Town altitude 5 m
Town land area 1,04 km2
Region averege altitude 20 m, semi mountainous
Region land area 9,3 km2
Population 2011: 6.200, 2001: 6.275, 1991: 5.824, 1951: 6.007, & 1928: 8.636, 1886: 2.220 & ~18th c. 0 inhabitants.
Area per person 167 m² per person.
Parish churches 4 orthodox, Saint Theodoros (1838), Saint Spyridon (1909), Saint Charalambos (~ 18th century) Saint Nicholas (1862 Metropolitan).
Economy relies Today it relies mainly on tourism, trade, services and less on agriculture and fisheries.
From the middle of 19th till the middle of 20th c. the industry, trade and export of cigarettes developed, which changed the socio-economic level of the city.
During the 19th century it produced almonds, vegetables and citrus fruits, but their production decreased significantly at the end of the 19th century, after a disease that affected the trees.
Samos (Greek: Σάμος), is located at the north-east part of the island.
Administratively consists the municipal community of Samos which belongs to Vathi municipal unit, of east Samos Municipality, of which it is capital.
The city is the administrative center of Samos island and is headquarters of the Municipality of Eastern Samos (mayor, municipal council and municipal services), the Diocese of Samos Ikaria & Fourni, the offices of the Samos regional unit, the Samos Police Department, the regional unit of port police of Samos, the Public Financial Service of Samos (Samos, Ikaria & Fourni), Banks and all public services.
It’s built amphitheatrically and is one of the few cities that managed to keep its traditional character. It has one of the best and bigest (1 km.) seafronts in the Aegean and many neoclassic buildings that witness the island’s good old times.
Although the newest town on the island, it charms the visitor at first glance, with its special character created by neoclassical buildings, the morphology of the area and of course the waterfront, the diamond of the city.top
Samos town was the seaside of Vathi village, “Gialos” (=coastline) as it was called. Until the middle of the 18th c. it was uninhabited, without buildings, due to the pirate raids, the inhabitants of Vathi village they went down to the coastline during the day and when they finished their work, returned to the village. From the middle of the 18th c., when pirates reduced, but also the necessary use of the port for the development of the economy, the first warehouses were built to serve trade. At the beginning of 19th c. the first settlers appeared from Vathi village, but a large increase in population occurred from 1854, when it became capital of the island, by decision of the then ruler Ion Gika, who had said to support his decision, “It is in the interest of this place to have a seaside capital and the bay of Vathi is indeed the perfect place for this purpose “, until then the capital of the island, was Chora village.
The first settlers moved from the neighboring Vathi village, since it belonged to its region. Was followed several foreigners, mainly from the island of Cephalonia, who contributed significantly to the development of the new city, by establishing trade relations with Turkey and Russia. Soon attracted residents from other villages of the island, since as a emerging city, but also as the capital, with all the administrative services of the island, it offered many new job opportunities.
The development of the city was rapid, as a result, in less than a century, the city was inhabited by 2,200 people, while they were constructed public buildings, infrastructure, churches and many projects under construction, such as the waterfront, the pier of the port, the hegemonic parliament (today’s City Hall) etc. At the end of the 19th c. Samos had 595 houses, 286 warehouses and workshops, 4 churches, a public garden, the Pythagoras Square (built in 1864 by the French engineer Bouchet), hospital (1875, with 26 beds), prisons, archive building (1874), court of first instance, court of appeal, magistrate’s court, the Pythagorean high school, elementary school, two printing houses (the Hegemonic and one private), the municipal market (of 1888, demolished in 1980) and the jewel of the city, the hegemonic palace, where the island ruler lived there, but unfortunately was destroyed by the German bombing on 17/11/1943.
The oldest church, which pre-existed the city, is St. Charalambos church, which was built around the end of the 18th c., as part of Megali Panagia monastery. On August 20, 1834, the first assembly of Samos Hegemony was held in the church, which marked the beginning of the Hegemonic period (1834-1912) in Samos. While on November 11, 1912, in the church of St. Spyridon, Themistoklis Sofoulis declared the union of Samos with Greece, thus opening a new chapter in the history of the island.
The Port of the city, is located at the bottom of the great “gulf of Vathi” which is one of the three largest natural ports in Greece (6.5 km2), along with the gulf of Thermaikos and the gulf of Souda, while it was the first port of the island, after the recolonization of Samos, in 1549.
Initially and until the construction of the jetty and the waterfront of the port, the bay of Agia Paraskevi or Nisi, in the northeast of the city, was used as a second, alternative port, since it was protected from all winds, in contrast to the port of Samos which It became dangerous, for the ships of the time, when west, southwest wind blew.
Work for jetty and waterfront began in 1878 and was completed in about a decade, with the construction of 1,052 m. long and 11 m. width waterfront and 30 m long jetty, with the dock in front from Pythagoras square.
In 1909 the jetty was extended 100 m and the dock was moved there, for easier passenger movement and loading and unloading of goods. In early of 1980s, a fishing boats port was built, the jetty was extended 150 m, the waterfront 15 m and the necessary facilities for mooring and refueling (water and electricity) for yachts were built, while in the following years some projects of shaping and improving the waterfront, have been completed.
In 2012, the works of the new port in the area of Malagari (opposite the old port) are completed, in which the passenger and commercial ships are docked there, while the cruise ships and other tourist boats, continue to dock at the old port.
In the history of the city of Samos, are included three catastrophic events that marked the course of the city.
