seen, for example, from the fact that the Euboian units of weight and measurement were used throughout the Ionian region and, up to the time of Solon, also in Athens. Chalkis and Eretria were rival cities. One of the earliest recorded sea battles in Greece took place between these two cities, and many other Greek city-states are believed to have participated.

490 BC Eretria was destroyed and the inhabitants of the city were deported to the Persian Empire . After the Battle of Marathon , Eretria was rebuilt a little from its original location, but although it could maintain its rank as the second most important city on the island, it never regained its former strength and size. Since then, Chalkis has held the undisputed primacy. However, this city also suffered from the growing power of Athens. In 506 BC Chr. Chalkis was completely defeated by the Athenians, who then settled 4,000 Attic settlers in Chalcis and apparently made the entire island a dependent area.

446 BC Euboia tried to free herself from the subjugation of Athens, but was defeated by Pericles . In the north of the island, the residents of the city of Histiaea were expelled to make way for more Attic settlers, as Athens was aware of the importance of the island. Euboia supplied the Athenians with grain and cattle, secured trade and was a protection against pirates. In addition, due to its proximity to the Attic mainland, Euboia was of great strategic importance and could have become a real threat to Athens in unfamiliar hands.

After the battle of Eretria in 411 BC However, Euboia managed to regain independence. Thereafter, the island entered into changing alliances with the leading Greek city-states until it fell to Philip II of Macedonia after the Battle of Chaironeia . Euboia remained under Macedonian rule until the island finally became part of the Roman Empire as Euboea .

Younger story

In recent history, Euboea did not regain importance until the Fourth Crusade . When the Byzantine Empire was redistributed as a result of the establishment of the Latin Empire , the Republic of Venice de facto took over the rule of the island under the name Negroponte , as the three fiefs ( triple rule ) into which Euboea was divided were under their protection. In 1470 the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II succeeded in conquering the heavily fortified city of Histiaea after heavy fighting and wresting the island from the Venetians. After the end of the Greek War of Independence in 1830, Evia became part of the newly established Greek state.


year Residents change Population density
1991 209.132 5,236 / 2.57% 53.51 / km²
2001 217.218 8,086 / 3.87% 55.59 / km²

Besides Greeks, who make up the majority of residents on the island, there are two other ethnic groups , the Arvanites ( Αρβανίτες Arvanites ) and Vlachs ( Βλάχοι Vlachi ). The former have traditionally populated parts of the southern tip of the island since the Venetian rule in the 14th century and are now concentrated around Cape Kafireas (also known as Cavo d'Oro), where the Albanian dialect of the Arvanites is still spoken by the villagers. The Vlachs live mainly in the mountainous regions in the center and north of the island. Due to the extensive assimilation , the Vlach language is hardly spoken any more, with the exception of some old villagers in the villages of Vlachia and Koutourla. Sarakatsans also used to live on Evia, who emigrated from Roumeli and Epirus and settled around Mantoudi and Agia Anna.


Magnesite is mined in the Mantoudi and Limni area, lignite and iron and nickel around Diprhys in Aliveri . Asbestos is mined around three kilometers north of Eretria, which used to be a type of marble similar to Marmera Caristoy from Karystos. The most important marble quarrying center in Evia, known abroad as the Green of Styra , is now in the town of Styra.

In addition, walnuts are also of economic importance.

Tourism also plays an important role in the regional economy . There are numerous hotels and campsites along the coast . The season usually extends from spring to autumn. However, the number of tourists is lower than on most of the other Greek islands.


Individual evidence

  1. Timothy E. Gregory, Nancy Patterson Ševčenko: Euboea. In: Alexander Kazhdan (Ed.): The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium . Oxford University Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6 , pp. 736 f.

Web links

Commons : Euboea  - collection of images, videos and audio files