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Kythira (Κύθηρα)
Waters Ionian sea
Archipelago Ionian islands
Geographical location 36 ° 14 ′  N , 22 ° 59 ′  E Coordinates: 36 ° 14 ′  N , 22 ° 59 ′  E
Kythira (Greece)
length 29 km
width 16 km
surface 277.746 km²dep1
Highest elevation Mermigkáris
506  m
Residents 3973 (2011)
main place Kythira
View of Kapsali, the capital port
View of Kapsali, the capital port

Kythira [ ˈkʲiθira ] ( Greek Κύθηρα ( n. Pl. ); Ancient Greek transcription Kythēra, Mycenaean ( linear B ) Ku-te-ra , Italian Cerigo ) is a Greek island off the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese .

The island, which belongs to the Ionian Islands , came with them to Greece in 1864 and formed an independent municipality from 1997 to 2010; since 2011 it has formed the municipality of Kythira in the Attica region together with the neighboring island of Andikythira to the south .

The deepest part of the Mediterranean , the 5,267 m deep Calypso Depth , is about 150 kilometers west of the island. Because of the barreness of the country, numerous residents have emigrated, especially to Australia .


The herpetofauna of Kythira consists of the following species:



The first traces of settlement date from the early Helladic period (approx. 3000–2000 BC). Herodotus reports that Phoenicians from Ashkelon introduced the worship of Aphrodite Urania on the island , for which there is no archaeological evidence. Perhaps this Phoenician Aphrodite was originally identical to Astarte , Atiratu or Derketo .

Kythera gained importance early on through the trade in purple : trade relations with Egypt have existed since approx. 2450 BC. Occupied. In the place names list of Amenhotep III. becomes Kythera in the 14th century BC With the note: " Kutira , belonging to Tanaja / Danaja" (= Peloponnese or southern Greece) mentioned. With Mesopotamia existed since approx. 1750 BC Chr. Connections.

Homer names Kythera as an independent island, later it belonged to Argos and from the middle of the sixth century BC to Sparta . The island was strategically important and was therefore heavily fought over in the Peloponnesian War . In the Middle Ages , when Kythera was ruled by Venice , the city of Paliochora arose on the ancient Acropolis, which was able to amass great fortunes in its heyday. Although their fortress seemed impregnable, the Ottoman admiral Khair ad-Din Barbarossa conquered and destroyed the city in 1537.

After the end of Venetian rule, Kythira was part of the French Mer-Égée department of the Ionian Islands. When the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville took Tahiti for the French from April 6 to 15, 1768, he named the island Île de la Nouvelle Cythère (New Kythira). After the end of Napoleonic rule, the island was part of the Republic of the Ionian Islands , which united with the Kingdom of Greece in 1864 . The Brockhauslexikon from 1911 gives a population of 12,306 for 1896.


Kythira airport

Kythira Airport, also known as Kithira Island National Airport "Alexandros Aristotelous Onassis" ( IATA : KIT , ICAO : LGKC ) is located 23 kilometers northeast of the city of Kythira and was opened in 1971. The paved runway with an orientation of 02/20 is 1,461 m long and 30 m wide. The airport is located at an altitude of 319 m (1,045 ft) above sea level . World icon


Antoine Watteau: Embarkation for Kythera

In Greek mythology , Kythera is the island of Aphrodite alongside Cyprus . The goddess of love is said to have been born here from the sea foam and to have risen ashore.


In the enigmatic, widely read and influential novel Hypnerotomachia Poliphili from 1499, the fabulous island of love Kythera is the protagonist's destination in his dream.

In his three paintings Embarkation for Kythera , Antoine Watteau made reference to the Kythera myth. They can be seen today in the Städel in Frankfurt am Main (around 1710), in the Louvre (1717) and in the Berlin State Museums (around 1719).

By Charles Baudelaire 's poem comes Un Voyage à Cythère (A trip to Kythira).

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Charles Arnold (ed.): The islands of the Mediterranean . A unique and complete overview. 2nd Edition. marebuchverlag, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 3-86648-096-2 .
  2. Mario Broggi: The herpetofauna of the Island of Kythera (Attica, Greece) (Amphibia; Reptilia). In: Herpetozoa 29 (1/2), pp. 37–46, Vienna July 30, 2016 (online)
  3. ^ Histories I, 105
  4. Kithira Airport. In: Accessed February 2, 2020 .