The island’s largest village, which used to be called “the village of the lady”. Potamos is a bustling village where much of the activity is concentrated around the central square and the many cafés. Every Sunday morning there is a market where farmers from all over the island come to sell their products. The market serves as an opportunity for inhabitants to meet each other, exchange news about what happened during the week, talk about politics and work, then sit down for some ouzo and meze while engaging in a little friendly banter…
Historically speaking Potamos is the most important village as this is where the island’s most crucial events took place. Commander Panos Koronaios, hero of the fight for Crete’s independence in 1886, hailed from Potamos. His bust can be seen on the village’s central square. It is also here that the inhabitants decided on the island’s independence in 1917 in order to help the Greece of Eleftherios Venizelos and the allies during World War I.
The National Resistance and the Greek Army of Independence used Potamos as the chief city. During World War II the large “Livaditis” café served as the revolutionaries’ headquarters, where the decision to attack the Italians and Germans was taken. Potamos has always been Kythera’s democratic center, as opposed to the capital city of Chora, inhabited by nobles and supporters of the regime. Nowadays, Potamos is considered as the island’s political hub.
Many shops, cafés, restaurants, offices and other services form a major crossroads on the island. It is also in this village that we can find one of the “prides” of Kythera, namely the retirement home built in the 1970s thanks to the Trifillis Foundation. Its purpose is to take care of Kythera’s elderly, and its funds come from donations made by Kytherean emigrants, the island’s inhabitants, and from Kythereans living in Piraeus and Athens. The Trifillis Foundation is led by a committee elected by the two most important associations of Kythereans: the Fraternity of Kythereans of Piraeus-Athens, and the Association of Kythereans in Athens.
Visit the streets of Potamos, the historic bridge built by the British, as well as the English school. At Potamos’s cultural center and with a little luck you will see Potamos’s philharmonic orchestra, where you will also be able to learn its history. You will also find information on current or planned cultural activities. The open air municipal theater is located towards the east, as you exit Potamos going towards Agia Pelagia. Musical concerts and theater plays often take place during the summer months, and the number of spectators is a constant challenge to the theater’s capacity.
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