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About Andros

One of the first inhabitants of Andros were the Phoenicians. According to some historians, the capital of Andros was the Phoenician town of Arados which later became Andros. Then came the Cretans whose leader was General Andros.

One of the most important civilizations of the island was developed in Zagora area which reached its peak between 900-700 B.C. During the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods (600 B.C. -199 A.D.) Paleopolis (literally meaning the old city) was the capital of the island. Andros contributed to this period with its spiritual and material wealth and especially its naval strength.

During the Roman period, the island saw a decline with a small rise again during the years of the Empress Adrianos. During the years of the first Byzantine Emperor Constantinos, Andros was part of the Empire.

The basis for the prosperity in the area was the silkworm trade which occupied most of the inhabitants who used the top floors of their houses to cultivate the silkworms and to produce fine silk materials which were in demand in the capitals of Greece and in Europe and European businessmen came to the island to make their transactions.

After the fall of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusadors in 1204, the Aegean was taken over by the Venetians. The island remained under the Venetian rule until 1566 when it was seized by the Turks. The Venetians, in order to protect the island from the pirates and the Turks, had built castles, towers and lookout posts. 
The Turks seize Andros in 1566 but due to privileges which were in force from the beginning of the occupation, the island remained self-governing.