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Modern History

Modern History. The social structure existing on Skopelos during the Turkish occupation influenced morals and customs, and modulated the particularity of its folk culture to some extent. The island portrayed a severe separation among social classes. The ruling class were the large landowners and the shipowners of the island The largest part of the population was made up of small-scale farmers, workers and sailors.

This social classification did not change after the Revolution. In the second half of the 19th c. And the first half of the 20th, there was emigration towards America, Romania, and Russia, due to the poverty that struck the islands in the Northern Sporades – and Skopelos of course.

During the Balkan unrest and the Asia Minor expedition that followed and ended in a tragedy, Glossa and the area with enlisted young men in general was present and had its own toll. Fifteen youg men from Glossa lost their lives in the decade from 1912 to 1922. The same happened in the Hellenic-Italian and Hellenic-German wars of 1940-1941. Besides those who fell on the front form wounds, there were several others who returned to the island crippled.

In 1940, a terrible phylloxera epidemic terminally destroyed the famous vines on the island. In the first year of the Italian-German occupation, Glossa became hideout for many men of the Alliance Expedition Corps, after the invasion of the Germans in 1941. It was the allied forces that took over the passes on Olympus in order to cover the Allied Expedition Corps on their retreat from Macedonia. These men, cut off later from their units, hid on mount Olympus, crossed over to Pilio in groups and from there to the Sporades, from where they believed they would be able to get to the Turkish coast, and then to the Middle East. These men found refuge and food offered to them by the residents, and then boats had to be found for their transport. The first men who arrived in Loutraki, about one hundred officers and soldiers, were hidden in country homes, and moved to Turkey on a ship from Glossa called Alberta. Those who arrived on the island were taken over by a team that was created in Glossa, to distribute them to various huts and send them supplies for as long as they were on the island. Then, communicating with Skopelos and Skiathos, they saw to their transport.

The tourist development of Skopelos began in the 1980s. Young people were motivated to remain on the island and many others to return from the rural centres and abroad, especially during the summer months.

In modern years, Skopelos continues to portray a remarkable culture; the legends and its rich folk tradition, historical and artistic monuments, its castles and monasteries, its churches with the famous temples, local artists who continue to create unique artefacts.

Skopelos residents continue to occupy themselves with ship-building art, the processing of wood and ceramics. In the past there were shipyards on Skopelos and during the Revolution the island offered 35 commercial ships to the Cause. They also occupied themselves with woven art, with the well-known traditional

Skopelos costumes.  

Skopelos knives are also very well-known, with folk crosstalk engraved on their handles.

Let us discover the island and feel its past, so as to better understand the present and future of this land.