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Voio - History


Voio - History 

Voio, mentioned in Thucydides, has been inhabited ever since prehistoric times. This is testified by findings in Pentalofos, Apidea, Klepsio, Platania, Rodohori, Dragasia, Kastraki and Palaiokastro Siatistas. Based on the root of this ancient name, “Voio”, or the Dorian “Ευ-βοίονa number of other ancient Greek names are still used to this day, such as Vogiousa, Vovousa, Evoia, Voiotia, Voies Lakonias, which are connected to the movements of Dorians to Southern Greece.

The area was densely populated, especially during the Hellenistic era. During the Classical era, it was an indispensable part of the Kingdom of Upper Macedonia and the place where the core of the Macedonian army was recruited. The western part was under the jurisdiction of the state of Orestida, while the eastern one belonged to that of Elimeia.

In the Byzantine period, Voio was connected to the invasion and settlement of new peoples in the Balkans. During the Ottoman occupation, Voio, Palia Anaselitsa, as it was then called, experienced a period of decay. Byzantine monasteries were destroyed and old settlements raided. Most Christians took refuge to the mountains to avoid pillaging, heavy taxation and conversion, where they formed new, stock farming settlements which gradually developed into hubs of commerce, such as Galatini, Pentalofos, Avgerinos and Koryfi. The commercial activity of the inhabitants with European markets created financial centers in Siatista and Tsotyli. Magnificent mansions were erected, busy bazaars established, new and larger paths opened, bridges built and monasteries and churches founded. This is also the period when professional groups were organized, based on common interests, cooperation and solidarity. These are the well known bouloukia of craftsmen, consisting of builders, stone dressers, carpenters, woodcarvers and painters. By the end of the Ottoman occupation, in the years of upheaval and turmoil, the area was the core of the preparation of the armed liberating Macedonian Struggle.

During the epic resistance against the Nazis in the 40s, locals were in the front line. Based on Pentalofos, women carrying ammunition and food climbed the gnarled mountains of Pindos to provide supplies for the Greek army. But later also, during the Civil War, the area still played a crucial role. In the period of poverty, immigration and decay that ensued, the reputation that the famous artisans had acquired paved the way for young workers from Voio in the entire country as well as abroad. Today, in times of financial crisis and urbanization, Voio still perseveres, to remind us of a different Greece, that of nature, history and culture.



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