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Island of Leros
Strategically situated in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea, Leros sits on a glorious historical background. Human presence on the island has been traced as far back as in the Neolithic Era, an assumption corroborated through the remains of a settlement, unearthed by archaeologists in Partheni and estimated to date sometime between 8.000 to 3000 years B.C.
  Lore has it that Leros was first inhabited by the Kares, the Leleges, the Phoenicians and even the Cretans under the leadership of Rodamanthys, King Minos' very own son. Later on, the impetuous hordes of Dorians landed on the island. Through the Homeric verses, Leros is quoted as having taken part in the Trojan war jointly with the neighboring island of Kalymnos whereas later on, Herodotus the historian mentioned that this island had been able to strike more than one alliances on the political, commercial but also on the cultural and intellectual level with the celebrated Ionians of Militus.
A glorious moment for Leros was the cultural development experienced in the 5th century B.C. Those were the days of such illustrious figures as Demodicus, the satirical poet, and Pheredikes, the historian. In the wake of the Persian Wars, Leros joined the Athenian Alliance.
The Army of Alexander the Great also made its presence felt on the island, a fact confirmed through tomb stele and coins of the time discovered in Leros. Plutarch explicitly praised the important position Leros enjoyed in the domain of navigation, through specific references in the passage on the captivity of Julius Cesar in the nearby islet of Leros.
In the Byzantine era, the island saw the building of certain imposing Christian churches. By decree of Emperor Constantine the Great, Leros became part of the administrative region ("Thema") of Samos. That was also the time of construction of such outstanding landmarks as the Fortress and the church dedicated to Holy Mary ("Panagia") as well as the Castle of the Lepides, most commonly referred to as the "Paleokastro", around which there still raise whatever remains of the so-called Cyclopean Walls.
  Platanos - Aghia Marina - Panteli.
Formerly separated, these three settlements have ended up forming one township. Following the formation of the landscape, the houses cover the area between two bights - namely the port of Aghia Marina and the bight of Panteli - and two hills - Apityki, crowned with a fortress on top and Merovigli, renown for its spring of Paliaksloupi (deriving from the terms "Palaeon Asklipeion" - Old Aesculapium).
In the very heart of the island, one comes across the township of Platanos, a historic, administrative, cultural and commercial center, by far the oldest of all settlements in Leros. At the foot of the Apityki, on the southern part of such hill and towards the bay bearing the same name, there is Panteli, once a small fishermen village. This is a typical crossroads for the route leading to the windmills and from there on to the fortress. Perennial port, Aghia Marina is currently a very busy marine installation - rivaling in activity the port of Lakki. Around these two ports there currently live a total 2.500 people.

This is the main port of the island, impressive in its buildings and constructions, renown for its broad streets and the impeccable structure, reminder of a clearly European urban planning, with parks and eucalyptus-lined lanes - a different aspect of Leros that is bound to take visitors by surprise. This is the place where remains of Ancient Classical buildings can still be seen incorporated in more recent constructions - mostly churches around the island.
It was over the years of the Italian rule (1912 - 1948) that what was once nothing more than a picturesque bay was converted into a town, the major part of such works having taken place between 1930 and 1936. Protected and safely arranged in the utmost inner part of the bay - the entrance of which is barely 500 meter wide - Lakki is righteously considered as one of the best havens in the Mediterranean. A naval Italian base of the time, Lakki played a crucial part in World War II. Ialians also maintained a naval air base in Lepida, also very well equipped. Lakki boasts of a population of 2400 and lies within a 4 km distance south from Platanos.

This has been a historic and even holy place in Leros since antiquity. This is where the first relics, suggesting life in Leros has flourished since ancient times. The place is famous for the vestiges of the ancient temple of Virgin Venus (Virgin translating as "Parthenos" in Greek, hence the name of Partheni). This temple was destroyed sometime in the 11 century A.C. when Holy Christodoulos decided to use parts of the ancient construction as building material for the small church and cloister of Saint George. Leros' airfield lies next to Partheni. The bay is further protected by the islet of Archangelos. There are 300 people living in Partheni, lying within a 8 km distance from Platanos.



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