February 2008 Newsletter
 This Month 
Greek Culture Article: Roses for Aphrodite Special Feature: Heritage Walks in Athens
What's New: Romantic Gift Ideas, New Mug Designs Featured Destination: Samos 
Saint Namedays in February February's Recipe: Youvarlákia (Greek Meatball Soup)
Suggestions & Comments / Subscription Info New T-Shirt and Sweatshirt Designs!

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 c. uncooked rice
- 1 medium onion, puréed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  (generous amount)
- salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch chopped flat-leaved parsley

For the egg and lemon sauce:
- 2 eggs
- juice of 2 lemons
 

Preparation:

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, uncooked rice, puréed onion, and the egg. Knead thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into small balls (rub hands with a little oil first). Bring some water to a boil in a pan, add the olive oil, and slide in the meat balls one at a time. Leave the soup to simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the meat and rice are cooked.

Chop parsley and set aside.

To prepare the egg and lemon sauce (Avgolémono), beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt until still. Beat in 2 yolks and add the juice of 2 lemons and 2 cups of stock from the simmering meatballs.


Add the sauce to the slightly cooked dish and fold in carefully. Do not allow to cook any further Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and add extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with freshly baked white bread.

 

Excerpt from: "Culinaria Greece" by Marianthi Milona



 
Greek Culture Article
Roses for Aphrodite

Even today, there is no denying the effect that the perfume of roses and the magic of love has on people. Their symbolic significance is as old as time and closely associated with the goddess Aphrodite. It was in her honor that "Aphrodisia" festivals used to be celebrated on Cyprus, secret initiation ceremonies about which very little is known, since those participating were sworn to silence. One thing we do know, however, is that they were celebrated in April when everything was in bloom. Young girls adorned themselves with roses, sang and danced, fasted, and planted trees for the beautiful goddess in her temple gardens. Even though the mystique surrounding Aphrodite had long since disappeared, a bouquet of roses is still an expression of love between a man and a woman.

Rose perfume and rose water are still manufactured on Cyprus as a memorial to the goddess of love. In May, the rose-growers pick around half a million petals from the damask roses cultivated in their fields. The best time to gather them is while the leaves are still damp with morning dew. These flowers of love, from which oil of roses is distilled, fill the whole area with an intense perfume. The island's inhabitants, however, also use essence of roses to make rose water, rose liqueur, and rose brandy.

Rose water and rose perfume have many different uses in Cyprus kitchens. Sweet dishes, such as dakita, bouzékia and loukoúmi, as well as the Cypriot version of baklavás, are all flavored with rose water. Alternative medicine had long since recognized the therapeutic qualities of rose oil. It has antiseptic properties, and is good for treating wounds and inflammations. It is thought to have a soothing effect in times of trouble and sadness. Cypriot women use rose water to protect their faces from the sun and grandmothers insist that their granddaughters wash with rose water.  
Greek Rose Jam Preserves

Greek Rose Jam Preserves
 
 

APHRODITE - Wherever she wandered, sweet-smelling roses grew at her feet. Fabled as "the most beautiful female figure ever born", her mythological stories have been revered for centuries. Known as Venus by the Romans, she has been known in all cultures as the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. She was also a protectress of sailors.
 

 Special Feature: Heritage Walks in Athens
 ATHENS OVER THE AGES


The "city of the violet crown", as she was described by the Theban poet Pindar, was in remote antiquity inhabited by Pelasgians and by Greek speaking Ionians. Both considered themselves "autochthones", and in the 5th century, the father of history, Herodotos from Halicarnassos, wrote that Athenians of his time believed these two peoples had lived together for a period and that some Athenian customs were derived from the Pelasgians.

In myth, the city's origin was ascribed to Kekrops, and its name "Kekropia". Myth again related that two great Olympian gods, Poseidon and Athena, offered its inhabitants symbolic gifts. They chose the bountiful olive tree Athena offered instead of the salt sea, and came to be called "Athenians". Also in myth, Athens' most important king was Theseus, son of Aigeus, who defeated the Minotaur and released the city from the vassal's tax paid to Crete. Another important achievement ascribed in myth to Theseus was the unification of all the towns of Attica with Athens as their centre. Tradition related that the last king, Kodros, sacrificed himself to hold back the invasion of the Dorians, Greek speakers of another dialect. Thus the city remained entirely Ionian.

