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Astypalea is a Greek island with 1,238 residents. It belongs to the Dodecanese, an island group of twelve major islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The Island is 18 km. long, 13 km. wide at the most, and covers an area of 99 km2. The capital and the previous main harbour of the island is Astypalea or Hora, as it is called by the locals.
In Greek mythology, Astypalaia was a woman abducted by Poseidon in the form of a winged fish-tailed leopard. The island was colonized by Megara, and the Roman emperors recognized it as a free state.
During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantines until 1207, when – in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade – it became a fee of the Querini, a noble Venetian family, until 1522. The Querini built a castle that is still in place. Astypalea became Turkish in 1522, and the Ottomans kept it until 1912 when it became the first island of the Dodecanese to be occupied by Italy. The island remained under Italian governance until WWII. In 1947, together with the whole Dodecanese, it joined Greece.
Astypalea Island, Dodecanese, Greece, Europe
Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200 mm, 1/20 sec at f/ 13, ISO 100
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