Plakias is 35 kilometres south of Rethymno, on the southern coast of Crete on the Libyan Sea and is a popular tourist resort well-known for its award-winning Blue Flag sandy beach stretching for 1400 metres.
For intrepid early romantics on their Grand Tours to the18 million
travellers expected to visit this year, Greece has long been one of
Europe’s most alluring destinations. These posters, marking 100 years of
what is now the Greek National Tourism Organisation, highlight its
winning combination of culture, charm and sunshine!!
In 1922, Greece’s Bureau of Foreigners and Exhibitions is upgraded to a
‘Service’. In that year, under the heading Independent Travel without
Trouble, Thomas Cook’s Traveller’s Gazette begins: ‘Let us suppose one
is desirous of taking wife or family for a tour on the continent …’
In 1936, the Greek National Tourism Organisation is abolished by prime
minister Ioannis Metaxas. He orders all houses on the Cycladic islands
be whitewashed – for hygiene but also because he believed it made them
In 1941, tourism is
transferred to Greece’s ministry of national economy, where a
directorate of spa towns and tourism is created, despite the second
world war raging. At the end of the war, a secretariat general for
tourism is established.
This 1949 poster is from the time of the Marshall Plan, which provided
US aid to Europe after the second world war. A supreme council for
tourism is set up – but Greek finances are in disarray: ‘Since the
release of Greek territory from enemy occupation, the monetary system is
in a state of confusion,’ notes the Thomas Cook Continental Timetable.
By 1955, foreign tourist numbers to Greece have reached 200,000 – a
five-fold increase in five years. The average stay of the visitors is
In 1967, a Greek military junta – the ‘Regime of the Colonels’ – came to
power. For the first time, tourism numbers decline – by about 14% –
though they rebound the following year. In the UK, the government
imposes a £50 limit on the allowance for British citizens travelling
Greece is one of the first destinations to be chosen by Britannia
Airways for its new Boeing 737 jet, with charters from Luton to Athens.
In 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy marries the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle
Onassis on the Ionian island of Skorpios.
In 1980 there is evidence budget travel is flourishing, with the
publication of Europe: a Manual for Hitch-hikers. It says: ‘Greece is
one of the most beautiful countries on earth to get stranded for a few
hours.’Greece joins the EU in 1981, and the latest James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, features the monasteries of Meteora.
In 1990 visitor numbers hit nine million for the first time, with some
tourists inspired by the movie Shirley Valentine, released the previous
year. Cephalonia features in Louis de Bernières’ 1994 novel Captain
Corelli’s Mandolin,about the Italian and German occupation of Greece in the second world war.
Greece win the 2004 UEFA European Championship, beating the hosts
Portugal in the opening group match and again in the final. The
following month, Athens hosts the Olympic Games. Visitor numbers to
Greece are now more than 13 million.
A skeleton has been found in the monument for the mortal who was probably worshipped by his society at the time
in northern Greece announced on Wednesday that they found a skeleton
belonging to a distinguished ancient celebrity from the time of
Alexander the Great in the ancient tomb at Amphipolis. Chief
archaeologist Katerina Peristeri speculated that “the tomb in all
probability belongs to a male and a general.”
The skeleton found is housed in a wooden coffin once held together by
iron and bronze nails and studded with bone and glass decorations.
Though the coffin has disintegrated over time, the skeletal remains are
intact and were found both inside and outside the floor of the tomb,
possibly as a result of the looting during ancient times.
Archaeologists estimate that the person whose remains were found was
1.8 meters tall, however there will need to be complex lab work and an
analysis of organic residue that could take months to complete before
having a clearer picture of the occupant of the tomb. The analysis will
allow archaeologists to restrict the number of potential candidates that
the tomb belongs to rather than point to a single person with
certainty, possibly Nearchos or Hephaistion, or even Alexander the
Great, event though finding the latter is unlikely if historical sources
are taken into account.
An analysis of the bone structure will give a clearer idea of the
occupant’s build, health and injuries they may have had during their
lives that could give scientists more clues when pinpointing the
identity of the occupant of the tomb.
The announcement of the discovery of the skeleton overshadowed any
other discussion on the monument and a number of serious questions
remain unanswered. For instance, the question as to why the monument was
sealed even though it had been looted. Furthermore, there is a strong
contrast between the pre-chambers and size of the monument compared to
the no-frills decor in the main burial chamber and the frugal space in
the underground cist grave where the skeleton was found.
The excitement of finding the skeleton dominated the discussion,
however noteworth is the fact that over 500 pieces of the surrounding
wall were found near the place where the Lion of Amphipolis sits. More
than 100 stones were discovered just a couple of days ago in Lake
Kerkini where the pieces were transferred in 1936 by the company Ulen
who were responsible for the construction of the Dam at Kerkini.
(Source:prototema, Greektoys, sketchfab)