Galaxidi is a seaside town in the former province of Parnassida in the prefecture of Fokida and belongs to the enlarged Municipality of Delphi. It is located on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth and, specifically, on the west side of the Gulf of Itea. It is well known for its shipping in the last century as well as for its picturesqueness, which is why it attracts many visitors, especially during the summer months. Its permanent population, according to the 2011 Census, amounts to 2,011 inhabitants.



The name Galax (e) itself first appeared in the period between the 6th and 9th century AD. There are many versions about the origin of the name. Linguistic studies converge on the view that the place name comes from the medieval phytonym Galatsida (herbaceous plant that abounds in the area), which is reduced to the later type of milk, -idos and therefore etymologically correct is the spelling with -i-: Galaxidi. The traveler Dodwell claimed that the name came from the words milk and acidic ("similar to acid, sour"). The view that it comes from the words milk and ixos (from the milky viscous sticky juice that flows when its trunk is injured) is not morphologically correct. The heterogeneous view is widespread that the place name comes from the Galaxidis family that had land in the area. It was even rumored that Galaxides was the Byzantine toparch of this small subject and the one who rebuilt the ruined city. In reality, however, the surname Galaxidis comes from the toponym Galaxidi. There is also a myth about the origin of the name for a mermaid named Galaxa. Prometheus had fallen in love with her for this and stole her.

In antiquity
During the period of antiquity, the area of ​​Galaxidi was inhabited by the Ozolos or Esperios Lokros in the 8th century BC. In this place there was the ancient city of Chaleion or Halion. Halion was one of the most important cities since there was the sanctuary of Apollo. Its inhabitants were mainly engaged in shipping and therefore in trade. It is worth noting that until recently scholars believed that Galaxidi was a continuation of Oianthi or Oianthia. Of course, this view is not considered acceptable today since Pausanias states that Oianthi was located in the area of ​​Nafpaktos. Polybius also ranks it among the cities of Aetolia.

The area is characterized by a continuous presence with important findings since the Early Helladic period (Anemokampi, Pelekaris, Kefalari, the island of Apipsia). Important is the Mycenaean settlement at Villa and the fortified geometric settlement on the hill of Agios Athanasios (around 700 BC). In the archaic and classical era (7th-4th century BC), in parallel with the settlement at Villa, the religious and administrative center of the city was developed in Agios Vlasis. Around 300 BC. the present site was inhabited and its fortification wall was built. Perhaps at that time the Aetolian Commonwealth had already gained control, which fortified the city. Halion continued to be inhabited knowing particular prosperity until the 2nd c. A.D. In the British Museum there are two bronze inscriptions of the 5th century BC. where the treaty between Oianthia and Chaleio is written. The same museum also houses another 97 bronze vessels and utensils, while archaeological objects from Galaxidi are currently kept in 15 museums around the world. In the Archaeological Museum of Galaxidi one can see findings from Halion and the wider area.

Byzantine era
Galaxidi was first documented in the 10th century. During the reign of Basil II, in 981 or 996, Galaxidi was conquered, with dramatic consequences for the inhabitants, by the Bulgarians of Tsar Samuel. The inhabitants left the city and settled on the islands of the Gulf of Itea, and Galaxidi was not inhabited for the next 50 years. The calamities for the city of Galaxidi do not end here. In 1054 an epidemic wiped out many inhabitants while in 1064 an invasion of the Ouzos resulted in their violent expulsion from the city for two whole years.

Galaxidi was looted again in 1081 and 1147 by the Normans. After the Fourth Crusade, Galaxidi was initially part of the Authority of the Salons, but was recovered around 1211 by the Despotate of Epirus. After 1269 it came under the control of the lords of Thessaly, who had their seat in Ypati. In 1311 the city was conquered by the Catalans and came under the rule of the Duchy of Athens.

