Sites & cities that bear the name of Gavdos


Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : ca. 30th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Ogygia?, Κλαῦδος, Claudos, Gaudos, Καῦδα, Cauda, Κλαῦδα, Clauda, Γαύδος, Gotzo, Gondzo, Bougadoz, Gávdhos

Description : Gavdos (Greek: Γαύδος, ) is the southernmost Greek island, located to the south of its much larger neighbour, Crete, of which it is administratively a part, in the regional unit of Chania. It forms a community with surrounding islets and was part of the former Selino Province. The island is situated at the southern tip of Greece; it is the southernmost point of Europe. Gavdos has supported a permanent population since Neolithic times and the Bronze Age. Gavdos has been identified as a possible site of the mythical Ogygia where Kalypso held Odysseus prisoner. Archaeological evidence showed that the Roman empire was active on the island. During that time the flora of the island was overexploited and that started a process of erosion which has continued to this day. Gavdos, under the name of Cauda, was briefly referenced in the Bible's New Testament in the book of Acts. In chapter 27 whilst Paul is a prisoner being transported to Rome by ship they encounter a storm, in verse 16 it reads "As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure...". (NIV Version) They eventually shipwrecked in Malta. Gavdos had approximately 8,000 inhabitants by 900 AD. During the Ottoman Empire's reign on the island, which lasted from 1665 until 1895, Gavdos was known as Gondzo. During this period the population decreased considerably to only 500 by 1882. A reference to Saracens on the island survives: the beach Sarakiniko ("of the Saracens"). In the 1930s the island was used as a place of exile of communists; more than 250 people were exiled including leading figures of the Greek movement, such as Markos Vafiadis and Aris Velouchiotis. During World War II, Allied forces evacuated some forces to Gavdos following the German victory in the battle of Crete. Gavdos was then occupied by the Axis powers from June 1941 until liberation in October 1944. Later on, the general phase of urbanization that started in other parts of Greece in the 1960s took place in the 1950s on Gavdos. During that period the islanders exchanged their land on Gavdos with ex-Turkish land on Crete, which had now become exchangeable via the state. Upon settling in Crete they created a community known as Gavdiotika, which is part of the town of Paleochora.

See on map »