Xylokastro

 

 

Xylokastro is a seaside town in the regional unit of Corinth. It is the seat of the municipality of Xylokastro - Evrostini. According to the 2011 census, it has 5,500 permanent residents. It receives thousands of visitors every summer and is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Peloponnese. Points of interest are the pine forest of Pefkias and the beaches of the area. It is 120 km from Athens and 94.6 km from Patras.

 

Designation
Xylokastro took its name from a wooden barracks in the area where an observatory operated during the years of Venetian rule. The barracks was located on the west side of the hill "Kati ton Pefko", above the current city, near the river Sytha. From there the guard could control traffic in the Gulf of Corinth and oversee the port of the Aristonauts. He also had visual contact with the castles of Zemenos and Pellini and could inform their administration with smoke signals. The barracks was named a wooden castle by the locals, and from it the area which includes the settlements of Ypsila Alonia, Mertikeika, Georganteika and Riza, was named Xylokastro. In the 18th century it was called Oxokampos.

History
In the area there was initially a large pine forest. During the pre-revolutionary years, Xylokastro consisted of a few houses and some warehouses and functioned as a port of Trikala, Corinth. The forest was then deforested to cultivate the land and of the original forest only Pefkias is left because it is located on sandy soil. Raisins were grown in Xylokastro, with the production reaching 1,300,000 Venetian liters, which brought Xylokastro income of 500,000 drachmas. The raisins were transported to Patras by boats, from where they were exported mainly to England.

Xylokastro became known to foreigners, who began to visit it in the early 20th century, and called it "Anthoupolis" because of its many flowers. In 1906, the first nudists in Greece appeared in the area of ​​Xylokastro. Xylokastro was officially judged as a summer residence of foreigners in 1919 and was visited by various famous people (eg kings, prime ministers and actors). Xylokastro became a spa town. In 1923, the Krokideion Primary School was founded with the donation of Sotiris Krokidas. At the same time, Greek refugees from the area of ​​Nikomedia settled in Xylokastro. There was a camp of the Typaldos brothers in Pefkias. Mostly foreigners spent their holidays at the camp. Tourism has led Xylokastro to economic development and improved living conditions.

In the 1970s, the water supply problem was solved with the transfer of water from Gellini (a small village near Trikala, Corinth). The Typaldos camp is closed. In the 1970s neoclassical houses with rich decoration began to be replaced by apartment buildings. These houses were built in an effort for the residents to get a house more beautifully decorated by their neighbors. The apartment buildings were built on the coastal road.

At the end of the 20th century, the reconstruction of Xylokastro began. The open-air theater "Vassilis Georgiadis", the indoor theater "Angelos Sikelianos", the general and technical Lyceum of Xylokastro, the 2nd High School of Xylokastro, the 3rd Primary School "Vardaveion", the 1st Kindergarten "Voudou" and Kindergarten in the settlement of Aristonavtes. Tennis courts and a marina were also built on the banks of the river Sytha and the 1st Primary School was repaired. Xylokastro also experienced cultural and athletic development, as beach volleyball games and concerts were organized.

Administrative history
Xylokastro was annexed to the municipality of Trikala in 1845. In 1876 it was designated the winter seat of the municipality. In 1912 it was detached from the municipality and was designated as the seat of the community of Xylokastro. In 1961 it absorbed the settlements of Zevgolatio and Ypsila Alonia. The Kapodistrias program defined the seat of the municipality of Xylokastro and in 2010 the Kallikratis program defined the seat of Xylokastro-Evrostina.

Pefkia Forest
Pefkia forest is a natural pine forest between Xylokastro and Sykia. It stretches along the shores of the Corinthian Gulf and has been characterized as an aesthetic forest. 83 species of plants have been developed in the brackish soil, among which the Aleppo pine, the spruce, the myrtle, the wicker, the cedar, the Phoenician holly, the tamarisk, the bear bear, the reed, the rabbit, the thyme and the aphana stand out. It is mentioned by Kostas Karyotakis as the "green beach of the homeland", while it was a source of inspiration for Angelos Sikelianos.