The first archaeological remains around the Acropolis date to the Neolithic period (4000-3200 BCE). There is archeological evidence of important changes on the Greek mainland about the end of the third millennium BC, which may possibly also indicate the arrival of new language groups. During the Mycenaean period (16th-13th centuries), Athens seems to have been less important than Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos and Thebes. In the 13th century, however, a Cyclopean Wall was built around the Acropolis, including a spring and the ruler's palace.

It is in the 11th century that Athens first emerged in the artistic avantgarde of Greek culture, with its protogeometric pottery style. The geometric period (900-700) is distinguished in art by the high quality of its pottery. Horizontal, diagonal and vertical lines, triangles, circles and semicircles, are carefully interwoven with secondary geometric motifs. Here the harmony and balance that will mark Greek art are already evident. Around 700, as a consequence of increased trade, the colonization movement and, above all, orientalising influence, archaic art appears, revolutionary in its time because of its wider range of themes and freedom of artistic interpretation.

At some stage monarchy was replaced by an aristocratic oligarchy. This change of regime resulted in the Acropolis being converted from the ruler's residence into the city's religious centre.  

(Article continues on additional page: click here)
 

Excerpt from: "Heritage Walks in Athens" by the Municipality of Athens Cultural Organization,
and by the Elliniki Etairia Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and the Cultural Heritage

(Next Month's Article: Heritage Walk #1 - The Acropolis)
 

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Natassa Theodoridou, Natassa

Natassa Theodoridou, Natassa
Glykeria, Ektos Programmatos (2CD+DVD)

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Mario Frangoulis, Passione:A tribute to Mario Lanza

Mario Frangoulis,
Passione:
A tribute to Mario Lanza
Heaven 2008 + Bonus DVD (PAL) 17 Super hits

Heaven 2008
+ Bonus DVD (PAL)
17 Super hits

 
Legend 2008 (2CD)

Legend 2008 (2CD)
Mihalis Hatziyiannis, Live Sto Likavito 2007 (CD+DVD+Booklet) + 4 new tracks

Mihalis Hatziyiannis, Live Sto Likavito 2007 (CD+DVD+Booklet) + 4 new tracks

 
Sakis Rouvas, I Megaliteres Epitihies (3CD + DVD)

Sakis Rouvas, I Megaliteres Epitihies (3CD + DVD)
Giorgos Mazonakis, Ta Ohi Ke Ta Ne Mou

Giorgos Mazonakis,
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Hrises Epitihies 2008 (2CD) - 28 Super Hits

Hrises Epitihies 2008
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Minos 2008 (2 CD)

Minos 2008 (2 CD)
Vasilis Karras, Ola Mou Ta Hronia Live + 3 New Tracks

Vasilis Karras,
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+ 3 New Tracks
 
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Themis Adamantidis, Tsifetelia & Sirta (2CD)
Nikos Kourkoulis, Toses Meres Toses Nihtes

Nikos Kourkoulis,
Toses Meres Toses Nihtes

 
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Dimitris Basis,
H Zoi Allou Se Paei
Manolis Mitsias, 40 Hronia Manolis Mitsias 1969-1998 (4CD) 100 + 1 greatest hits

Manolis Mitsias, 40 Hronia 1969-1998 (4CD)
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Hercules (Irakles) - Disney Classic in Greek - DVD (Pal Zone & Zone 2)

Hercules (Irakles)
Disney Classic in Greek
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Athens, The Dawn of Democracy (PBS Home Video)

Athens, The Dawn of Democracy (PBS Home Video)
Mediterraneo (1991) - PAL - DVD zone 2

Mediterraneo (1991) -
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H Mikri Arahni Ke Alla Tragoudia DVD - greek children

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I Love Ouzo Tshirt 3807

     


Made in Greece Tshirt T4251

     


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  Featured Destination: Samos


GEOGRAPHY:
In the easternmost reaches of the Aegean, very close to the coast of Asia Minor (18 nautical miles), Samos is an island of exceptional natural beauty. 476 sq. km. in area, with 159 km. of coast, it is 175 nautical miles from Piraeus and has a population of 40,519. The island's capital is Samos and the main harbors are Vathy, Pythagoreion and Karlovasi. Despite the dominant mountainous massifs (highest peak Kerki, 1440 m. a.s.l.) the island's terrain displays considerable variety and small plains alternate with hilly regions, terminating in the gentle coastline, in complete harmony with its lush vegetation. Small towns and villages are scattered throughout and these, along with its many antiquities, monasteries and chapels make Samos a favorite island with tourists who can choose the kind of holiday which suits them, quiet or cosmopolitan. 

