Skyros

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Skyros (Greek: Σκύρος) is the southernmost island of the Sporades, a Greek archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and slightly later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and later Pelasgia and Dolopia and later Skyros. At 209 km² it is the largest of the Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000 (in 2003). Skyros is one of the municipalities that are not part of any provinces in Greece. For administrative purposes, it belongs to the prefecture of Euboea.

The north of the island is covered by forest, and includes the island's highest point, Mount Olympos (903 metres), while the south, dominated by the mountain of Kochila, is bare and rocky. The island's capital is also called Skyros (or, locally, Chora). The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria. The island has a castle (the kastro) that dates from the Venetian occupation (13th to 15th centuries), a Byzantine monastery (Saint George of Skyros), the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke at Tris Boukes harbour, and the Bronze Age archaeological site of Palamari. There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies.

Skyros can be reached by ferry from Skiathos or Evia.

In Greek mythology, Theseus was said to have died on Skyros (murdered by its king), and Achilles spent part of his youth there.

In 475 BC, Cimon conquered the entire island and brought back to Athens the remains of Theseus. From that date, it became a part of the hegemony of Athens.

In 340 BC, the Macedonians took over the island and it dominated until 192 BC in which the Roman Imperial forces and Philip V of Macedon restored it to Athens.

Historical population
Year Population %Change
1981 2,757
1991 1,806
2003 3,000

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