The city was first occupied by the Ottomans in 1394, but was recaptured by Theodore I Palaiologos after a while. It fell for a short time in the hands of the people of Ioannina in 1403/04. The castle of the city, of which not even a trace survives today, was strengthened in 1447/48 by Constantine Kantakouzenos, but this did not prevent its final occupation by the Ottomans a little later.


Ottoman rule
The era of Ottoman rule began in 1446. In 1494 the seat of Bey was moved from Salona to Galaxidi. The first Bey to be appointed was Hatzi-Babas. Finally in 1502, following the order of the High Gate, the headquarters returned to Salona. It is worth noting that during the entire period of the Turkish Occupation, no Turk lived in Galaxidi.

In 1655, the Gulf of Corinth and Patras were flooded by Douratzibeis, who came into conflict with the people of Galaxidi for an insignificant reason. The ensuing naval battle resulted in the defeat of Durajibey, who vowed revenge. Easter of the same year suddenly attacked and conquered Galaxidi. This disaster resulted in the flight of the inhabitants of Galaxidi to the mountains and specifically to Pentoria. They returned to ruined Galaxidi only after the death of Durajibei in 1669.

The prosperity of the Galactic navy began in the period 1720-1730, ie immediately after the treaty of Pasarovic (1718). In 1774, after the Kyutsuk-Kainartzi Treaty, most Galaxidi ships raised the Russian flag. A great figure in the struggle for Independence was played by Ioannis Papadiamantopoulos, a prominent figure in the development of shipping. Papadiamantopoulos had gathered the trade of the Peloponnese and all of Western Greece. In order to free himself from the Mesolonghi navy, he started building ships in Galaxidi. In 1803 the Galaxidi fleet numbered 50 ships. The most common commercial ports of the Galaxidi ships were: Marseille, Istanbul and various other ports in Spain and Italy.

Revolution of 1821
The first consultations for the start of the Revolution in Galaxidi had started at the beginning of March, following the initiative of Ioannis Papadiamantopoulos. The bishop of Salona Isaia, Odysseas Androutsos, Panourgias, Giannis Gouras and the nobles of the area took part in it. On March 26, a body of 300 men left for Amfissa. It is worth noting that it was the first city in Central Greece to raise the flag of Liberation. The captains and the merchants immediately offered their ships in favor of the homeland while many people from Galaxidi rushed to fight in Hani of Gravia. In fact, in order to further strengthen the revolution, they published a kind of newspaper, the first of the revolution, which was later called a pseudo-newspaper due to its exaggerations. What is certain is that the offer of the city of Galaxidi in the liberation struggle of 1821 can not be questioned by anyone.

The catastrophes of Galaxidi
Galaxidi suffered three major disasters during the Liberation Struggle.

The first disaster
On September 8, 1821, the fleet of Ishmael Bey Gibraltar sailed for the Gulf of Corinth with 30 armed barges and 2 frigates. On September 22, a British ship led the Turkish fleet to Galaxidi. The people of Galaxidi together with 200 men of Panourgias defended vigorously. At night, however, the men of Panourgias retreated as they did not have the necessary experience to deal with the naval shelling. The inhabitants, seeing the rift in the defense of the city but also the inadequacy of the fighters, left Galaxidi. On the morning of September 23, the Turks invaded the city and destroyed it. Inside the port they found 90 ships, 13 of them were warships while the rest were small commercial ones. According to historians, the chances of saving Galaxidi were minimal after it fell victim to the first political disputes. The catastrophe is due to the inaction of the people of Galaxidi but also to the interest tactics of the politicians of the time.

The second & third disaster
In May 1825, Kioutachis, in order to secure his rear so that he could besiege Messolonghi safely, attacked Galaxidi and destroyed it. Of course, this second disaster was less painful since the Galaxidi ships were not moored in the port. But a worse catastrophe ensued, in November of the same year, this time by Ibrahim, who managed to hijack ships and capture many women and children, who were sent as slaves to Egypt. After this disaster, the inhabitants left and settled in Hydra, Corinth, Loutraki and others. Much later the government managed to bring back some Greek prisoners from Egypt.


