(1900 Times Atlas of the World)
1204: Micono is assigned to the Ghisi, a Venetian family of merchants.
1390: Venice establishes direct rule on the island.
1537: Hayruddin Barbarossa, an Ottoman admiral seizes the island and imposes a yearly tax payment on its inhabitants.
1645-1669: During the War of Candia the Venetians repeatedly occupy the island.
View of the old part of the town in the foreground
So we took the opportunity, and put out to Sea; and although it ran high, yet the wind being low, by great providence we passed safe the Chanel, about four miles over, from Delos to the Port and Town of Micone. (..) It is rather bigger than lesser, then Tine. (..) It is well peopled, and by Christians only; but now under the protection of the Turks. Their Governour is a Christian, sent by the Turks from Constantinople. (..) They pay to the Turk a tribute which he sendeth for yearly.
A journey into Greece by George Wheler, Esq., in company of Dr. Spon of Lyons - 1682
The view of Mykonos from the sea is attractive. (..) In itself it is one of the least interesting islands of the archipelago. "Lowly Mykonos,' as Pliny described it, is a fair description still. (..) Every possible piece of antiquity comes from Delos, even the pillars down by the harbour to which the sailors moor their boats are from a temple at Delos.
James Theodore Bent - The Cyclades - 1885
Micono is located at the centre of the Aegean Sea; it is very close to Delos, the site of a very important ancient sanctuary to Apollo and to Tino and not far from Siro, Nasso and Paro, but in antiquity it did not have the same importance as the other islands.
In the middle of the harbour, joined to the quay by an arched bridge - recalling a Venetian canal bridge to one's mind - and built on a rock, is a little white church, with vaulted roof, dedicated to the modern Poseidon, St. Nicholas. Here the sailors worship their patron saint, and at Mykonos nearly every household possesses a sailor amongst its number ; consequently St. Nicholas and his feast are in high repute. Bent
It has but one Town bearing the name of the Island, which is at the NWt. part, without any Fortification. Most of the Inhabitants are Privateers, who serve with the Legorneses and Malteses, leaving their women to their own discretion, and the Civility of strangers.
Bernard Randolph, b. 1643. The present state of the islands in the archipelago.
(October 1806) From the strait of Dhiles, we cross over to the harbour of Mykono, (..) and anchor under the town at 10 a.m. This part of the bay is much exposed to the west.
William Martin Leake - Travels in northern Greece - 1835.
At the end of the promontory is all that is left of a mediaeval tower which once protected the harbour. There is a Byzantine church, buried in houses. Bent
The town was built on a low and small headland which only partially protected ships from strong winds.
The chief product of the Islands is Wine, Corne, and Fruit. The Venetians usually in time of peace come with their ships, and provide themselves with wine. Randolph
It is a considerable town composed of white houses, with wooden balconies, which are built for the most part on a promontory which juts out into the sea. Bent
Although Micono was under Ottoman suzerainty its inhabitants kept strong links with those of nearby Tino which was a Venetian possession until 1715. Houses were built right on the edge of the water, similar to those of Venice.
(left) An old house; (right) Our Lady of the Rosary, the Roman Catholic church
Some of the houses and
streets are better than in most of the islands. Leake
Some of the houses of Mykonos are well built and more decorative than is usual in these island towns. Bent
It is a large Town, having many Greek Churches, and one Latine Church, which serves when any Privateers come; for here are very few other than of the Greek Religion. (..) Those, who go to sea, are the younger sort of their men, and when they have well stock't themselves with gaine, come and spend it here. Randolph
The Archdiocese of Tino included Micono.
