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SKIATHOS Byzantine period

SKIATHOS Byzantine period. During the Byzantine period it came under the Thessaly province administratively, it was part of the Macedonian issue and a seat for the archdiocese was created under the Larissa Metropolis. In the 7th century A.D. the invasions of the Saracens devastated Skiathos.

In 1204 the Byzantine Empire was broken down by the Francs and the Aegean islands are given to the Enetians. More specifically, the brothers Andreas and Ieremias Gkyzi, Venetian entrepreneurs, take over the island.

They give self-administration and benefits to the Skiathans; these are mentioned in the known CAPITULA SCIATI ET SCOPULI which was in effect up to the 2nd Enetocracy. However, they abolished the Orthodox episcopate.

They built a new castle as their residence the Ai Giorgis Kasteli named after the little church in its interior. Today, it is the well-known Mpourtzi of Skiathos. They remained on the island until 1259, while their heirs remained until 1276 when the Byzantine army ousted them from the Sporades island complex.

Skiathos remained under the Byzantine Empire until 1453 on more of a conventional basis, as although there was pirate foraging, the Skiathans had no substantial help from Constantinople.

Thus, in the middle of the 14th century, they were forced to abandon the sea-side town and build a new safer one, the Castle, on the north side of the island and on a steep crevasse as a natural fortress.