Piraeus History


Piraeus in Modern History (ΙΙI): 1945 to Today

During the first post-war years, Piraeus started to gradually recover. The port city, as well as the rest of the country, was left licking its wounds from a six-year period of degradation and demoralization, but still, the dawn of a new era was fast approaching; the reconstruction era. The first five years following liberation were devoted to the repair of war damage. In the mid 50s, important projects aimed at developing and modernising the port so that it meets the needs of a constantly increasing traffic in marine transactions, started to get implemented. Up to the 80s, those ambitious projects had undergone a number of … < Read More >


Piraeus in Modern History (ΙΙ): During WWII

The Nation’s involvement in World War II left its marks on both the city and the port of Piraeus. Especially for the latter, the impact was direct, the war exerting an overly devastating influence over its, till then, steady progress. Poorly equipped and understaffed, already before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Royal Navy was in no position to stand its ground against the consecutive attacks of Luftwaffe Air Force, in April 1941 and more than half of that feeble fleet was destroyed. In contrast to the Royal Navy and despite the adversities – repercussions of WWI and global economic crisis … < Read More >


Piraeus in Modern History (Ι): 1832 to 1940

In 1832 – 11 years after the beginning of the Greek Independence War – the state of Greece is founded. Piraeus becomes a municipality in 1833, its first Mayor being Stefanos Skouloudis. In the years to come, Piraeus is being gradually transformed from the empty village it used to be to a developing city. Piraeus sees its population growing: in 1842, 210 families lived in Piraeus, while within 30 years the population of the city is more than 20,000. In the mid and late 19th century, the city of Piraeus is being gradually electrified, while huge construction projects are in progress, the Municipal Theater and the Clock Tower … < Read More >


Piraeus through the Byzantine Era, the Middle Ages and the Ottoman Rule

In the early years of the Byzantine Era, the port of Piraeus is used as a dockyard and a naval base. In 395 AD Piraeus is invaded by Alaric. The city and the port are devastated. The years of decadence begin. The Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade results in the foundation of the Latin Empire. What was considered as belonging to what was known as Greek territory became part of the Latin Empire. Piraeus is included in the Duchy of Athens. In 1318 Piraeus is mentioned in Pietro Vesconte’s map … < Read More >


Piraeus in Antiquity (ΙΙ) – The Times of Decline

The decline begins in the second year of the Peloponnesian War, in 430 BC when the first cases of the plague that overruns Athens are recorded in Piraeus as well. During the War, a raid by Spartan leads the Athenians to better fortify Piraeus by rendering the entrances to the harbours smaller and adding towers and platforms for archers. This does not, however, deter Spartans from attacking Piraeus again and destroying parts of the Long Walls. Following Athens’ defeat in 404 BC, Piraeus never regains its former glory. Son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus Demetrius was a Macedonian nobleman, surnamed … < Read More >


Piraeus in Antiquity (Ι) – The Times of Glory

Being the main port of Athens, inevitably Piraeus follows the history and fate of the Athenian Democracy, passing through periods of glory and prosperity as well as times of poverty and decadence. Overall, the period between 507 BC, when Piraeus is officially established as a municipality (demos) by Cleisthenes, and 431 BC, at the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, when the city suffers the first of a series of setbacks, is admittedly considered to be the golden era of ancient Piraeus. Probably no other man in power linked their name that closely with the city of Piraeus than Themistocles. In his era … < Read More >


Piraeus in Pre-Historic Times – Facts & Legends

In early Holocene time, the rocky hill of Piraeus was linked to the mainland of Attica. During the Neolithic Period (4850–3450 BC), Piraeus became an island in a shallow marine bay, due to the sea-level rise in the Holocene. Between 2850 and 1550 BC, in the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Piraeus was separated from the mainland by a wide lagoon. In the fifth century BC, Themistocles, Cimon, and Pericles permanently connected Athens to Piraeus with two “long walls” partly built on a residual coastal marsh called the Halipedon. The Four-City Community of Hercules – in Greek “Tetrakomon Heraklion” – consisted of … < Read More >