Volos Port – Window to the world

“To have a port close to you was like having the whole world close to you”, the historian Eric Hobsbawm has written and this, at least in the case of Volos, is completely true. Extroversion, exchange, progress, new products, new techniques and ideas passed through the port gates and spread throughout the city. The agricultural production in the plain of Thessaly, the industrial production initially within the city and later the entry of refugees in 1922, who were employed both in the industries and in the professions of the sea, and the direct connection of the port with the rest of Thessaly and Greece through the railway line they composed a turnover in which the port had a leading role. The port of Volos was even connected to Syria in 1977. The transit line operated until 1985, when it was stopped due to political instability in the Middle East. The deindustrialization that began in the 1970s and the transfer of factory facilities to the industrial area also had its effects on port traffic. Also, for at least 20 years, the railway connection between the port and Volos station has stopped, even though the distance between them does not exceed 300 meters.”

From somewhere here, according to legend, Jason and the Argonauts started their journey to the Black Sea, intending to bring back the golden fleece. Ancient Dimitrias later developed into an important transport center and shipyard, where ships from all over the Mediterranean sailed. In Byzantine and Ottoman times, the port would continue to play an important role, mainly for the export of products from Pelion and the plain of Thessaly. The historical researcher Maria Spanou, who has undertaken on behalf of the Volos Port Authority (OLB) the study of the course of the port over time, has recorded testimonies of European travelers as early as the 16th century. There are references in the archives of Venice and Marseilles, while there is also innumerable information given by consuls and diplomats, and which Mrs. Spanou searched for in the Diplomatic and Historical Archive Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All these sources show the timeless importance of the location of the port and when a city meant a port and vice versa. We know that in the 19th century Volos was connected to many cities abroad, from Constantinople and Smyrna to Marseille and Trieste”

Text by: Lina kapetaniou

ClientTaxidia MagazineServicesphotographyYear2023

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