Paxoi

Παξοί
The natural port of Gaios, protected by St Nicolas island
Paxoi
Paxoi
Location within the region
Coordinates: 39°12′N 20°10′E / 39.200°N 20.167°E / 39.200; 20.167Coordinates: 39°12′N 20°10′E / 39.200°N 20.167°E / 39.200; 20.167
CountryGreece
Administrative regionIonian Islands
Regional unitCorfu
Area
 • Municipality30,121 km2 (11,630 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Municipality
2,300
 • Municipality density0.076/km2 (0.20/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
490 82
Area code(s)26620
Vehicle registrationKY
Websitewww.paxi.gr
Gaios village
Gaios village
St Nicolas island and Gaios
St Nicolas island and Gaios

Paxi or Paxoi and Antipaxoi or Antipaxos (Greek: Παξοί και Αντίπαξοι, pronounced /pækˈs/ in English and [paˈksi] in Greek) is the smallest island group within the Ionian Islands (the Heptanese). In Greek it is a plural form. The largest islands are Paxos and Antipaxos. The main town of Paxoi and the seat of the municipality is Gaios.[2] The municipality has an area of 30,121 km2 (11,630 sq mi).[3] The area of the island is 76 square kilometres (29 sq mi). In Greek mythology, Poseidon created the island by striking Corfu with his trident, so that he and his wife Amphitrite could have some peace and quiet.

History

Although it was possibly inhabited from prehistoric times, the Phoenicians are traditionally held to have been the first settlers on Paxos. The name is believed to be derived from Pax, which meant trapezoidal in their language.[4]

This island is noted for the Battle of Paxos, fought between the ancient Greek and Illyrian fleets during the First Illyrian War in 229 BC. The battle is recorded by the ancient historian Polybius (The Histories, book 2, chapter 2).

The Romans ruled the island from the 2nd century BC, and during the Byzantine period and Middle Ages it was constantly attacked by pirates. After various rulers and Crusaders had passed through, the island was taken by the Venetians at the end of the 14th century.

During the Napoleonic wars, the Ionian Islands were taken by the French and the Russo-Turkish alliance. On 13 February 1814, the island of Paxos surrendered to the Royal Navy frigate HMS Apollo and 160 troops from the 2nd Greek Light Infantry from Cephalonia and the 35th Regiment of the Royal Corsican Rangers. In 1815, the United Kingdom established the Ionian Union. In 1864, together with the rest of the Heptanese, Paxos was ceded to Greece.

Geography

The island is approximately eight miles (13 km) in length and tipped up towards the west. The west coast is dominated by steep white, chalky cliffs that are greatly eroded at sea level, and harbour many 'blue caves', which can be explored on launches departing from Gaios. Much of the attractive landscape is still covered in olive groves. These stretch from Lakka, the harbour community in the north, through Magazia to Gaios, the capital. Olive oil making, soap manufacture and fishing were supplanted by tourism as the main industry in the mid sixties, resulting in a construction boom, which has greatly altered the coastline around Gaios, the capital of the Paxiot demos (community). There are ferry and jetfoil connections daily with Kerkyra (Corfu) and with the mainland at Igoumenitsa. Excursions via Corfu to Albania (the resort of Saranda and the magnificent Greco-Roman settlement of Butrint) can also be arranged with the local jetfoil operators.

Province

The province of Paxoi (Greek: Επαρχία Παξών) was one of the provinces of the Corfu Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Paxoi.[5] It was abolished in 2006.

Foreign residents

Among well known semi-permanent British inhabitants were Audrey Good, former commander of the UN refugee bases in Epirus following the Greek Civil War, actor Peter Bull (author of It Isn't All Greek to Me) and actress Susannah York. Some members of the Agnelli family (of FIAT fame) have built a palatial holiday home—complete with faux medieval tower—on a small island (Kaltonisi) situated near the southernmost tip ('the heel') of Paxos, close to the beach of Mongonissi. The presence of such residents, and the development of the coastal area (mostly by Italian nationals) explains why Paxos has now become one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Greece.[citation needed]

Paxos is part of a European network called Cultural Village of Europe. The annual Paxos Festival was founded by John Gough, and is now organised by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and attracts some of Europe's finest young performers. This festival events usually take place between June to September and are usually held in the disused school of Longos.[6]

Transport

The island is serviced by ferry boats from the mainland Greece port of Igoumenitsa (1.5 hours), hydrofoils and ferry boats from Corfu (1-2 hours) and from Bari and Brindisi (4 hours). There is no airport but there was a privately owned seaplane service (7 minutes from Corfu town) operated by AirSea Lines. As of late 2009, this service is no-longer operational.

Dialect

A dialect is spoken resembling that of Corfu and having a similar prosody. It is heavily influenced by Italian. [7]

Climate data for Loggos, Paxi (Λογγός, Παξοί)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.9
(57.0)
14.3
(57.7)
16.0
(60.8)
19.0
(66.2)
23.9
(75.0)
28.2
(82.8)
31.1
(88.0)
31.4
(88.5)
27.6
(81.7)
23.2
(73.8)
18.5
(65.3)
15.2
(59.4)
21.9
(71.4)
Average low °C (°F) 5.2
(41.4)
5.8
(42.4)
6.8
(44.2)
9.5
(49.1)
13.4
(56.1)
16.9
(62.4)
18.8
(65.8)
19.3
(66.7)
16.8
(62.2)
13.8
(56.8)
9.8
(49.6)
6.7
(44.1)
11.9
(53.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 132
(5.2)
136
(5.4)
98
(3.9)
62
(2.4)
36
(1.4)
14
(0.6)
7
(0.3)
18
(0.7)
75
(3.0)
148
(5.8)
181
(7.1)
180
(7.1)
1,087
(42.9)
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute (temperatures)[8] and Holiday Weather.com (rainfall)[9]

Communities and settlements

References

  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Archived 2017-04-27 at the Wayback Machine Greece Ministry of Interior (in Greek)
  3. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece.
  4. ^ The official page of Paxos – History. 30 November 1999 http://www.paxi.gr/2008/index.php?lang=&page=2&article=2. Retrieved 13 November 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Detailed census results 1991" (PDF). (39 MB) (in Greek and French)
  6. ^ "Program 2019". Paxos Festival. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  7. ^ Glossary of Paxiot expressions
  8. ^ Web: Yr – Været for Norge og verden fra NRK og Meteorologisk institutt.
  9. ^ Web: Holiday Weather.com
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Paxo .