The History of Agia Galini

Where does the name of Agia Galini originate from?

Legend has it that, the name of Agia Galini was given by Empress Eudocia of Byzantium when her ship sailing to Africa faced a big storm close to the ancient city of Soulia. Asking for the help of Virgin Mary, the Empress suggested that the crew approach the shore, and vowed she would build a church dedicated to Virgin Mary if they could find shelter.

Indeed the ship moored safely to the naturally sheltered beach of the village, and the Empress built the temple, as promised. The temple was dedicated to the so-called 'Holy Virgin of Serenity' after which the village was named.

Historical Facts about Agia Galini

Agia Galini village is built upon the ancient Minoan city of Soulia, one of the hundred cities of Crete described by Homer. It was a place of worship and there was also a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The history of Soulia continued until the 7th century when it was destroyed by pirates.

Remnants of this city and temple have been found, such as buildings, tombs, marbles,as well as two granite columns that adorn the church of the village till our days.

The bay of Agia Galini has always been a suitable anchorage for ships. It was used in the revolutions of 1821 and 1866 for unloading munitions. Due to its close proximity to the fertile and oil producing regions of Ampadia and Melampes, the port was used for loading oil to ships. The settlement was founded in 1884, when commercial buildings, oil warehouses and some residences were built.

Over the years the commercial traffic and oil export increased significantly and therefore Customs were founded. After a few years (1890) there was a permanent settlement of about 20 people.

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