Telendos - History Print
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Friday, 03 September 2010 03:14
Telendos - History

Opposite to Mirties and Massouri in Kalymnos, there is the imposing mountain of Telendos, 458m.
Telendos constitutes an indivisible part of Kalymnos since it belongs to its jurisdiction.
The two islands are separated via a 700 m. long channel.

The history of Telendos is closely connected to the one of Kalymnos even dating back to the Geometrical Era. According to Herodotus, the first inhabitants of the island were the Pelasgians, the people from Karia and the Leleges who were united in one people.
Dorian settlers from Epidauros came to settle in the 11th century in Kos, Nissyros and Kalidna - as Kalymnos was called in the 4th century. Due to its arid ground, ever since antiquity, the inhabitants were obliged to become seamen (and excellent too) and their patron god was Dalios Appollo. From the excavations conduced in several areas in Kalymnos, we are now aware of the seven ancient municipalities of Kalymnos:
The most important municipality among the seven was the municipality of Pothaion that at its biggest part is sunk in the area between Mirties - Telendos.
Three decrees of the municipality that have been found are kept in the British Museum.

It was a densely populated city and very well organised as is deduced from the buildings that have been saved following the disastrous earthquake of 554 BC, possibly - based on an old legend - on Good Friday at the hour of the Epitaph.

Consequent1y, Telendos was until then united to the land opposite to it and was not a separate island.
The area that has sank is believed to have been the central part of the city, which extended to the south western part of Telendos, with remains from the sunk ancient Roman Theatre, near the church of Aghios Georgios.
In the area called «TA MARMARA» (The Marbles), by the locals, and at a depth of 16 fathoms, there are ancient edifices, entire building blocks that are preserved reaching a height of 1,5 to 2 meters. There is also a straight line building that constituted the wall of the city.
At the eastern coast of the island, the foundations of a settlement are seen at a depth of only one meter. In the same area, there are big Roman buildings with vault roofs as well as vaulted family graves.
The many and magnificent Byzantine Temples indicate the significance of the city.
The paleochristianic church of Aghios Vasilios - a huge temple with three naves and capitals of basilica rhythm is built at the first half of the 6th century - is bigger than the contemporary cathedral of Kalymnos. Other churches are: Three naves basilica of the Assumption of the virgin Mary dated back to the second half of the 5th century - beginning of the 6th century, the basilica of Panaghia, of Hellenistic type at the beginning of the 6th century, where the cemetary of the sank city was in the Byzantine years, as well as the contemporary cemetary, the ruins of Aghia Triada, a paleochristianic basilica of the 6th century and final1y at the northern part of Te1endos, the Aghios Konstantinos Monastery with the ruins of its castle.

An imposing building complex, with high strong walls provided safety to the inhabitants of the island, since it was inexpugnable by the pirates. In the surrounding area, there are old kilns used for time for the construction of the castle. It is said that 5.000 people could live in the castle for a period of 10 years. This has also been proven by the remains of skeletons and the many water cisterns that have been found.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2010 14:12