Galaxidi, like other Greek cities, sent many young men to the front. The first occupying troops settled on May 15, 1941 and quickly occupied the girls' school, the primary school, the Koutsoulieris house, the Drosopoulou house and the Platoni house. Most of the soldiers were Italians since the administration of Central Greece had been taken over by the Italian authorities. In the following days, the current army officers were arrested while the Italians demanded from the inhabitants to hand over their weapons. In January 1942 the Italians moved to Itea. In March of the same year, the two Italian spies disappeared, with the result that the Italian commander intervened and gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the inhabitants of Galaxidi to return back safe and sound. The ultimatum ended and so the Italians threatened the city with arson. Nevertheless, the timely intervention of the common leader Loukas Platonis as well as of the captain Ioannis Andreopoulos saved the city from certain destruction. The following years were extremely difficult for the people of Galaxidi since their hunger had impoverished them.

The most unfortunate year for Galaxidi was that of 1944. On February 7, 1944, the Germans moved menacingly towards Villa Zacharia, where some English officers were staying. At the same time, they arrested every passer-by they encountered. Seventeen-year-old Theodoros Barliakos fell dead in the ensuing uproar. After chasing the English officers, without success, they headed to the market where they had gathered about a hundred Galaxidiotes. Eleven of them were arrested and sent to Athens, except for three where they were sent to Germany. Two more incidents occurred in 1944, in which Galaxidi was threatened. The first took place on March 13, when guerrillas seized a German ship with supplies, which was anchored in the port due to bad weather, and captured its two German escorts. The commander threatened the inhabitants of the city with total destruction if they did not return the prisoners within three days. But an accidental injury of the commander led to his replacement and therefore to the salvation of the city. A few months later, in July, about 800 Germans surrounded the city in order to capture the British officers. Eventually they failed but for revenge they arrested 15 people from Galaxidi, who after the intervention of the community leader were released after 2-3 months. The last incident occurred in August 1944, when the Germans excluded Galaxidi from the Red Cross.

The end of World War II found Galaxidi counting 421 dead.

Naval state
The golden period of prosperity for Galaxidi was between 1829 and 1912. Of course, from the time of the Ottoman Empire, the people of Galaxidi had started to deal with shipping with great success. The starting point of the era of shipping development can be mentioned in 1774, when the Kyutsuk-Kainartzi treaty was made. Ioannis Papadiamantopoulos played an important role. In 1803 Galaxidi numbered 50 ships and was one of the five cities with the most ships in Greece.

After the revolution and after the city recovered from the disasters, shipping began to grow again. In the three years 1838-1840 Galaxidi had an average of 21 shipbuildings per year. The city shipyard could compete with the foreign ones, while it was more profitable since the construction of a ship cost half as much as the foreign shipyards. Merchant ships sailed in the Black Sea, Azov, Danube, Mediterranean, England, etc. The local community with appropriate actions tried to encourage young people to engage in trade and shipping for this and founded a Naval School, which taught great personalities such as Efthymios Kavasilas. In the major ports of Europe, namely Livorno, Odessa, Trieste, Marseille, Nice, etc. Many Galaxidi shipping agents were established to coordinate their operations. As demand increased, more yards were created. In 1860 it is estimated that the Galaxidi ships reached 300. Until 1900 there was a continuous development of shipping but at the beginning of 1900 there was a decrease in merchant ships. A typical example is that while in 1892 Galaxidi had 126 sailboats, in 1903 they were reduced to 92. In contrast to the decline of trade, the steamers of Galaxidi managed to be maintained until the 1930s.


The decline of shipping was followed by the demographic problem which arose almost immediately. The main reason was because due to the few jobs the people of Galaxidi, who usually worked as captains or snouts on foreign ships, had to move to Piraeus where all the shipping companies were gathered.