The greatest part of the Inhabitants are Pyrats, and this place is a great Staple for their prey: Here they keep their Wives, Children, and Mistresses. The greatest part of the Town seems to consist of Women; who deservedly have a greater reputation for Beauty then Chastity; the Men being most of them abroad, seeking their Fortunes. Our Captain had here a Seraglio of them, when he was a Corsaire in these Seas, as I before mentioned. (..) He was for new game at his coming hither; and therefore found out a pretty young Virgin for his Mistress, which he bought of her Brutal Father, as provision for his Voyage to Constantinople. (..) He kept the next day a Feast, inviting his Officers as to his Nuptials; and had her dressed very fine in a Venetian habit. Wheler
The church was renovated by Bishop Angelo Venier in 1677 during the pontificate of Pope Innocent XI. This Pope supported the Republic of Venice during the 1685-1699 war which led to the conquest of Morea (Peloponnese). The King of France, with the agreement of the Sultan, acted as protector of the Catholics living in the Ottoman Empire: the coat of arms meant that the church was under his protection.
(left) Gravestone inside Our Lady of the Rosary with the initial sentence of the Mass for the Dead (Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine - Grant them eternal rest, O Lord); (right) decoration of the top of an old chapel
During the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries the decoration of many Roman churches and funerary monuments was based on reminders of Death (Memento Mori). This fashion was not limited to Rome and bones and skulls can be seen even in the only Catholic church of Micono.
The island of Mykono is for the
most part a miserable rock, (..) nevertheless, the town is one of the largest and
most prosperous in the Aegoean sea, in consequence
of its maritime commerce. There are twenty-five ships belonging to the islanders, and a great number of boats. Leake
A regiment of windmills coming right down the hillside forms a conspicuous object from afar, and dotted about here and there are some of those quaint dovecotes of which we afterwards saw better specimens on Tenos. Bent
In the late XVIIIth century and in the early XIXth century many Greek islands developed a large merchant navy which supplied the various provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The corn bought in Syria or in the Anatolian tableland was processed in Micono and this explains why so many windmills were built near the harbour.
The image used as background for this page shows Panagia Paraportiani.
Introductory page on the Venetian Fortresses in Greece
List of the fortresses
|Geographic area||Location||Ionian Islands||Corfų (Kerkyra) Paxo (Paxi) Santa Maura (Lefkadas) Cefalonia (Kephallonia) Asso (Assos) Itaca (Ithaki) Zante (Zachintos) Cerigo (Kythera)||Greek Mainland||Butrinto (Butrint) Parga Preveza and Azio (Aktion) Vonizza (Vonitsa) Lepanto (Nafpaktos) Atene (Athens)||Peloponnese (Morea)||Castel di Morea (Rio), Castel di Rumelia (Antirio) and Patrasso (Patra) Castel Tornese (Hlemoutsi) and Glarenza Navarino (Pilo) and Calamata Modon (Methoni) Corone (Koroni) Braccio di Maina, Zarnata, Passavā and Chielefā Mistrā Corinto (Korinthos) Argo (Argos) Napoli di Romania (Nafplio) Malvasia (Monemvassia)||Aegean Islands||Negroponte (Chalki) Castelrosso (Karistos) Oreo Lemno (Limnos) Schiatto (Skiathos) Scopello (Skopelos) Alonisso Schiro (Skyros) Andro (Andros) Tino (Tinos) Micono (Mykonos) Siro (Syros) Egina (Aegina) Spezzia (Spetse) Paris (Paros) Antiparis (Andiparos) Nasso (Naxos) Serifo (Serifos) Sifno (Syphnos) Milo (Milos) Argentiera (Kimolos) Santorino (Thira) Folegandro (Folegandros) Stampalia (Astipalea)||Crete||Grambusa (Granvousa) Castello (Kasteli/Kissamos) La Canea (Xania) Souda Candia (Iraklion) Rettimo (Rethymno) Spinalonga and Castel Mirabello Castles on the southern coast Sittia and Paleocastro|
You may refresh your knowledge of the history of Venice in the Levant by reading an abstract from
the History of Venice by Thomas Salmon, published in 1754. The Italian text is accompanied by an English summary.