HISTORY: Geologically, Samos was formed as a result of major tectonic upheavals, being separated from Asia Minor with which it was united (Quarternary period). In ancient times it was known by several names: Dryousa, Elaiousa, Kyparissia and even Parthenia, since it was the birthplace of Hera, and here she was espoused to Zeus. The first inhabitants were Karians and Lelegians. Ionian colonizers arrived in around 1000 BC. During the 6th 5th century BC Samos experienced a considerable acme, especially in 540 BC when the tyrant Polykrates came to power. Samos was conquered by the Medes during the Persian Wars and became a member of the Athenian League once they were over. In 440 BC, however, Samos renounced this alliance and the Athenians responded with intransigence, lying waste the island. Nevertheless, Samos fought alongside Athens against Sparta during the Peloponnesian War and afterwards passed in turn into the hands of the Macedonias, Egyptian Ptolemies and Romans. During the Byzantine period it belonged to the Thema of the Aegean and was in a state of decline, harassed by pirates. When Constantinople fell to the Franks in 1204 the island was ceded first to the Franks, then to the Venetians and, from 1453 onwards, when Constantinople was taken by the Turks, the Samiotes fled their homes and sought refuge on Chios. Thus the island remained more or less desolated until the middle of the 16th century when the Turkish pasha, to whom it had been granted, introduced a series of measures (privileges, administrative independence, and religious freedoms) which successfully attracted new settlers and its repopulation was effected. Even though it played an active role in the 1821 War of Independence it was not united with Greece until 1912. During the 80 year interim phase it had a special status of autonomy under Turkish suzerainty. It suffered extensive destruction during the Second World War.

SIGHTS-MONUMENTS: The island's capital, Samos (Vathy), is built amphitheatrically around the harbor (Vathy), an inlet in the homonymous gulf. Exhibited in its museum are finds from excavations of the German Archaeological Institute at various sites on the island: Prehistoric, Geometric and Archaic pottery, wooden objects, sculpture, and artifacts of ivory and bronze, votives and clay figurines. There is also a Museum of Ecclesiastical Art in town, a Byzantine Collection, Art Gallery, Folk Museum and Municipal Library. In the immediate environs are the monasteries of the Life-giving Source (18th century) and Holy Girdle (17th century) with intricately carved iconostases and important icons. 10 km. south of Samos is Pythagoreion, colloquially known as Tigani (frying pan) on account of its shape, a name which prevailed from the 16th century until 1955. Prior to that, it was called Samos. Excavations carried out by the German Archaeological Institute on the hill of the ancient acropolis have furnished evidence of occupation in prehistoric times, circa 3000 BC. The city was enclosed by a wall (6400 m. in perimeter) and Polykrates is accredited with its construction. Even today certain sections of it, towers and gates, are still quite well-preserved. This wall girt the east mole of the harbor, the Kastelli hill, Ambelos hill and the monastery of the Virgin Spiliani, the hill on which the Kastro of Logothetis stands, and is reinforced by some 35 bastions. Adjacent to the Kastro of Logothetis, a fortification erected between 1822/24, stands the church of the Transfiguration, built in 1833 to commemorate the island's salvation in 1824.
         The Eupalineion aqueduct is one of the major feats of ancient engineering, designed by Eupalinos from Megara and commissioned by the tyrant Polykrates who wished to convey water into the city from the source in the Ayades region. The aqueduct was discovered in 1881. In 1971 excavations revealed both interesting finds and fascinating details concerning its construction. Another of the town's sights is the Panaghia Spiliani cave, very near the chapel of the Virgin Spiliani.
         6 km. south of Pythagoreion is the Heraion, the island's most important sanctuary in antiquity where the goddess Hera was worshipped. In the course of excavations directed by E. Buschor various buildings have been brought to light, remnants of altars (from the 10th century BC) and temples belonging to different chronological phases, the earliest being of 8th century date. This temple was replaced in the middle of the 7th century BC by a larger edifice, work of the Samian architect Roikos and regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, which was destroyed by fire in 538 BC. Rebuilding commenced during the reign of Polykrates but today all that remains is a single column "in situ". The road west of Vathy leads to Karlovasi and some 10 km. beyond Samos, in this same direction, is the lovely seaside village of Kokkari with churches to the Virgin and St. Nicholas. Karlovasi is situated 32 km. northwest of Samos and is the second largest town on the island, a sprawling yet picturesque conurbation. The church of t
he Virgin at Potami, 2 km. from Karlovasi, dates from the 11th century and replaced an Early Christian basilica of the 6th century. South of Karlovasi, beyond the village of Leka, is the monastery of Prophet Elijah (founded in the 17th century) and to the west, nestling in the foothills of mount Kerki, are the monasteries of the Annunciation (10th century) and the Dormition of the Virgin, close to the village of Kosmadaioi. At the entrance to the nearby Sarantaskaliotissa cave is a chapel to the Virgin. The cave of Pythagoras, higher up, where Pythagoras is traditionally reputed to have sought refuge, was also used by ascetics in Early Christian times. At Kallithea, on the far west of the island, are churches of St. Charalambos, in which there are 14th century wall paintings, and the Virgin of Makrine (inside a cave in a virtually inaccessible location), in which there are also 14th century wall-paintings. South of Kallithea, at Palaiochori, there is the remote monastery of St. John, beside the sea. However, the island's most important monasteries are to the west of Vathy (25 km.) on the road to Pyrgos: those of the Holy Cross (Stavros) and the Great Virgin (Megali Panaghia). The former was founded in 1582 and acquired its present aspect in 1838 when it was repaired, the iconostasis, pulpit and Episcopal throne in the catholicon date to that time. The monastery of the Great Virgin was established a little later than that of the Holy Cross and has a valuable iconostasis and wall paintings. One may descend from here to the nearby village of Myloi and thence to the Heraion. In the fields around the Heraion (most easily reached from Chora) stands the Pyrgos of Sarakini, a three-storey, tower-like structure built in the 16th century which now belongs, along with the metochion, to the Patmos monastery of St. John the Theologian. The oldest monastery on the island, that of the Virgin Brontiani, founded in 1566, is situated to the west of Samos, near the village of Vourliotes. There is yet another monastery, less well-known, in the vicinity of cape Kotsikas on the island's east coast. The region is ideal for those who enjoy exploring and seeking out tiny bays in which to swim. One may hire a boat in the nearby village of Aghia Paraskevi, with its lovely beach at Galazio, and cross to the opposite islets of Aghios Nikolaos and Makronisi (uninhabited). There are other delightful beaches to the east of the town of Samos (6 km.) in the gulf of Myrtia. The rather remote beach at Laka is also beautiful and the offshore islet of Kasonisi is deserted. The shores at Kokkari (10 km. west of Samos), Karlovasi, Potami, Poseidonio (7 km. southeast of Samos), along the entire coast from Psilf Ammos (6 km. south of Samos) as far as the Heraion, and the beaches in the gulf of Marathokampos are all fine for swimming, fishing and sea sports. Not only can one enjoy a swim on the island of Samiopoula, off the south coast between Pythagoreion and Marathokampos, it is also possible to stay there. For those with sporty inclinations the island's mountainous hinterland is just the place for climbing, hiking and shooting, while those with a boat can visit its more secluded coves. There are refueling stations at Vathy and Pythagoreion. One is assured a comfortable stay on Samos since there are plenty of hotels, large and small but generally well-appointed, as well as rooms and furnished flats to let.