Spiritual development
With the proclamation of the independence of the Greek Nation, the people of Galaxidi undertook the expenses for the construction of a school building. The school started operating in the period 1830-1831. The unified school was then divided into boys and girls. In 1880, on the initiative of Mayor Loukeris, the girls' school was built. In about 1850, the "Greek school administration" was founded in Galaxidi, which offered better quality education. Until then, the residents were forced to send their children to Amfissa. Eventually such schools were abolished in 1929. Today there is a normal primary, high school and lyceum.

The people of Galaxidi paid special attention to naval studies since it was their main occupation. Thus, by decree of the government in 1867, a naval school was established in the city of Galaxidi as well as in Hydra, Spetza, Syros and Argostoli. The first teacher was Efthymios Kavasilas, in whose house the naval school was housed. The school then acquired a privately owned building. In 1885 the school ceased to operate. In 1963, a naval high school was established by decree, which was transformed into a General High School in 1980, following the demands of the residents. Also, until 1990, the "Higher Public School of Merchant Marine Galaxidi-Ploarchon" operated, but it was merged with that of Preveza. The "Galaxidi School of Tourism Professions" operates in its place today.


The week of Carnival in Galaxidi is of special importance, especially on Holy Monday where the custom of flour smearing takes place. The custom is relatively simple. Residents gather at the port on Monday afternoon and are provided with bags of flour and paint. Then they engage in "epic" battles, which last for hours. The custom has its roots in the era of the Byzantine Empire where the clowns of the racecourses painted their faces. It took its current form during the time of the sailing ship, that is, from 1840 onwards, when this celebration took on great dimensions since it was the last and farewell before the departure of the sailors.

Written type
The first newspaper published in Galaxidi was handwritten and was called a pseudo-newspaper because of its exaggerations. It was published in 1821 to inspire the fighters of Central Greece and that is why its publication did not continue. Much later, in 1925, an attempt was made by students to publish a literary magazine called "Student Companion", which was published only in the summer months of the period 1925-1926. The first serious attempt was made by the Galaxidi lawyer Ioannis Mitropoulos, a resident of Piraeus, in 1929 with the newspaper "Galaxidiotiki". It was monthly and dealt with local issues in the area of ​​Galaxidi but circulated mainly in Piraeus. It was discontinued in 1933. At the same time, on November 1, 1930, a fortnightly newspaper was published, which then became a monthly. It was called "Oianthi" and dealt with local problems as well as literary pursuits. The most important newspaper, which survives to this day, is "Galaxidi". Responsible for its publication are the members of the association of Galaxidiotes of Piraeus. This particular newspaper has been published every month non-stop since 1947. Other newspapers such as "o Galaxidiotis", "Ta Galaxidiotika", "Galaxidiotikos typos" and "Galaxidiotiko Vima" were also published from time to time.

Galaxidi owes a lot to its benefactors. Important benefactors were Nikolaos Mamas, Efthymia & Panagiotis Koulombourou, the Aggeli family, Efstathia Tsalagyra-Rella, Ioannis Michalopoulos and others.

Bequest Mom
In his will, Nikolaos Mamas bequeathed to the community of Galaxidi, in 1939, a department store in Piraeus, consisting of eight stores and a cinema hall. The income of this property finances the homonymous awards to students as well as various financial aids to the needy. It also financially supported the excavations of the archeological museum.


town hall
The building that houses the town hall originally belonged to the Tsalagyra family. In 1957, Efstathia Tsalagyra - Rella donated this building in her will for the purpose of housing the town hall. Today, along with the town hall, the municipal library is also housed.

Folklore museum
The folklore museum is housed in the former home of the Aggeli family. The descendants of Panagiotis Aggelis (1814 - 1897) donated the house in 1955, which is located in the district of Chirolaka, in the community of Galaxidi for the purpose of housing a school or museum. Initially, the school of Galaxidi was housed and then it was turned into a folklore museum. The board of directors has five members and its chairman is the current mayor.