The bombing of the city by 6 Italian planes on 11/18/1940, with one dead and a lot of material damage.
The relentless bombing of Nazi Germans on 17/11/1943 that lasted 3 hours, leaving behind 30 dead and almost leveled the city.
The catastrophic 7 R earthquake, and the tsunami that followed on 30/10/2020, which resulted the death of 2 kids, 17 & 15 years old, in the city of Samos and 114 people on the Turkish coast, while causing extensive damage to houses, churches and infrastructure of the island, mainly at the city of Samos, Karlovasi and Konteika village.
History of city economy
The city of Samos, from the first years of its creation, developed the economy based mainly on trade, since agricultural production was almost non-existent due to limited cultivable land, but also the way of its development, which was essentially the evolution of Vathi village. According to author Ep.Stamatiadis, in Samiaka, an important role in progress of trade, was played by settlers mainly from Cephalonia island, who concluded commercial contracts with both Turkey and Russia.
In the first quarter of the 19th c., on the outskirts of the city, in the area called “Tabakika” (=tanneries), the first small tanneries of the island appeared, but their course was short, and they did not develop into a thriving industry. Probably did not favor, the location near the city, in the closed bay, where the stench of the sewage, caused discomfort and the operation of the machines, nuisance, to the inhabitants of the capital and to the administrative authorities of the Hegemony. In Karlovasi, on the other hand, tanning industry flourished until 1930.
Tobacco cultivation began on the island in the 18th c., however, the systematic cultivation of tobacco began in the mid-1890s, as an alternative cultivation for vine growers who had lost their vineyards by phylloxera disease. In 1889 the annual tobacco production of Samos amounted to 160 tons while in 1924 it was launched to 2,000 tons
The increase of production and the good quality of tobacco, favored the parallel development of trade and the establishment of cigarette standardization factories, mainly in the city of Samos but also in Karlovasi, with a smaller turnover. In the city of Samos the tobacco workshops were turned into small industry and soon majestic factories were built by the businessmen Paschalis, Karathanasis, Stefanoθ first and later by Soutos, Hermann Spierer, and Louis Mark. The famous and award-winning Samian cigarettes traveled to all European markets, but also to America, the British colonies, and even the Far East, despite the restrictions imposed on the Hegemonic regime of Samos. In 1927 it employed 2,500 workers, while the industry was very profitable, which you can see not only in the impressive factory buildings and the elegant mansions that still adorn the city, but also by many public works, financed by the affluent tobacco industry businessmen.
The start of World War II, and next the ensuing civil war, was mark the beginning of the industry end. At 1950 tobacco production had fallen by 85%, the industry although continuing, but the course was declining. In the 1960s tobacco production almost ceased and tobacco factories slowly began to be abandoned and ruined, writing the epilogue in one of the most important chapters of the island’s history, which lasted about 100 years and upgraded the socio-economic level of Samos.
In the second half of the 20th c., economic activities turned to tourism, which proved to be much more profitable than other pre-war agricultural and industrial enterprises.top
Initially the area was called “Gialos” (=seashore), until the middle of 18th c. where the first warehouses were built and was named “Kato Vathi” (lower Vathi), declaring its dependence on the village of Vathi.
From 1833 to 1850, during the period when the authoritarian Stefanos Vorgidis was ruler of the island, by his decision, renamed the city name as “Stefanoupoli” (=city of Stefanos), wanting to flatter his personality.
After removal of S. Vorgidis as Samos ruler, the city was named “Limen Vatheos” (=port of Vathi) and in 1958 it received its current name, “Samos”.
Although the typical name of the city is “Samos”, the locals usually call it “Vathi”.top
Eight settlements belong to Samos town,
>> Agia Paraskevi (or Nisi) settlement at the seaside, 10 Km north-east from Samos with 25 inhabitants. Until the end of the 19th c., it was used as a second, alternative natural port of the village of Vathi and the newly formed city of Samos, since its large natural bay protected it from all winds, and was very close to the coasts of Asia Minor for trade.
>> Asprohorti settlement at the seaside, 9 Km north-east from Samos with 11 inhabitants.
>> Galazio settlement at the seaside, 11 Km north-east from Samos with 23 inhabitants.
>> and also the uninhabited islands at the north-east of Samos city, Prasonisi, Agios Nikolaos (or Daskalio), Diaporti, Stroggilo and Makroniso (or Agia Paraskevi).
- Visit In the city of Samos, the archaeological museum, the ecclesiastical museum, the wine museum, the historiy historical church of Agios Spyridon and learn about the history of the island at the Public Library and the General Archives of the State.
- Walk around the city to admire the beautiful neoclassical buildings, which testify the great economic prosperity of the city during the 19th and 20th century.
- Along the coastal road is the main shopping street of the city.
- The city of Samos is the administrative center of Samos island and is headquarters of all the administrative authorities of the island such as the town hall of Eastern Samos and the Archdiocese, all the public services, museums, banks as well as French, German and Dutch consulates.
- It is the largest shopping center on eastern Samos, with a purely urban population.
- Visit the monasteries of Agia Zoni (4.5 Km northeast) and Zoodohos Pigi (7.5 Km northeast).
- Follow hiking route # 27, with many pictures in and around the city of Samos, and Vathi village, panoramic views, route to the pine forest and visit to Agia Zoni monastery.
- Follow hiking route # 28, and get to know the monasteries of Agia Zoni and Zoodohos Pigi. This hiking trail can be combined with the previous one.