Rafina

 

Rafina is the port of the Mediterranean, on the coast of Eastern Attica. It covers an area of 19,000 acres and its population amounts to 12,168 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census. It is about 25 km away from Athens. Today, its port is one of the largest in Greece and has great mobility.

 

History

Ancient history
It is a historic municipality, inhabited since prehistoric times. In 3200 BC. The prehistoric settlement of Askitari was built on the homonymous small rocky peninsula just south of the place where Marikes beach is today. The settlement of Askitarios was in great prosperity during the period (3200 - 2000), for example, small rectangular buildings were found with stone walls at the base, brick ones above and a small hearth in the center separated by paths in building blocks, a cemetery to the south and a citadel . The excavations at the Hermitage were carried out during the three years (1952 - 1954) by the professor of prehistoric archeology of the University of Athens Dimitris Theocharis. The word Askitario later came from a rocky cave which a monk from the Penteli Monastery had turned into a sanctuary. North of the Rafina stream on the beach between the stream and the main port, copper processing facilities were also found.

The Hermitage had fallen into decline since the beginning of the first millennium BC. then the central settlement of Rafina or Arafina was created in the place where the central port is today. The municipality of Arafinia or the municipality of Arafinos was one of the municipalities of ancient Athens defined by Cleisthenes, with the name "Arafin". It took its name from its first governor, Arafinas, who was one of the mythical heroes of Attica. Excavations in the area also found evidence from the Roman period (buildings, Roman bath, statues).

Recent history
During the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922, many inhabitants of Triglia in Asia Minor came to Rafina, most of them by ships of the Triglian shipowner Filippos Kavounidis. They settled in Rafina and formed a refugee settlement called "Nea Triglia", which, however, did not prevail. But there is a house-museum which has been preserved since they came due to the destruction of Smyrna. He belonged to a family that had come and settled in Rafina after the disaster. The museum also includes all the furniture and equipment of the family that inhabited it.

The refugees built the Holy Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the center of the city very close to the port. In 1929 the construction of the first church was completed but there were no icons from the churches of Triglia because those that had been saved by the Turks went to the Byzantine Museum. The Byzantine museum initially refused because some icons such as the "Holy Visit" had a very high value, but after many attempts they managed to extract them in the same year. The small church of Agios Fanourios that was erected right next to it was the Holy Table of the church. In the 1950s, almost the entire old town of Rafina was demolished to make way for the modern town. At the same time, the first church of the Assumption of the Virgin of Pantovasilissi was demolished, only the small church of Agios Fanourios, which can be seen today, was saved and OTE Rafina was built on the site of the first church. The second church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary of Pantovasilissi that we see today next to the main square was built very close to the first, the work was completed in 1958 is the patron saint of the city.