 Travel & Museum Guides for your trip in the area

Samos - Icaria - Travel Guide

Samos - Icaria
Travel Guide
Road Map of Samos


Road Map
of Samos
Discover Greece : Rhodes, Kos, Leros, Samos, Chios, Patmos DVD (NTSC/PAL)

Discover Greece : Rhodes, Kos, Leros, Samos, Chios, Patmos DVD (PAL)
Road Map of Samos


Road Map
of Samos
Greece - A Guide to the Archaeological Sites - Travel Guide

Greece - A Guide to the Archaeological Sites - Travel Guide

 Saints' Name days in February

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
          1
Tryfonos
2
Ypapanti tou Sotiros
3 4
 
5
Agathis
6
Voukolou / Fotiou
7
Partheniou
8
Zaxariou /
Theod. Stratilatou

9
Nikiforou

10
Charalampous / Zinonos

11
Vasiou
12
Meletiou
13
Akula & Priskillis
14
Ayxentiou
15
Euseviou
16
17
Theodorou Tironos / Poulcherias
18
Leontos Romis
19
Agathonos/ Vissarionos
20 21 22 23
Polykarpou
24
Nestoros
25
Tarasiou
 
26
Porfuriou
 
27 28    


Icons depicting the celebrated Saint, make great gifts for namedays, as do our custom-made Greek name mugs. Shop among our great collection of gift ideas at our store. We also have a great selection of greeting cards for birthdays, holidays, namedays and special occasions.

Hand Painted Icons Greek Name Mug Cups Classic Design Birthday / Humorous Message Greeting Cards in Greek Box of 12 B112
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Greek Name Mug Cups Greeting Cards
 
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