Distomo - Parnassos Greece
On the National Motorway, (Athens - Livadia - Delphi), 140 km from Athens
is the famous city of Distomo. Built at an altitude of 450m, it comprises
of 6 hills that end up into a small valley. Distomo
is surrounded by rough and smooth slopes, and it is this combination of
the rugged mountain with the calmness of the Corinthian sea that make this
a very beautiful region.
There is evidence that Distomo was occupied through many centuries. Three tombs from the pre-Mycenaean period were unearthed, and gave proof that Distomo has been occupied from about 1500 BC.
During this era, there was a city on the coast of the Corinthian Sea named Medeon. This city was mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. Distomo during the pre-classical era was very developed and was actually named Ambrossos, after the hero and King of the city, Ambrissea.
In 338 BC, during the Holy War, Phillip of Macedonia destroyed the city, and it was not until many years later that it was rebuilt. In 198 BC, during the Byzantine era, the Romans took control of the city. This port-serving city was a very important junction for traders and travellers. During the 10th century, Distomo became bishopric, meaning that the head church was based there.
During the revolution against the Turkish occupation, the city was the location of one of the most important battles that took place, involving Georgios Karaiskakis. His actual command headquarters has been preserved well and is still there today.
The English traveller "Clarce", who referred to the big fire in 1803, made another reference to the city. He particularly states that the fire was started by a group of Turks, who he had met, a little time previously at Delphi.
During more recent times, and specifically the second World War, Distomo is again the subject of fame, but this time due to the cruelty of the Germans, who, in only 2 hours, killed 218 people, including babies, and old men and women. This was the largest massacre that took place in Greece during the second World War.
If you take a peek into the small chapels window, you will see the horrific image of many of the skulls of the victims, each labeled. This grim image truely brings to life the tragic events that took place on the darkest day in the recent history of Distomo.
On the 10th June 1944, this mass murdering became known all over the world, and has been written into the book of World History. At Canalles Hill, you can see the mausoleum in memory of the victims of that dark day.
After the plan "Kapodistrias" was put forward, which revolved around the connecting of small villages and municipalities into one larger municipality, Distomo became connected with the village of Stiri, and formed one municipality.