Limenaria

Driving the coastal road, leaving behind the steep and greenery cape of Kefala, someone arrives in the small picturesque bay of Tripiti, which is a beautiful beach with very clean sea and fine sand, and then finds the town of Limenaria with the settlement Kalivia which are in a high touristy development. According to the last census the residents of Limenaria are almost the same number as these of Limena, the capital of Thassos.

Limenaria started to develop at the beginning of the 20th century where minerals, which the German company Speidel exploited, were loaded. The Spiedel branch offices, which are known as 'Palataki", are an excellent piece of architecture built at the beginning of the 20th century. Limenaria met a high touristy development at the decades of 80's and 90's. There has been made a useful and successful traffic intervention in the downtown of Limenaria and there has been a try to restore the old offices of the company Spiedel. One of the highlights of the village is the cave under the 'Palataki" and the 'beach of the mines' with the abandoned mines. Hotels, rooms to let, ta vernas, cafes and bars are provided. There is a folklore museum and a small private one, the museum Papageorgiou.

 

Ιn the Αssociation of local freelancers' site, we read:

Limenaria is the most recently built village of Thassos due to the gradual abandonment of the mountainous settlement Kastro (Castle) by its residents.

The abandonment of Kastro and the settlement of the residents in the location of Limenaria began in 1905, when the ingenious German businessman Fr.Speidel, founder of the homonymous mining company, arrived at the unimportant at that time, “Skala”.  Only a few hundred meters northeast of Limenaria at the site of “Vouves” he detected significant deposits of silver lead and calamine and immediately began mining.  Mines absorbed all the available workforce, initially that of Kastro and later of Theologos and nearby villages.

The “Palataki” (small palace) that stands imposingly as a landmark in Limenaria, was the residence of the German genius.  Along the beach he built a series  of identical houses for the settlement of the first few workers, some of which still survive to this day, while maintaining the architectural style of the Speidel period (1905-1914).

The mines operated at extremely fast pace until 1914, when the First World War interrupted their operation.  A brief glimpse of their operation was the period 1925-1930, but the global economic “crash” of 1930 definitely ceased their operation.  In 1957 another German company uses Limenaria as its headquarters and uses the facilities of “Palataki”.  This company exploits at other sites large quantities of iron necessary for the reconstruction of war-torn Germany.  Concurrently with this German company, a Greek one operates from its headquarters based in Limenaria too.  The operation of both ceased in 1963 for different reasons each.

During these years Limenaria experienced unprecedented growth and became the most populous city of Thassos, since the census of 1960 counted more than 3500 residents.

Preceded the 1922 a wave of refugees from Haraki of Asia Minor that gave new life to the village.  The residents of Kastro will mix with the people from Asia Minor who will force the residents of Limenaria to the sea. This shift has opened up new economical horizons for the residents.

 
George Avgoustidis

 


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