The main sights of the historic city of Galaxidi:

Church of St. Nicholas
The present church of Agios Nikolaos is built on a pagan sanctuary. In the 7th century the first church was built, dedicated to Agios Nikolaos while in 1800 the people of Galaxidi at their own expense began the work for the construction of a larger church. The present church was built in 1900. The decision was made by the mayor Konstantinos Papapetros in 1896. The architects were Germanos Hager and Konstantinos Papapetros. The church is of Byzantine style with two bell towers and a dome. It has three aisles while in the bell tower there is the big clock of the city, which was donated in 1908 by the brothers Nikolaos & Pavlos Sidiropoulos. A typical example of beauty is the wooden iconostasis of the temple. It was built in the decade 1840-1850 and is in "baroque" style.

Holy Church of Agia Paraskevi
Monastery of Agios Sotiros
The monastery is located at an altitude of 300 meters on a nearby hill, south of Galaxidi. The church existed from the first years of Christianity but a catastrophic earthquake in the early 13th century destroyed it. Following the requests of the inhabitants, the Despot of Epirus, Duke Michael II, Angelos Komnenos, built a new one, around 1250 AD. The church is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior Christ. The church is single-aisled, cross-roofed with a rectangular plan. In 1750 a male monastery was founded but the earthquake of 1756 tore down the monastery's katholikon and cut off the water supply, resulting in its desolation. In 1927 some monks settled, but left 5 years later. The actual reconstruction of the monastery took place in 1989, following the actions of Metropolitan Athenagoras of Phocis. In 1990 the nun Isidora settled, who takes care of the monastery and the surrounding area. In a crypt of the ruined church of Agios Sotiros was found the "Chronicle of Galaxidi" by Konstantinos Satha in 1864, which was written by the monk Efthymios in 1703.

The old school
It is located in Koukounas and is one of the oldest schools. It was built during the reign of Ioannis Kapodistrias at the expense of the community, which offered 4,389 grosis, and the government. Until 1932 it operated as a primary school and then was abandoned and sold by the school tax. It has been declared protected by a ministerial decision.

Naval and Ethnological Museum
The Naval and Ethnological Museum is housed in a building built during the town of Hardavella in 1870. Since 1932 it houses the naval gallery. The Naval and Ethnological Museum houses, in addition to the naval gallery, archaeological finds of the area. This archeological collection was created in 1932 but many pieces were lost during the occupation. Today the collection contains about 300 exhibits. An important role in its creation was played by Nikolaos Mamas, who financially supported the excavations of the museum, Ioannis Threpsiadis, who carried out many excavations, Petros Themelis, curator of antiquities of Delphi, etc.

The naval gallery was created by the mayor Efthimios Vlamis and collected sailboat paintings, sailors' diaries, naval instruments, etc. The collection was greatly enriched during the presidency of Zoe Tsingouni, while the role of the curator of the collection, Captain Athanasios Bombogiannis, was also important. Today, sailors' registers, naval instruments, paintings of sailboats, many of which were designed in Italy, paintings by the painter Petros Petrantzas, as well as the Chronicle of Galaxidi are hosted. The collection is maintained by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation.


The girls' school
The girls' school was built in 1880 under the town hall of Nikolaos Loukeris. It was used as a girls' school until 1929 and has been used as a theater ever since. It was abandoned for many years and in fact in order not to collapse the school ephorate auctioned it (1949). The couple Efthymia and Panagiotis Koulombourou bought it and in turn donated it to the community of Galaxidi. Since 1992, the Ministry of Culture has declared it a protected monument due to its architecture and historical significance.

The mansions of Galaxidi
Most of the city consists of brick mansions that remind of the wonderful past of the city. The architectural expression was influenced by the naval profession of the inhabitants who, as if traveling around the world, brought building materials and craftsmen from abroad. The first mansions were built in 1850 while the European influence is obvious. Many houses even have ceilings designed by Italian painters. Some of the mansions that stand out for their style are the Bourgeois of Katsoulis, the Dedousaikos of the ship owner Dedousis, the Moscholaikos, the Nineikos of P. Tsounas etc.